Arts & Culture

Best Art Museums In Washington DC Area

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(Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Some of the best and most inspiring works of art are right at home in our nation’s Capital.  With so much culture surrounding the area, it’d be a crime not to spend a little time becoming acquainted with the wonderful museums, history and art the city is engulfed in. The following represent some of the top art museums in D.C.

National Gallery of Art

4th St and Constitution Ave N.W.
Washington, DC 20565
(202) 737-4215

Hours:  Mon-Sat: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. FREE

The National Gallery of Art represents some of the finest artistic collection in the world, showcasing paintings, sculpture, photographs, architecture and even graphic art.  In addition to its offerings in art, the gallery hosts a variety of concerts and other public programs. Visitors can enjoy audio, gallery and guided tours, and family-friendly activities such as films for children and teen programs are available as well.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

8th and F Streets, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 633-1000

Hours:  Mon-Sun:  11:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

If you are an avid lover of American art, this is definitely the museum for you.  The Smithsonian American Art Museum is devoted to all American artists.  Over 7,000 artists are represented in the collections at the museum, making this mammoth testament to the talents of American art. 2012 exhibitions include The Art of Video Games, African American Art in the 20th Century and The Civil War American Art.  

Related: Best art fairs in D.C. 

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

950 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20560
(202) 633-4600

Hours:  Mon-Sun: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

smithsonianafricanart Best Art Museums In Washington DC Area

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

With Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole at the helm, The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art boasts some of the world’s greatest treasures from the African Diaspora.  Of special interest is the magnificent collection, African Mosaic: A Decade of Collecting.  While there, stop by the museum to take a little piece of inspirational art inspired by the cultures of Africa home with you.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Independence Avenue and Seventh St. S.W.
Washington, DC 20013
(202) 633-4674

Hours:  Mon-Sun:  Museum: 10 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.; Plaza: 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Sculpture Garden Hours: 7:30 a.m. to dusk

Whether it be a field trip or an outing for the entire family, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is a wonderful place to bask in the glories of artistic expression.  The sculpture garden is home to beautiful sculptures as well as musical events. The museum also hosts Friday Gallery Talks and lecture series.

Related:Best campus art galleries in the D.C. Area.  

Corcoran Gallery of Art

3225 8th St. N.E.
Washington, DC 20017
(202) 269-1600

Hours:  Weds, Friday-Sun; 10 p.m. – 5 p.m., Thurs: 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Mon-Tues: Closed

corcoran Best Art Museums In Washington DC Area

(credit: Corcoran Art Gallery)

One of Washington’s most respected homes of historic and contemporary American art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art offers a variety of art in the gallery itself, as well as art classes for youth and adults. The gallery also hosts community-oriented events, school tours and workshops, camps and birthday parties.

Take the time to visit these wonderful museums that contribute great beauty to the D.C. community.

Related: Best underground music and arts in the D.C. area.

Patrick D. McCoy lives in Washington, D. C. where he is active as a performing arts journalist, educator, church music director and radio show host. His work can be found here.


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