We went to see the portraits of the Presidents, but there is so much more to see. I thought the most beautiful pieces were the landscapes by Albert Bierstadt. They are massive and just incredibly expressive. The sculpture they have is equally as moving. there is also a great exhibit featuring western/Native American art that is really cool. The exhibits on modern Americans was also really cool.
We combined this with the Museum of American Art since they share the same building. I was a little surprised at the setup. I knew half of the building was the NPG and the other the MAA, but I thought it would be seperated by floor. No - each floor is half and half, but we toured it floor by floor instead of museum by museum and it was convenient to do that since you just make 1 big loop.
These museums are off the mall and maybe thats the best thing about it. There were NO crowds at all. It was very relaxing to be able to take your time and not fight to see everything. The courtyard is a great place to sit and relax and have lucnh if you have time. Part of the collection of art is the building itslef. It is one of the finest in DC.
We spent 3 hours there and we saw everything we wanted to see. I will say that we don't spend 30 seconds looking at each painting though, we stop and admire what we like and quickly move through the rest. If you are an art afficionado, you could easily spend hours here.
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