National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC

4.8
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. Make National Portrait Gallery a part of your Washington DC vacation plans using our Washington DC trip itinerary planner .
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National Portrait Gallery Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
2,630 reviews
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4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Amazing art museum. Free admission. Beautiful both outside and inside. Will probably come back and spend more time  more »
  • The National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum share the same building. It's an enormous amount of art to consume in one day - we couldn't do it. The portrait galley includes bi...  more »
  • It recommended them us a few friends who live in Washington DC since in principle it does not form part of the circuit. We went and it's great. It is the opportunity to combine art with history and different cultures and races. There are also political reference.
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  • After many visits to DC I finally made it here. Amazing. Definitely a must see. The center courtyard is a great place to bring a box lunch as well, or purchase a lovely lunch from the cafe. Free lockers for bags make it easier to go through museum. Portraits give a different historical view of the US and the American Art Museum is great. Definitely check out Contemporary art on third floor.
  • Really lovely place. The staff in lobby are very informative and helped me plan my first visit. I am so happy that I took their advice. Sometimes there are so many things to see you get overwhelmed but the layout here offers different experiences for each visit.we spent 2 hours on second floor only the portraits and the exhibitions we're well thought out with a variety of medium. We will be back after lunch and even next visit this summer
  • The National Portrait Gallery is amazing! It is beautifully organized, and easy to navigate. The portraits are beautiful, and all indicative of times and places within our countries history. I was especially happy to see the new picture of President Obama, and an older portrait of the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Low. There is also a very neat area with American musicians, and that was very cool. We will definitely be back!
  • Fantastic and so much more! I spent a little over an hour here and only saw a fraction of what there was to see. The building itself is conveniently located near a subway station and a busy downtown full of food places and the likes. Also, the building is beautiful! Now to the art. So many famous paintings and sculptures lie here, some you may even recognize in an "oh, I know I've seen that one!" In my opinion, the coolest part of the museum is the Presidential portrait section, they have portraits of every US president (yes, even Obama's, Michelle's is also in the museum on a separate floor). Overall, I loved this museum and hope to return one day to see more!
  • I recommend going on the tours. They have docent that will guide you through the exhibits. They are very knowledgeable and are always willing to answer any questions you might have. Most of the tours that I've been on are scheduled for 50 minutes but they usually run long because the tour guides are answering questions along the way. Everyone has been very helpful and knowledgeable, I can't wait to go back again.

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