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Since its founding in 1935, the Wilderness Society has helped to protect 110 million acres of wild lands throughout the United States. It is no wonder then that a lover of wilderness like Ansel Adams would decide to leave 75 of his most beautiful landscape photographs to this crusading institution. The famous photographer's work can be seen in this permanent collection, along with several other pieces of his work that have been gifted to the gallery since Adams' death in 1984. The collection is housed in a stunning refurbished gallery that won the Merit Award for Interior Architecture from the American Institute of Architects in 2010.
This artist-centered non-profit seeks to provide a platform from which emerging artists can find and cultivate their place in the art community, while also exposing the public to new forms of contemporary visual art. The art space, which has a storefront on P Street for increased exposure, hosts six to seven exhibitions each season, and is constantly expanding their outreach to local artists. Visitors to Transformer can explore current exhibitions, attend special events like the annual art auction, and may even be able to speak with the artists.
Designed by architect James Renwick, who also designed the Smithsonian Castle, this gallery was the home of the Corcoran Art Collection until it outgrew the building. Currently, the Renwick is among the foremost craft museums in the country. It includes a full array of the art form, from handwoven rugs to Shaker furniture. The museum shop is a treasure trove of art and books honoring fine craftsmanship. The place reopened in 2015 after undergoing 2 years of renovations.
The Phillips Collection retains the 19th-century grandeur enjoyed by the Phillips family. The collection was opened to the public in 1918 while the family was still living in the home. The collection displays mostly 19th- and 20th-century American and European paintings. Significant works by Degas, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Bonnard and Klee are on display. One can browse at leisure and perhaps, catch an art student working on a sketch. A cafe is also on site.
Established in 1976 by a collective of 30 artists, the Touchstone Gallery has maintained a 50-plus membership of artists since its inauguration. The gallery hosts a rotating collection of exhibits with the goal of exposing its community to an ever-changing and ever-growing artist community and its works. Visitors to the Touchstone Gallery may see exhibits featuring photography, ceramics, paintings, or mixed media. The gallery also promotes community involvement by supporting art outreach projects and created the Touchstone Foundation for the Arts in 2012.
The Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, which houses George Washington University's permanent art collection, boasts a whopping 3,800 works of art. The university began collecting art in 1821, and has been expanding its collection ever since. Today, the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery includes some of the most iconic American paintings from the 18th Century, including Gilbert Stuart's Monro-Lenox Full-Length Portrait of George Washington. The gallery also runs the Campus Loan Project, which allows pieces from the permanent collection to be hung in public spaces around the university campus.
Famous and distinguished Americans are honored at the National Portrait Gallery in portraits, photographs and other visual media. A wide variety of politicians, artists, scientists and social activists are represented. This gallery is a remarkable testimony to the diverse figures the United States has produced, from Grace Kelly and Boris Karloff to George Washington, Mickey Mantle and Gertrude Stein. Photographs, prints, drawings and sculptures supplement the paintings. Of particular interest is the Hall of Presidents, which features a portrait or sculpture of each chief executive.
The National Gallery houses an extensive collection of European and American art in two spectacular buildings. In the grand, neoclassical West Building, Rembrandt, Rubens and Gainsborough are well-represented. The permanent collection includes works from the 13th to 20th Centuries, including a section devoted to Impressionism. An underground concourse with a cafeteria, an excellent gift shop and a walled-in waterfall takes you to the East Building. Designed by I.M. Pei, this triangular building is a key city landmark and home to famous pieces of art and other temporary exhibitions.
One of two Smithsonian museums that feature Asian art, the Freer Gallery houses more than 26000 works from all points of the Asian continent, including China, Japan, Korea and India. These works include Asian porcelains, Japanese screens and Islamic art. The works of American artists influenced by Asia are also featured. The most spectacular of these is James McNeill Whistler's Peacock Room, designed for a British shipping magnate and moved to the United States from London in 1904. The Sackler Gallery is interconnected with this gallery via underground exhibition space and houses an impressive collection of Chinese paintings, ceramics and jades.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery's focus is the collection of early Chinese jades and bronzes donated by Arthur M. Sackler—a wealthy medical researcher and publisher. However, the museum houses a variety of Asian art dating as far back as 3000 BC. Displays of special note include Persian manuscripts, Indian paintings and Japanese prints. Works from China, Southeast Asia, Korea and Tibet are also featured. Concerts and art performances augment the visitor's tour. There is also a hands-on kids program called ImaginAsia with crafts, storytelling and more.
The Fridge is small-scale art gallery nestled in a corner of 8th Street on Capitol Hill. This gallery is quite easy to miss unless you're a member of the street art and graffiti art community. The founder and owner Alex Goldstein, who sits in a corner of the gallery has transformed the Fridge into the unofficial hub for graffiti art by offering artistic space for performance artists to traverse through their inner creativity. The gallery hosts live art events, dance performances, plays and live paintings.
There is never a dull moment at Honfleur Gallery, which is located in the heart of the historic Anacostia neighborhood. The gallery puts on an ever rotating array of exhibitions, which can range from group projects, to artist collaborations, to international residencies and thematic exhibitions. Visitors to the gallery can peruse cutting edge contemporary art, which includes installation art and experimental media. The gallery was opened in 2007 as part of the ARCH Development Corporation, a group that focuses on using the arts as a way to revitalize local neighborhoods.