Free art museum full
of portraits

National Portrait Gallery

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Why locals love it

Whether you're obsessed with the presidents, literary figures, historic rich Americans--anything from the famous to the infamous--then there's surely a gem here for you. This free museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution. It shares a building with the Smithsonian American Art Museum (which is also free and easy to end up in from the former).

Why you should visit it

The museum is large, but manageable, meaning you can walk through most of it in just a few short hours. While it hosts the kinds of staple items you'd imagine, like portraits of all of the American presidents, there are also spaces for rotating exhibits which include new media, contemporary photography and painting, and other interpretations.

Special tip

Do not miss the ever-stunning Kogod Courtyard for a break between museums, or a quick cafe snack and beverage.

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2 Comments

Very peaceful gallery. Usually not too crowded.
Eric
Local
April 4, 2018
Lots of beautiful art and history. One of my favorite museums, and usually not as busy as the other Smtithsonians as its located across from the Verizon Center in Chinatown.
Jaclyn
Local
April 25, 2017
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