National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. (must see)

If you're an art enthusiast and touring D.C. for a day or two, you wouldn't want to miss The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. for the world!

Curiously enough, this national center of visual art and culture was founded as a private gift to the nation. In 1936, Andrew W. Mellon, a true philanthropist at heart, offered to fund the Gallery and donate his entire, and rather substantial, personal art collection to get it started. Sadly, he himself died before the gallery got underway.

When the National Gallery of Art opened for the first time in 1941, its collection consisted solely of Mellon’s artworks, including 126 paintings and 26 sculptures. Today, the Gallery is home to more than 150,000 works by more than 13,000 artists, including paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photographs, prints, and drawings, spanning the history of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present, and showcasing some of the triumphs of human creativity!

For the breadth, scope, and magnitude of its collections, the National Gallery is widely considered to be one of the greatest museums in the country, often ranking alongside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Unlike other top art museums in the U.S., however, the Gallery in Washington D.C. does not charge admission fee.

National Gallery of Art is where you find the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the entire western hemisphere! - The portrait of the poet Ginevra de Benci. The Gallery is also home to the only sculpture ever exhibited by the French Impressionist artist Edgar Degas in his life, called Little Dancer.

You can also see the largest mobile ever created, by Alexander Calder. In fact, this is the last Calder in existence, as he died one year before the finished mobile was hung at the Gallery.

If you come early, make sure to climb upstairs to the central atrium for the best photos of the amazing space with massive columns and fountain under a Pantheonic dome. When in need of fresh air, check out the Gallery’s sculpture garden next door!

The National Gallery of Art has THE BEST gift shops in all of DC. Highly recommended!

There are four dining options on site, but if you’re fighting museum fatigue, check out the gelato in the lower level cafe.

There are audio guides and tours available free of charge.

Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 10am-5pm; Sun: 11am-6pm

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Washington D.C.. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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National Gallery of Art on Map

Sight Name: National Gallery of Art
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.

Creating your own self-guided walk in Washington D.C. is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
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
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
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 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)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 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: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles

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