Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC

4.7
One of the world's premier art collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum displays the works of more than 7,000 different artists. Founded in 1829 as a part of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum--the first of its kind--documents artwork from the United States dating from the colonial era to the modern day. You'll find that the complex, within a building itself listed as a National Historic Landmark, serves as a world-class repository of pieces documenting the American experience over the centuries and reflecting the major artistic movements of each era. Of special note is its array of works by African American and Latino artists. Join one of the daily guided tours, during which you can get an introduction to the museum from a docent. Be sure to check the museum's website for information on the many traveling exhibitions, visiting artists, and temporary displays. See Smithsonian American Art Museum and all Washington DC has to offer by arranging your trip with our Washington DC attractions planner.
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Smithsonian American Art Museum Reviews
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4.7
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  • To get a good overview of both the Museum of American Art and the National Portrait Gallery, give yourself a good half a day at least, or better yet make several visits over several days. On the first...  more »
  • It is really breathtaking museum. You could enjoy watching the painting, sculptures, modern art, and skyline garden.  more »
  • Aircraft in the skies all over the world, the universe is a huge exhibition hangar, crammed with Office. Fighter aircraft, space shuttle, Hiroshima atomic bombs on the B-29 Enola Gay also was exhibited. You can list the development of American air space overtime
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  • This Smithsonian museum is less visited than most, being 6 blocks up from the Mall, but I'm always drawn to it. Artistically, it fits somewhere between the West and East Wing Gallery of Art, just down the hill. The Portrait Gallery side is not as interesting to me as the American art side (although you get 2 museums in one building). Architecturally, you MUST see the Great Hall on the 3rd floor of the Portrait side. It's not easy to find and many visitors don't get up to the 3rd floor. One of my favorite interior spaces in Washington. The galleries along the corridor used to be offices, but a wonderful renovation converted them into gallery spaces and made this interior into a sight to behold.
  • I just love this place. I've been there several times and besides being full of interesting exhibits - I particularly loved Sylvia Plath's and Marlene Dietrich's, the staff is always nice, plus they had these special Thursdays where bands would play while you could have some wine or beer at the patio. That patio is just something.
  • Absolutely amazing. So much wondrous art that one has to make many trips. Easy to get lost in all of the exhibits and spend all day enjoying the vast amount of art here.
  • Such a beautful place. Came here on a school trip. The Atrium Court yard is gorgeous, and friendly staff. LOVE THE DOCENTS!
  • One of the best museums in DC. I could spend hours going through here and the conjoined Portrait Gallery. Not as crowded as other smithsonian museums which is a plus.

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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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