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National Portrait Gallery

F Street NW, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, DC 20560 (Downtown / Chinatown)
202 357 2700
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Ranked #12 of 241 attractions in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence 2013
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Type: Art Museums, History Museums
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
Traveler Description: The National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum share space in a National Historic Landmark building in Washington DC The... more »
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907 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Denver, Colorado
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014 NEW

My husband and I were quite amazed at the amount of history shared on the plaquards by each portrait and how the museum was like a who's-who of our country's movers and shakers...not just our presidents.

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charleston, il
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
6 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014 NEW

This is museum is part of the Smithsonian located in downtown DC a few blocks from the Mall consequently it's not very well known...but it's also free which is a nice perk...it was originally constructed as the Patent building so has a great history...another architectural gem that has been saved and not turned into a parking garage...endless exhibits of 'portrait'... More

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West Chester, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014 NEW

American Cool photo exhibit was outstanding. A very good cafeteria-style food shop sends you out to a great courtyard area to eat. Wonderfull. Fun to see all the portraits usually only seen in text books before.

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Wilson, North Carolina
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
37 attraction reviews
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014 NEW

First, it's part of the Smithsonian, so it's free. Appealing exhibit on "cool" featuring photos of Steve McQueen, Blondie, Miles Davis, et al. The Hall of Presidents is simply a must and the items on Washington, Lincoln and JFK should not be missed. You can buzz thru in 60 mins or stay half a day. Metro stop very close by.

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Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
40 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2014 NEW

This museum is directly across from Hotel Monaco where we stayed. A friend recommended we go in and we were so glad. Not only does it have historical figures, it also has current portraits, many who are still alive and we are familiar with. Make the effort even for a quick visit. It's free and we truly enjoyed it.

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singapore
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014 NEW

After most of the buildings at SI are closed, you can walk over to National Portrait Gallery as they close later at 7pm. From there, you can have your dinner and catch Metro. As in all the SI exhibitions, NPG has a very impressive collection and it's good to spend a couple hours here.

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

The National Portrait Gallery (NPG) is so much more than its name suggests. While it, of course, houses all the official portraits of the U.S. Presidents (John F. Kennedy's alone justifies this collection) along with an extensive collection of other portraits, this surprisingly large museum also offers a number of other worthwhile collections and exhibits. There is a small modern... More

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
22 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

My friend and I stopped into the NPG on a whim and wow! - were we impressed! NPG underwent a total interior renovation not too long ago and it is just a spectacular presentation in every way. In addition to a stunning collection of artwork, the building's interior architecture and classic design alone are worth seeing. This is a good... More

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Washington, D.C.
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

Permanent collection and special exhibits are both terrific. Lots of multi-media, more diversity than you might imagine. Early photographs and up to the minute media as well as old standard oil paintings.

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Longs, SC
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

I didn't think I liked modern/contemporary art until I visited the exhibits on the third floor. All I can say is "Wow!" My teenage daughters loved it. We stayed until they were closing and wished we could stay longer.

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