The Portrait Gallery is full of wonderful art but I could spend days looking at the small-but-mighty “America’s Presidents” collection. Featuring the only complete collection of presidential portraits outside of the White House, the standout is President Obama’s official portrait by Kehinde Wiley. The colorful painting is absolutely breathtaking and photos can’t prepare you for the moving experience of viewing it in person. Follow the signs to see Michelle Obama’s equally-stunning portrait, located next to an electric, neon rendering of L.L. Cool J (another Wiley creation).
“tells the history of America through individuals who have shaped its culture”
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the history of America through individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the American story. Generations of remarkable Americans are kept in the company of their fellow citizens at the National Portrait Gallery. The Gallery presents the wonderful diversity of individuals who have left—and are leaving—their mark on our country and our culture. Through the visual and performing arts, we celebrate leaders such as George Washington and Martin Luther King Jr., artists such as Mary Cassatt and George Gershwin, activists such as Sequoyah and Rosa Parks, and icons of pop culture such as Babe Ruth and Marilyn Monroe. They all link us to our past, our present, and our future. For anyone fascinated by famous Americans and their stories, the National Portrait Gallery is a must–visit destination
Such an amazing place! You could spend a full day here and not see everything. Of particular interest is the collection of presidential portraits.
Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum is one of the most relaxing indoor spaces in Washington, thanks to its undulating glass roof, which gives the impression of being outside even on the hottest days.
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National Portrait Gallery
- Sun - Sat: 11:30 am - 7:00 pm
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