The symbol of the city of Washington DC, this 555-foot (169-meter) marble obelisk on the National Mall honors the nation's first president, George Washington. The cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid in 1848, but construction was not completed until 1884. About one-third of the way up the obelisk is a visible change in the marble, evidence of the onset of the Civil War. Construction was halted during the war, and when the builders returned to the same quarry to complete the project afterward, enough time had passed to cause a significant change in the color. An emblem of the United States and an icon of the nation, the Washington Monument is a moving sight, its elegant form mirrored in the Reflecting Pool of the Lincoln Monument nearby.
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 creators of Glenstone held three elements above all else when forming this unique gallery: art, architecture, and landscape. The gallery is situated on 200 acres of old foxhunting grounds, and nature plays heavily on the gallery's building and gardens. The gallery houses several contemporary art collections, the main collection of which focuses on post World War II work. To visit the fascinating Glenstone, you will need to reserve a time to visit the gallery, which you can do online, or by calling the gallery. The establishment provides free tours through the gallery, as well as through the outdoor sculpture gardens.
Zenith Gallery has been curating local artists' work since 1978. Visitors to the gallery will be amazed at the extensive collections and rotating exhibits - which involve a variety of medias - as well as the spirit of the place. Zenith Gallery seeks to promote the work of both established artists and bright artists who are just finding their place within the DC artist community.
One of Washington's newest memorials, the Korean War Veterans Memorial pays tribute to the many who fought in the Korean War. Located near the Lincoln Memorial, this monument features statues of 19 soldiers carefully making their way through unknown terrain. Photographic images on a 164-foot granite wall pays tribute to the thousands of others who contributed to the war; nurses, mechanics, crew chiefs and support personnel. Inscribed on the wall are the words: "Freedom Is Not Free."
This monument is not only a memorial to the nation's 32nd president, but also to the people of his time. The monument stretches along the Tidal Basin with four outdoor gallery rooms and is connected by granite passageways. Each room exhibits aspects of Franklin D. Roosevelt's terms in office. The second room, for example, depicts the Great Depression with statues waiting in a bread line. Another room contains a statue of Eleanor Roosevelt, the only memorial to honor a First Lady. The monument also features waterfalls and pools.
Joyce Muis Lowery, the director, leads this gallery and studio in its mission to celebrate the work of disabled students in a vocational arts program. A charming glass replica of the Washington Monument sits in front of the building. Inside, view a wonderful variety of art from beginning children, apprentices and full-fledged artists. Worth noting is the Christmas inventory sale (30 percent off), which is an annual highlight.
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.
To provide a glimpse into how one of the top U.S. newspapers is produced, The Washington Post offers a weekly 45-minute tour. Printing technology from before the computer age is demonstrated in a museum, along with a brief history of this well-respected news organization. The tour highlights all the major stages of newspaper production, from newsroom mayhem to the intricacies of the giant presses. Call one to two months in advance to register for tours. Visitors must be 11 years or older.
This famous square is often the site of protests and rallies, primarily because of its proximity to the White House. Do not be surprised to find protestors on any given day, no matter what the weather. The square was named after the Marquis de Lafayette, the French general and a hero in the American Revolution. The park is beautifully landscaped and meticulously maintained. Of special interest is a statue of Andrew Jackson riding his horse.
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 L. Ron Hubbard House, which is also known as the Original Founding Church of Scientology, is perched between embassies on Washington DC's famous Embassy Row. L. Ron Hubbard, the author and founder of Scientology, turned this building into the first Founding Church back in 1955. Today, visitors can learn about this creative individual, and the religion he founded, through exhibits and tours that explore the building.