National Portrait Gallery

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750 9th Street Northwest, Washington, DC, USA - (202) 633-8300

National Portrait Gallery Washington Reviews

WalterC WalterC
316 reviews
Nice collection of portraits of American history Jul 14, 2016
Located in the downtown area, near the International Spy Museum and Verizon Center, the National Portrait Gallery share the building with the American Art Museum. Inside the building with its Greek architecture, the 2 museums seem to be intertwined, as you can go from one to the other without knowing. This review will be mainly about the National Portrait Gallery.

This portrait gallery has an extensive collection of portraits of Americans, who would help shape the history of the US. They are organized into different sections, according to a theme. I was only able to see one of them, which was America’s Presidents. Basically, this one has the portraits of all of the past President of the US, with a couple First Ladies thrown in there. And some of them have more than one portrait. I have posted 1 for each President in the blog, and any multiple ones plus a few First Ladies would be posted in this review. Yes, there are a bunch of ones of George Washington.

There are also galleries for the Civil Rights, the colonial period and much more. Just have to pick and choose which ones that interest you the most. There are very good descriptions next to each one, telling you who the subjects of the portraits are.

This is a nice museum to visit and check out, especially if interested in American history. Also, a very good place to kill some time, when waiting for your appointed time to enter the Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site, which is about a couple blocks away, or 10 minutes away by foot. And during the summer, it is open late, so something to do.

**If I get to return and see more sections, I will post more photos and revise this review a bit.
museum building
entrance to gallery
entry to America's Presidents
George Washington - 1
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Africancrab Africanc…
773 reviews
The American Presidents Gallery, the Amazing Exhibitions. Jul 11, 2012
The national Portrait Gallery is a must see when in Washington. My family went down to tour the National American Art Museum, and found out that the same building housed the portrait gallery. So we shot two birds with one stop (smile!)

What is interesting about the gallery is that it showcases the diverse people who have influenced the history and culture of the United States. One of the most significant sections of the gallery is that of the 'American Presidents'. We did not waste time when we entered the gallery, we went up to the second floor where the Gilbert Stuart's Lansdowne painting of George Washington is on exhibition. It is quite a painting to see in person.

It also takes you through a window in history; from the earliest forms of portraits made of metal, paint and stones, to the revolutionary portraits in print, photography and film. The gallery showcases those who have influenced our lives and the life of a nation. Celebrating not the portrait, but the artists who make the portraits allowing us to remember through their work.

We also saw the exhibition of the Asian American Portraits of Encounter; quite modern and contemporary. The whole exhibition includes young artists expressing themselves and showcasing their talent. My favorite was the video art of a young lady expressing herself using everyday life dilemmas in etiquette; eating grapes with a chopstick like tool for example.
Frederick Douglaas (1817-1895) of …
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)o…
Lucretia Mott (1793-1818) of Massa…
Margaret Fueller (1818-1850) of Ma…
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Andy99 Andy99
579 reviews
A Panorama of American Personalities Dec 31, 2007
The National Portrait Gallery displays images of individuals who have shaped the United States and its culture. Men and women are depicted here who have made contributions and had an impact, for good or ill, in politics, performing arts, the sciences, the arts, sports, and the news media. The Portrait Gallery presents a history of the United States as told through the stories of individuals.

These images are found in paintings, photographs, statues, busts, sculptures, and drawings. There are famous images here--Gilbert Stuart's portait of George Washington and the "cracked" photo of Abraham Lincoln among them. In fact, you may recognize many of the images from their appearance in books or TV documentaries. Not only historic individuals find a place here. Contemporary people such as activitist Cesear Chavez and writer Tom Wolfe are also included.

There is a separate "America's Presidents" gallery containing images associated with each President.

A visit to the National Portrait Gallery is a very worthwhile stop in Washington to meet some interesting individuals through their images.

Personal photograhy is permitted of the general collection but not in special exhibits.

One building (the former Old Patent Office Building) houses both the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Gilbert Stuart portrait of George …
Bust of Booker T. Washington
The "cracked" portrait of Abraham …
Katharine Heburn special exhibit
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
tartanhop tartanhop
8 reviews
Jun 14, 2007
Hooray for another free Muesum in DC! This one is really a gem - I usually head over to the Hirshorn or the National Gallery for my DC art fix, but I found in my last visit to DC that the Portrait Gallery holds a pretty impressive collection of work. This includes catergorized work by subject matter (pop culture, historical portraits and sports, etc.) and sections devoted to official presidential portraits (Nixon's was one of my favorites; it was painted by Norman Rockwell. It seems as though the theme is decent presidents get not so great portraits while worse presidents get painted beautifully. Though that didn't hold true for Woodrow Wilson - I heart the painting and the man). There is also a amateur portraitist gallery, which is truely phenomenal as well (and something you don't see in a lot of other major museums).

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