Renwick Gallery, Washington DC

4.6
The Renwick Gallery is a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, located in Washington, D.C., and focuses on American craft and decorative arts from the 19th to the 21st century. It is housed in a National Historic Landmark building that was begun in 1859 on Pennsylvania Avenue and originally housed the Corcoran Gallery of Art (now one block from the White House and across the street from the Old Executive Office Building). When it was built in 1859, it was known as "the American Louvre".HistoryThe Renwick Gallery building was originally built to be Washington, D.C.'s first art museum and to house William Wilson Corcoran's collection of American and European art. The building was designed by James Renwick, Jr. and finally completed in 1874. It is located at 1661 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Renwick designed it after the Louvre's Tuileries addition. At the time of its construction, it was known as "the American Louvre".
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Renwick Gallery Reviews
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825 reviews
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4.7
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  • We went to the the miniatures exhibit by Frances Glessner Lee “Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death” The lines were very long and no tickets and no crowd control what so ever. All 4 of us in our part...  more »
  • The Renwick used to have this old world charm which matched its exterior facade (which reminded one of a dowager) which sentiment pervaded as you went up the sweeping staircase to an amazing octagonal...  more »
  • Great museum not all levels were opened specializes in decorative arts overall a hidden gem ofvthe Smithsonian. And it has a quilted suit!  more »
Google
  • Probably my favorite DC museum. Not as extensive as some of the others, but they always have the most amazing rotation of exhibits and installations. Every time I go it’s never overly crowded and I always see something that truly speaks to / sticks with me.
  • Went to see the "Murder is Her Hobby" exhibit. Fantastic. Both informative and educational. Be prepared to wait, because some people take a long time lingering and discussing each dollhouse, but it's definitely worth it.
  • Great place to spend a couple hours downtown - admission is free and the current "Murder is Her Hobby" exhibit (Dec 2017) is amazing. Try to come around 2.00PM on a weekday to avoid the crowds. Highly recommended.
  • Small but very cool gallery with very modern and different pieces of art. Well presented, not overwhelming, friendly security guards. Only the top floor was open, we saw it in about 30'.
  • Personally one of my favourite museums! It's a very photogenic museum, so great to get pictures for Instagram (my girlfriend is modeling in the photos below) and it's quite casual and fun. There's always something interesting on display. Exhibits change somewhat frequently, so I would advise checking what's currently on display before you go!

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Most visitors to Washington, D.C., end up in the East End, the old downtown district containing most of the city's major cultural attractions. For a more authentic Washingtonian experience, consider staying at a smaller hotel just a little north or east of this busy area. Neighborhoods outside downtown offer less expensive accommodations and affordable street parking, as well as opportunities to meet more locals and fewer tourists. Alternatively, try a hotel in Georgetown, packed with high-end shops and Colonial architecture.
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