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“Worth a stop in the Chinatown area”

National Portrait Gallery
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US$ 73.75*
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Washington DC Super Saver: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley and Monuments by Moonlight...
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Washington DC Wine-Tasting Tour by Pedicab
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DC Tour with Wine on a Rickshaw
Ranked #17 of 445 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Visitors can view the portraits of all the U.S. presidents.
Burlington, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Worth a stop in the Chinatown area”
Reviewed 19 February 2012

Visited with our niece. Varied exhibits. Take your time. Don't hurry. There is a lot of American history in these portaits.

Visited March 2011
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2,477 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Bethesda, Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Walk through history...”
Reviewed 16 February 2012

You see so many paintings you already know by heart...but they are so wonderful in person. Like walking through rooms filled with those who shaped our history. Always fun.

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Thank Marsha M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charleston, South Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
1,095 reviews
603 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 567 helpful votes
“From George Washington to George W. Bush, all in lovely oils!”
Reviewed 14 February 2012

Since my girlfriend and I were coming to Washington, DC during Black History Month, I was very happy to hear that the National Portrait Gallery was holding an exhibit of Timothy Greenfield-Sanders "Black List," a series of photographs of some of the most noteworthy African-Americans, who have contributed to our culture in numerous ways.

On the way to this exhibit, we had to pass through the collection of portraits of all our presidents, which is wonderful. Starting with the iconic portraits of George Washington by Stuart and Peale and then John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and all the others, it is really wonderful to see. As I was looking at paintings of some of the presidents we hardly think about, Franklin Pierce and Zachary Taylor, I heard a small boy telling his father what he knew about them - "oh yes, this one was the 11th president, from such and such a year..." - a very sweet moment, and you could tell the boy was both in awe of seeing the portraits of the presidents, and proud of himself or remembering what he had learned in school.

Bridging the gap between those galleries and the ones holding the "Black List" was a series of all paintings and photographs of all the iconic figures in our recent history of civil rights advances - not just people like Dr. King and Rosa Parks who have advanced the cause of African-Americans, but also Native Americans and women who have been instrumental in advancing their causes.

Finally, I arrived at the goal and reason for visiting the Portrait Gallery - the Black List. I have seen the accompanying documentary of part one of this "List" on HBO, so I expected to see photographs of people like Colin Powell and Laurence Fishburne. It was great to see who has been added for the second and third parts of this series. But there are still some glaring omissions from the list - for example, none of Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier are there. The list would have more gravity if more of the truly seminal figures in African-American culture who are living were included.

The National Portrait Gallery's building also contains the Smithsonian Museum of American Art - in fact, the two museums are intertwined. We ventured into the American Art Museum a bit, seeing an Annie Liebovitz exhibit and also taking a look at a series of paintings of Native Americans from the 19th century which is part of the collection. This museum also contains things like Frederick Bartholde's 2-foot high model for the Statue of Liberty.

Visited February 2012
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Thank Charming_Karl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Falls Church, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“A little old timey”
Reviewed 13 February 2012

It's ok. Not my style of art but I'm sure plenty of people appreciate it.

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Thank CareInn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Splendid building housing treasures”
Reviewed 7 February 2012

This should be on any tourist's list of must-sees. The collections change often enough to entice locals to keep coming back as well.

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Thank Cuse2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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