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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
793 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Wonderful building--externally and internally with exhibits that are both beautiful and quirky or both. Wonderful things (albeit generally high priced) in their museum shop. If I lived nearby I'd join...  more »
  • The exhibits seem to change often, but there is also a more permanent collection on the top floor. "Murder is her Hobby" was the reason for this visit after seeing the White House nearby. A smaller Sm...  more »
  • This is the one gallery I always make time to see when I am in DC for business or pleasure. The exhibits are consistently unique and fascinating (although I wish they had left the grand salon upstairs...  more »
Google
  • 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! :)
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • 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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