The National Gallery is the national art museum, established in 1937, houses an extensive collection of European and American art in two spectacular buildings. It boasts exquisite collections in the form of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures, medals, and decorative arts, showcasing the development of Western Art to date. 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.
Established in 1910, the National Museum of Natural History aims to inform people about the natural history of earth through its exhibits. Nestled somewhere within this museum is the famous Hope Diamond, which has gained notoriety for supposedly carrying a curse. Apart from that, some of the museum's popular galleries include The Discovery Room, Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals, Dinosaurs/Hall of Paleobiology, Insect Zoo, Teleology: Hall of Bones, Ocean Hall, Hall of Human Origins and many more.
Take a trip back in time and explore the much celebrated American history at the National Museum of American History. Opened in 1962 as the Museum of History and Technology, it was renamed the National Museum of American History in 1980. Focusing on collecting, preserving, and honoring history, the Museum displays the American journey through the ages; it resides a beautiful gallery that portrays the emergence of the American national anthem along with other innovative and cherished artifacts. Housed within this multi-floor building are exhibition halls and rooms that illustrate significant events pertaining to the past of America.
Nestled in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, the Phillips Collection is a century-old modern and contemporary art museum. Founded by the avid art collector, Duncan Phillips, the establishment is also America’s first museum of modern art. This former home of Duncan Phillips now houses several thousands of art works. Interestingly, the galleries here are frequently rearranged to make way for the works of newer artists and to facilitate newer experiences for the visitors. In addition to the famous exhibitions held here, the museum also offers award-winning educational programs for people of all ages. An impassioned ode to the power of art, this museum is a must visit for all modern-art lovers.
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.
Mary McLeod Bethune, a noted teacher and political leader, lived in this house from 1943 until her death in 1955. She served as director of the Division of Negro Affairs under Franklin Roosevelt and was an advisor to three other U.S. presidents. The house was the original headquarters for the National Council of Negro Women. Founded by Bethune, the group sought to promote women in society and eliminate all forms of discrimination. Today, the home is a museum dedicated to Bethune and all American black women. A large collection of writings, artwork, photographs and memorabilia are on display. Donations accepted.
The Whittemore House is a historic building in Washington DC. Now opened as a house museum it is now the headquarters of Woman’s National Democratic Club. The exhibits on display are mostly about the political campaigns, art exhibits and photographs of the struggle the women of National Democratic Club had been through. Built in 1894, this house is now open to public and it can be used as a venue for weddings and private events. The interiors of the house are well furnished and the furniture is perfectly maintained. There is a small courtyard which surrounds the house making it a perfect venue for parties and functions.
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.
As the name suggests, the National Museum of Women in the Arts celebrates the creations and achievements of women artists. Since 1960s, the founder of the museum, Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, has been collecting notable art pieces created by women artists and adding to the long list of the museum's exhibits. The museum’s collection boasts of more than thousands of pieces, with the earliest work, i.e., Lavinia Fontana’s Portrait of a Noblewoman, dating back to the 16th Century. By visiting this one-of-a-kind museum, not only does one support and promote the works of women artists, but also enjoys a leisurely day in the midst of creative geniuses.