Renwick Gallery, Washington DC

4.6
#17 of 46 in Museums in Washington DC
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
749 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    Beautiful building with public rest rooms. I recommend looking up when you go into the building as there is wonderful artwork on the ceiling.  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    So many interesting and unique craft items to see! Recently renovated and well worth spending time there. Across the stree from the White House.  more »
  • August 7, 2017
    We stopped by after our White House tour and we enjoyed it! The gallery is small and has a lot of unique pieces. It's perfect for a quick stroll.  more »
Google
  • May 20, 2017
    I am working as a wedding photographer in Washington Dc already many years and it is always nice to come back to this really amazing and extraordinary gallery! The lights, atmosphere is just magical there! :) I will be honest, it is one of my favourite places. As a photographer, I am always able to find a way to take different and unique pictures there! I really recommend everyone to visit this amazing gallery at least once in your life! :)
  • May 14, 2017
    What a wonderful little get away in the middle of downtown DC. Though rather small, the exhibits were beautiful and diverse. I especially enjoyed the glass work pieces. If you are close by and have even 15 minutes to spare you will be glad you stopped in. You can easily see the entire museum in 1 hour maybe 1.5 if you really take your time and closely examine all the exhibits. Best of all, it's free.
  • May 5, 2017
    I love how close proximity you are to the installation. Can be a little crowded for its fairly small space and large scale installations but exhibitions were extremely intriguing! / April 2016 (Recommend 1.5 hrs~2.5hrs)
  • February 4, 2017
    Great, small gallery. Free admission and right next to the White House. Small enough that you can pop in if you are in the area. They always have great exhibits.
  • September 15, 2016
    Delightful. Inspiring. An eclectic collection of diversity with pieces which were different - but not just "different to be different": truly interesting and usually thought-provoking as well. I understand that the exhibits change regularly so there should always be something new to experience. Add that it is free - and close to the White House (so you can stroll past the White House before or after) and it is a "don't miss". The only negative is that it was over too quickly: it is not a large museum.

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Where to stay in Washington DC

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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