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Museums and Galleries

Museums and Galleries in Washington, D.C.

Ford's Theater and Lincoln Museum
Ford’s Theater and Lincoln Museum

10th and E Streets, NW

The theater where President Lincoln was assassinated while watching a performance of “Our American Cousin,” has been restored as a center for the performing arts.  The president’s box remains as it was on the night of April 14, 1865.  

A Lincoln museum in the basement of the theater contains such historical items as the president’s stovepipe hat, cape, and suit he wore on the night of his assassination.  Relics from Lincoln’s youth and his presidency are also displayed.  

Just across 10th Street is the Petersen House, where the wounded president was taken following the shooting and where he died in a second-story bedroom.


U.S. Marine Corps Museum and Historical Center
U.S. Marine Corps Museum and Historical Center

Washington Navy Yard, 9th and M Streets, SE

The United States Marine Corps Museum chronicles significant contributions made by the Marine Corps to the American people and American history.  Located at the Washington Navy Yard, the museum displays a collection of paintings on the history of the U.S. Marine Corps and a Time Tunnel with uniforms, artifacts, and documents from 1775 to the present.  Also housed at the museum is a comprehensive collection  of weaponry, decorations, and heraldry.


National Gallery of Art - East Wing
credit: U.S. Department of the Interior
National Gallery of Art and East Wing

6th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW

World masterpieces from Medieval times to the present adorn the National Gallery.  Included are major works by Botticelli, Cezanne, da Vinci, Raphael, Renoir, and many other masters.  

The East Wing highlights contemporary art, beginning with the building designed by I.M. Pei.  Since its opening in 1978, the East Wing, a gift to the nation from Paul Mellon, has been recognized as a major exhibition place for Matisse, Calder, and other fine contemporary artists.  Extended summer hours are determined each year.


U.S. Navy Memorial Museum
U.S. Navy Memorial Museum

9th and M Streets SE - Building #76

From John Paul Jones to “Bull” Halsey to the modern fleet, the Navy’s contribution to America’s national defense is chronicled here.  Visitors can explore old submarines, a ships bridge and a variety of sea-going weapons.  Guided tours available.


The Shakespeare Theatre
The Folger Shakespeare Library

201 East Capitol Street, SE

The library houses the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, as well as an authentic Elizabethan Theater.


Capital Children's Museum National Learning Center
credit: Senate Photography Studio
Capital Children’s Museum and National Learning Center

800 3rd Street, NE

Three main exhibits - International Hall, Changing Environments, and Communication - combine arts, sciences, humanities, and new technologies.  “Please Touch” signs are everywhere, increasing a child’s enjoyment and understanding of a rich mixture of exhibits.  Admission is charged.


B'nai B'rith Museum
credit: Senate Photography Studio
B’nai B’rith Museum

2020 K Street, NW

A variety of Jewish ceremonial objects from antiquity to modern day are featured.

Visiting by advanced reservation only.


Corcoran Gallery of Art
credit: Senate Photography Studio
Corcoran Gallery of Art

17h and M Streets, NW

The centerpiece of the National Geographic Building features a giant rotating earthglobe, Jacque Cousteau’s diving saucer, Admiral Perry’s arctic sled, and a special electronic map depicting many famous world expeditions.


Daughters of the American Revolution Museum
Daughters of the American Revolution Museum

1776 D Street, NW

The DAR has collected and preserved a remarkable array of period pieces which vividly recall America’s Revolutionary War era.  A chest from the Boston Tea Party, Daniel Boone’s ladderback chair, and replicas of home life in several states are among the exhibits.  


National Museum of Women in the Arts
National Museum of Women in the Arts

13th Street and New York Avenue, NW

This is the world’s first museum dedicated to the artistic achievements of women.  It features painting, sculpture, photography, and graphic arts from the Renaissance period to the present.  


The Textile Museum
The Textile Museum

2320 S Street, NW

The Textile Museum focuses exclusively on the collection, study, preservation, and exhibition of historic, man-made textiles and carpets.  The museum is known for its preeminent collection of pre-Columbian, Peruvian textiles, as well as its fine collections of textiles from the Middle and Far East.


Phillips Collection
Phillips Collection

1600 21st Street, NW

America’s first museum of modern art, the Phillips is home to one of the finest collections of impressionist and modern American and European art in the world, with nearly 2,500 works by artists including Renoir, Matisse, Degas, van Gogh, Cézanne, Picasso, Klee, O’Keeffe, Dove, Diebenkorn, and Rothko. Opened to the public in 1921, the museum comprises founder Duncan Phillips’ 1897 Georgian Revival home and similarly scaled additions that retain the intimacy of a private residence. The Phillips regularly organizes major special exhibitions.


Hillwood Museum
Hillwood Museum

4155 Linnean Avenue, NW

Hillwood provides an exceptional opportunity to see in opulent surroundings varied works of 18th and 19th-century Russian and French decorative art.  The unique mansion and gardens were the residence of Mrs. Marjorie Merriweather Post (1887-1973), cereal heiress, collector, and philanthropist.  Tours of the main house must be arranged in advance, but reservations are not needed to tour the gardens and auxiliary buildings.  Admission is charged.


United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW

The museum tells the story of the holocaust in its three story permanent exhibition; of special note are the Tower of Faces, an actual barracks from Auschwitz, video taped testimony, and the Hall of Remembrance.  Admission is free, but tickets are required.


credit: Chris Micelli

Newseum is being built in DC.  Virginia location has closed.

Newseum is Washington D.C.'s only interactive museum of news.  Visitors are taken behind the scenes to see and experience how and why news is made.  Visitors can be reporters or television newscasters; relive the great news stories of all time through multimedia exhibits, artifacts, and news memorabilia; and see today’s news as it happens on a block-long video news wall.  



The Smithsonian Institution provides visitors to Washington with culture, history, and heritage with museums, events, and festivals.  Visit their Web site for more information.  (this will take you outside senate.gov)

The D.C. Heritage Tourism Coaltion is dedicated to showcasing the cultural attractions and special events in Washington to visitors from across the globe.  Go to their site for more information (this will take you outside www.senate.gov).

Washington.org is the perfect site for visitors new to Washington, D.C.  Check out their site! (this will take you outside senate.gov)

Click here for more information on the federal government from Firstgov.gov, "your first click to the US Government."