National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC

4.6
#9 of 46 in Museums in Washington DC
Part of the Smithsonian Institution, National Portrait Gallery displays portraits of famous Americans. The gallery began with Charles Willson Peale's private collection of portraits, formerly called American Pantheon or Peale's Collection of Portraits of American Patriots. Since the gallery's inception in the 1960s, the collection has grown exponentially with acquisitions from around the world and a triennial portrait competition. Be sure to visit the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard, an architectural marvel with a glass roof. By using our Washington DC travel itinerary maker, you can arrange your visit to National Portrait Gallery and other attractions in Washington DC.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
2,496 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    Hosted friends who requested this visit and we were surprised by the varied collection. From the first president, to pop culture icons (such as Elvis and Katie Perry) and ethnic culture -- mostly expe...  more »
  • August 13, 2017
    One of the downsides to my DC visit was how early most of the Smithsonian facilities closed. This one was one of a small handful that was open in the evenings after my conference was done for the day....  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    This was not a stop on my original itinerary but we went on the recommendation of a friend. It was great. I loved it all but maybe my favorite was the Civil War portraits . There was also a terrific s...  more »
Google
  • June 30, 2017
    Awesome! We only had 1.5 hours before close and we didn't even finish one floor.... And we were going pretty fast. I would estimate about 3 to 4 hours to see it all. We started with the presidential portraits. There is an eclectic collection of paintings, statues and photos. The interior courtyard is pretty amazing as well. Admission is free, but there is a quick bag inspection. It is open later than most museums (7pm). It is across the street from the Spy Museum.
  • June 24, 2017
    Wandered around this museum for a couple of hours one lunch time. Very nice, I was surprised and delighted it had a modern art exhibit on the top floor. A nice indoor/outdoor café area, the roof of which was designed by Norman Foster who did the British Museum in London. Because this place isn't on the Mall it is a bit quieter than the other museums here in DC. Another fantastic DC museum.
  • June 20, 2017
    D.C. has a great museum selection but this is among the best. The two buildings, attached by a tranquil domed outdoor section, are each among the city's most interesting architecture. The exhibits tend to be on the progressive side by the district's standards but there's always a range. If you've never liked portraits before, this is the place to learn how to love them.
  • June 20, 2017
    Free. Beautiful. Art. We checked out the modern art and Presidential portrait exhibits and both were mind-boggling collections of visual wonder. Especially cool in the Presidents exhibit were the 20/20 word cloud pieces.
  • May 9, 2017
    Very interesting museum. The temporary exhibit - Faces of Battle - was fascinating. I really appreciate that we have these museums available to learn about our history with no charge up front. The center atrium is a cool little spot to relax and decompress in between exhibits.

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