Art in the U.S Capitol

Last week, I wrote about my trip to Washington D.C. This week, I’m going to write about all the art galleries I visited. If you’re an art lover like me, this city is for for you.


ABOVE: Pierre-Auguste Renior, Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1880-81, oil on canvas, 51 x 68 inches (as seen at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C.)

BELOW: Beverly Pepper, Ex Cathedra, 1967, sculpture, 101.5 x 90 x 83 inches (as seen at the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C.)

Whatever your taste, there is a ton of art and culture on display in Washington D.C. Here are my thoughts on the galleries I visited.

American Art Museum

A stellar museum all round, but where it really shines is in the contemporary art department – arguably the best D.C. has to offer in that regard.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Looks like a small gallery from the ground level, but, as looks are often deceiving, contains several floors underground. Houses a wide variety of Asian art and artifacts.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

The city’s best designed art museum – all galleries should be this simple to navigate. It’s permanent collection of international contemporary art is excellent, as is it’s sculpture garden.

National Gallery of Art

By far, the best gallery in D.C. Not much in the way of contemporary art, but incredible everywhere else. It’s sculpture garden, which does include contemporary work, is awesome too.

National Museum of African Art

Like the Sackler, most exhibitions are housed underground. And, like the Sackler, it’s definitely worth a visit. Takes about an hour.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Open since 1897, the NMWA is the only museum in America dedicated exclusively to female artists. It hosts traveling exhibitions in addition to it’s permanent collection, which includes work by Cassatt and Kahlo.

National Portrait Gallery

Sharing a beautiful atrium with the American Art Museum, this gallery is full of famous faces. The official presidential portraits are themselves worth the trip.

The Phillips Collection

America’s first modern art museum packs a lot of star power into a small space. Some of the best art in the city.

Renwick Gallery

A small gallery across from the White House. Not sure about it’s permanent collection, but the temporary¬†exhibition we saw was wonderful.

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