Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C.

Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C.

Sitting at the highest point in the historic Georgetown neighborhood, Dumbarton Oaks is a must see location in Washington, D.C. This 53-acre estate is the legacy of Robert Woods Bliss and his wife Mildred, philanthropists and collectors of art.

In 1920, after a long and careful search, the couple purchased an old-fashioned Federal-style country house then standing in rather neglected grounds. In 1929 they added a Music Room, and some years later, built a wing to accommodate their famous Byzantine art collection. Another wing was added to hold Mr. Bliss’s collection of Pre-Columbian art.

In 1921, the Blisses hired renowned landscape gardener Beatrix Farrand to create an English garden to surround the whole property. Working in close collaboration for almost thirty years, Mildred Bliss and Beatrix Farrand had planned every garden detail, each terrace, bench, urn, and border, and eventually produced a beautiful oasis within the city.

In 1940, the upper sixteen acres were transferred to Harvard University to establish a research institute for Byzantine studies, Pre-Columbian studies, and studies in the history of gardens and landscape architecture. Around the same time, there was also a Garden Library added to accommodate Mrs. Bliss’s collection of rare books on the history of gardens.

Today, the entire estate is run by the Trustees of Harvard University. Its art collection has been on a long term loan to the National Gallery of Art.

Why You Should Visit:
The Museum is home to a world-class collection of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art; the old music and rare books rooms are fascinating to walk through. From the tapestries and paintings in the Renaissance-inspired Music Room to the graceful lines and natural sunlight of the Philip Johnson Pavilion, visitors can admire art dating back to antiquity, as well as innovative special exhibitions.
You can easily spend a few hours wandering through the gardens and discovering every hidden corner.
Everything is well-kept up – space, lighting, staff, historical rooms, terraces, gardens, and security.

Tip:
Make sure you get the booklet and follow the suggested garden route as it helps to understand the layout. Also look out for birds and small mammals.

Opening Hours:
Museum: Tue-Sun: 11:30am-5:30pm
Garden: Tue-Sun: 2-6pm (Mar 15–Oct 31); 2-5pm (Nov 1–Mar 14)
Sight description based on wikipedia

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Dumbarton Oaks on Map

Sight Name: Dumbarton Oaks
Sight Location: Washington D.C., USA (See walking tours in Washington D.C.)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Washington D.C., USA

Create Your Own Walk in Washington D.C.

Create Your Own Walk in Washington D.C.

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DC Museums Tour

DC Museums Tour

Washington D.C. is well-known for its world-class museums. The Smithsonian Institution, the largest museum complex in the world, maintains most of the official museums in Washington, D.C. and the entrance is free of charge. Explore some the outstanding museums in D.C. by taking this self guided walking tour.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
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Federal Buildings Walking Tour

Federal Buildings Walking Tour

Washington D.C. is a federal district and serves as the permanent capital of the United States. As such, it is filled with numerous buildings of federal importance, most of which are the nation's historic monuments too. This self-guided walk will tour you around the most vital federal buildings found in the downtown of Washington D.C.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles
Georgetown Walking Tour

Georgetown Walking Tour

Georgetown is an area located in the northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., along the Potomac River waterfront. Despite its proximity to downtown Washington, this former port has preserved its own distinct character. Many of the buildings along the tree-lined streets here are over 200 years old. Take this walking tour to reveal some of the cute secrets of this part of the U.S. capital.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
DC Monuments and Memorials Walking Tour

DC Monuments and Memorials Walking Tour

Washington D.C. is a city of historic memorials and monuments that commemorate key chapters in American history. They are dedicated to all the noteworthy generals, politicians, statesmen and artists who played a major role in shaping the American nation. This walking tour will offer you a glimpse into the history of the U.S.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Washington D.C. Introduction Walking Tour

Washington D.C. Introduction Walking Tour

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia or simply The District, is the capital of the United States and, in many senses, America’s front yard. After the American Revolution, the need for the newly independent nation's federal government to have authority over a capital city and not rely on any state for its maintenance and safety, came in the wake of the Pennsylvania Mutiny of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 Km or 3.2 Miles
Arlington National Cemetery Tour

Arlington National Cemetery Tour

The largest military cemetery in the U.S., Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 400,000 veterans from the fronts of Iraq and Afghanistan, World Wars I and II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam, the Cold War and America’s Civil War. Open 365 days a year with free admission, it is visited by more than four million people each year, and conducts between 27 and 30 funerals...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles

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