Smithsonian American Art Museum Washington DC

Image by Andrew Garofalo

Smithsonian American Art Museum – Downtown art

This is one of my favorite buildings in all of DC. It is the American Art Museum. But most people just think it is the National Portrait Gallery. Which it also is. And this museum is located in Chinatown, not near the National Mall where most of the other Smithsonian museums are located. This museum is easy to dismiss as just another federal office space, which most people do.

I love coming here on weekday nights. It’s one of the few galleries open until 19:00 and the crowds are few. The first 2 floors are the portraits of notable Americans throughout history. But the third floor is contemporary American art. I love the electronic superhighway piece. It’s a must see for a slice of Americana. Marvel at the detail of the great hall where Abraham Lincoln had his second inauguration. And the courtyard is an art piece in itself. A perfect place for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in the middle of the bustle of downtown DC. 

The National Portrait Gallery is also hosting the first major Marlene Dietrich exhibit in the United States through April 2018. 

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Details about this spot



8th and F St NW, Washington DC

Opening Times

Mon - Fri 11:30 - 19:00




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Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)