While not part of the Smithsonian Institute, the National Gallery of Art is a treasure! If you are an art lover whose travels take you to Washington, D.C., do not miss this amazing art museum!
As part of our family road trip to Washington, D.C., we spent several days exploring the National Monuments, Memorials, and Museums around the National Mall. There is way to much to see and do, so really consider what piques your interest and plan your travel itinerary based on the unique interests of you and the rest of your family.
When traveling with kids, some children will love art museums, others will tolerate them for an hour, and others will grumble the whole way through. Depending on which art gallery we are visiting, our kids are a mix. Fortunately, we have an idea of what each child likes and can usually find something in the art collections to excite each of them. One of my kids (who usually doesn’t care for art museums) became mildly obsessed with this duck painting!
Destination: National Gallery of Art
West Building Address (Main Building): 6th St and Constitution Ave NW, on the National Mall, near Congress.
Hours: 10am-5pm, closed Tuesdays
As with visiting the other museums along the National Mall, it’s convenient to use the Metro or taxi to get there rather than trying to drive. We drove to DC, but parked our car in a garage for the visit. The museum’s website has excellent suggestions for how to get to the National Gallery of Art.
As you explore the National Gallery of Art, you will discover that many different genres are represented and that they have paintings from many famous artists. Below is a self-portrait of Van Gogh as well as another painting in the same style!
I always love beautiful paintings of places that we have actually been. Here is a delightful painting of Venice.
The pastoral scenes are also quite nice.
The museum is very extensive and you will find various scenes of life.
Water scenes will vary from peaceful to turbulent to terrifying.
Some of the still life paintings will be quite normal, while others will be bizarre, with dead animals everywhere.
There will be some very impressive scenes from both the Bible and from mythology.
The selection of medieval art is also quite exceptional.
The portraits in this gallery are also exceptional. If you really like them, you should head over to the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
You can also find many battle scenes. Below is actually a carving rather than a painting.
While this art gallery mostly has classical European Art, they do have a few pieces from other parts of the world. If you trying to decide where to go and are looking for museums that focus on other cultures and time periods, try the National Museum of African Art, the American Art Museum, the Freer Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and more!
When making your travel plans, try to spend at least an hour at this delightful museum, and if you are an art lover, you could probably spend all day!
More from Adventures of the 4 JLs!
Summer Road Trip from Boston to Washington, D.C.
- Itinerary: Road Trip from Boston to DC
- New Jersey: Six Flags Great Adventure
- Pennsylvania: Philadelphia: The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall
- Virginia: Udvar-Hazy Center: National Air and Space Museum
- Washington, D.C.: International Spy Museum
- Washington, D.C.: Monuments and Memorials Located in the National Mall
- Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian National Museum of American History
- Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
East Coast Adventures
- Connecticut: New London, Mystic, and New Haven
- Maine: A Coastal Walk in Ogunquit
- Massachusetts: Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
- New Hampshire: A Drive Up Mt. Washington
- New York City: Fall Weekend in NYC
- Rhode Island: Newport: Cliff Walk
- Vermont: Stowe: Hiking Stowe Pinnacle Trail
- Washington, D.C.: 4 Nights in Washington, D.C.