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“Great history and art”

National Portrait Gallery
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Ranked #16 of 444 things to do in Washington DC
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Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Visitors can view the portraits of all the U.S. presidents.
Grapevine, TX
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great history and art”
Reviewed July 23, 2013

We only had a little over an hour to spend here and it was way too little. The first floor has many portraits of famous Americans. It is fascinating to see some other works from well known artists (e.g. Gilbert Stuart of George Washington fame and a wide selection of George Catlin's works). On the second floor the artistic aspects of the pictures eclipse the historical aspects. This truly a Smithsonian experience not to be missed.

Visited July 2013
Thank Ellie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,475 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Loved the President's portraits!”
Reviewed July 23, 2013

My husband and I really enjoyed this museum and could have spent much more time there. I prefer paintings of people and especially liked the gallery with the president's portraits. We went to this gallery near the end of our week long trip ---in part to get our of the heat. We were pretty worn out so we plan to go back some day to finish. It was a much larger gallery than we'd expected!

Visited July 2013
Thank OhioJJean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2013

Of all the museums we went to this was one of our favorites. But to really enjoy it you need to take your time and really look at how the artist captured not only the presidents, but the great leaders of our time. Try not to miss Nixon's painting, it is just a tad smaller than some of the other presidents...

The presentation was as good or better than any of the ones we visited in Europe.

Visited July 2013
Thank Snorezsome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Get to the National Portrait Competition, 3rd Floor”
Reviewed July 22, 2013

I don't know when the exhibit ends, but get to the National Portrait Competition. Every 3 years or so they extend a call for portraits. The finalists are on display now and are AMAZING. I cried reading the descriptions and stories behind 3 of them. Amazing portraits of lives in place from around the country.

Visited July 2013
Thank maremel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A great museum experience”
Reviewed July 22, 2013

The National Portrait Gallery is housed together with the American Art Museum that is housed in the same building. They are some of my favorite museums. The have unique exhibits, and the American Art Museum has a great collection of American folk art you won't find elsewhere. The building itself is also very nice, with a lovely cafe in the atrium.

Visited August 2012
Thank dctravel123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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