Washington DC is a city full of inspirations.
The plethora of art galleries and art museums in the city never fail to inspire aspiring painters and artists.
Right from the Smithsonian American Art Museum to the National Gallery of Art, every gallery and museum has something unique to offer. This list will help you know more about the best galleries in Washington for finding inspiration.
National Gallery Of Art
Located on the National Mall of Washington DC, the National Gallery of Art is a national art museum. The gallery includes the West building built in Neoclassical Style and the 6.1-acre Sculpture Garden. The collections in the museum mainly include American and European art in the form of photographs, paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The items from the collection date back to the middle ages. Some highlights of the collection of the museum include:
- Portrait of a Lady by Rogier van der Weyden
- Adoration of the Shepherds by Giorgione
- Cowper Madonna by Raphael
- A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard
American Art Museum
Also known as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the American Art Museum hold one of the world’s largest and most extensive collection of art. Artworks of more than 7000 artists have been housed in the museum.
The museum has American art from all regions and ethnicities.
The museum has world’s largest collection of New Deal Art. the main building in premises has an expanded gallery and full of permanent collections and several public spaces. Some of the exhibitions in the American Art Museum are:
- The Art of Video Games
- Visions and Revisions
- The Civil War and American Art
- African American Art
National Portrait Gallery
Lodged on the Eighth and F Streets of Washington DC, the National Portrait Gallery is a historic art museum. The Gallery is a part of the Smithsonian Institution. The collection of the gallery mainly focuses on the portraits of famous and influential Americans. The museum was opened to public in 1968. It is also the only museum in the United States of America which solely collects items of portraiture. The Gallery houses over 1,069,932 pieces of art. Some of the key exhibits in the gallery are:
- Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Gardner
- Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Duplessis
- Barack Obama by Shepard Fairey
- Colin Powell by Ron Sherr
- Lansdowne portrait by Gilbert Stuart
The Phillips Collection is all about contemporary organic furnishings. Not a single tree is cut while preparing the items from their Origins Collection.
The pieces are designed by artists and prepared by artisans from all over the word. Every piece if furnishing has a story to tell.
The Phillips Collection has been rewarded with many accolades like the ARTS Award, ADEX Platinum Award, ARTS Academy of Achievement, Woodworking Network, and many more.
For anyone who is trying to establish his/her name in the wooden art world, the Phillips Collection is one of the best sources of inspiration.
Hirshhorn Museum And Sculpture Garden
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is a popular modern and contemporary art museum in Washington DC. the museum building is built in an open cylinder shape and is an attraction itself. The Museum also houses collections from the post-World War II period. It has an area of 60,000 square feet fro open space exhibitions. Some of the highlights of the collection in Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden are:
- The Burghers of Calais by Auguste Rodin
- Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree for Washington DC
- Art by Pablo Picasso, Mary Cassatt, Henry Moore
National Museum of African Art
The National Museum of African Art houses an extensive collection of traditional and contemporary African art. The collection includes over 300,000 photographs and 50,000 volumes of library.
It is considered as the main venue for African art on an international platform.
Founded in 1964, the National Museum of African art has quickly become a center of culture in Washington DC. the library volumes in the museum are related to anthropology, cooking, religion, history, travel, and especially the works published in Africa.
National Museum Of Women In The Arts
The National Museum of Women in the Arts is the only museum in the world which is solely dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements in the field of art. The museum is home to 4,500 items including paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and decorative art.
The old Masonic temple housed inside the museum is museum is listed under the US Register of Historic Places.
Some of the noteworthy exhibitions of the National Museum of Women in the Arts include:
- An Imperial Collection
- Women Who Rock
- Wack!Art and the feminist revolution
The Kreeger Museum is a former residence of the David Kreeger and Carmen Kreeger. The residence was built on a wooded area of five and half acres. The Kreeger family were an important part of the cultural scene of Washington DC. The collection mainly comprises of work from the 19th century. The Kreeger Museum also has a sculpture terrace. The Reflecting Pool Terrace has six-large scale works. The permanent collection of the Kreeger Museum includes items from Africa and East Asia as well.
Freer Gallery Of Art
The Freer Gallery of Art is considered as a US National Historic Landmark. It has 26,000 objects, some of them dating back to 6000 years. These objects are ranging from Neolithic to modern eras. Some of the most significant items in the collection are:
- Chinese paintings and ceramics
- Japanese folding screens
- Buddhist sculptures
- Persian manuscripts
The Renwick Gallery mainly houses a collection of American craft and decorative arts. The Gallery is housed in a US National Historic Landmark. It was initially built in 1859 and known as the ‘The American Louvre’. Notable artists featured in the collection are:
- Sam Maloof
- Maria Martinez
- Albert Paley
- Wendell Castle
- Arline Fisch