Known for his flair toward the avant-garde, Edouard Manet was absent from a meeting of artists referred to as the “Société Anonyme des Artistes.” His forward thinking and modern approach to art would be later referred to as Impressionism.

A few of the well-known galleries in the D.C. area offer exhibitions devoted specifically to the artists of the Impressionist Period.  Visit one of these free exhibitions and come away with a good impression.

Hours: Mon & Tues: Closed; Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Thurs: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Price: Adults: $10; Seniors, students: $8; Military, children under 12: Free admission

This privately-funded gallery used to house the collection of William Wilson Corcoran, a wealthy banker and philanthropist in the late 1800s. Although the gallery is now known for its extensive collection of American art, it also houses paintings and sculptures from European artists, including “significant holdings” of Impressionist landscapes from artists such as Monet.

Hours: Mon-Sat: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Price: Free admission

The National Gallery of Art boasts perhaps some of the nation’s most important collections devoted to French art of this period.  All exhibitions at the gallery are free and open to the public.  Most recently, the Chester Dale collection was featured for its vast array of art by some of world’s greatest impressionist artists

Related: Best art museums in D.C.

Hours:  Mon: Noon – 5 p.m.; Tues-Fri; noon – 6 p.m.; Sat: Noon – 5 p.m.; Also by appointment
Price: Suggested $5 donation

With a variety of arts programming, the Hilyer Art Space hosts a wide ranging variety of art showings by modern artists, as well as noted works from many different periods. In addition, the space serves as an open forum for art, allowing the public to learn more about specific types of art, including works by impressionist artists.

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

February 4–May 6, 2012
Hours:  Tues-Sat; 10 a.m.-5 p.m, Thurs-10 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Sun-11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Price: Adults: $12; Seniors, students: $10; Visitors 18 and under: Free

George Hendrik Breitner, Girl in Red Kimono, Geesje Kwak, 1893–95. Noortman Master Paintings, Amsterdam, on behalf of private collection, Netherlands. (credit:

This exhibition will feature 200 photographs and 80 paintings by impressionist artists such as Bonnard, Félix Vallotton, and Edouard Vuillard. In this these works, the viewer will have the opportunity to see the post impressionist influence in the realm of art at work.

Related:  Best places to learn digital photography in D.C.

Hours: Wed-Fri: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. .
Price: Free general admission

The Baltimore Museum of Art houses a permanent collection of modern art that includes a wide range of artists and styles. Among them are pieces by impressionist artists including Claude Monet and Edgar Degas. The collection, which was assembled by the Baltimore Cone sisters, is said to be one of the most important in the world of art. Visit the museum for free any day of the week except Tuesday, when the museum is closed.

Related:  Best art fairs in D.C.

Related:  Best campus art galleries in D.C. 

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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