What's New?

PHOTO OP (Shockwave, 7 MB)

This interactive activity introduces you to digital photography and image editing. Use the virtual camera to snap photos, then edit the images or add special effects to create your own works of art.  

photo op collage

photo op drawing

four heads

BRUSHster (Shockwave, 312k ) is an interactive painting machine that creates abstract art online. Express yourself! Paint colorful abstractions or use the program to design your own note cards, wrapping paper, or screensaver art. The program has forty brushes and two dozen special effects, plus there's an AUTO button that makes BRUSHster fun for all ages.

brushster icon



Still life interactive

Create an interactive Still Life that mirrors the paintings of the old masters. We have a few surprises in store for you in our (not so still) Still Life program. This Art Zone activity is suitable for all ages. (Shockwave, 8 mb) 

Dutch Dollhouse icon
Dutch Dollhouse
(Shockwave, 4.6 MB)

Mix and match colorful characters, create decorative objects, and explore the kitchen, living quarters, artist's studio, and courtyard of this interactive 17th-century Dutch House.

What's Happening?

If you're planning a visit, scroll down for a list of things to see and do at the Gallery. Program links will open in a new browser window.

calendar of events for kids


Download the most recent edition of the NGAkids family activities quarterly. (PDF, 324 k)

Visit the Family Activities page on our Web site.

Parents and teachers may wish to sign up for the mailing list or consult the Gallery's online Calendar of Events.

films for kids
For up-to-date information on the current month’s films, please call the Children’s Film Program information line at (202) 789-3030 or read this list of scheduled Children's Film. No registration is required. Children’s film programs are shown in the East Building auditorium unless otherwise noted. Programs are free and are subject to change without notice. Seating is offered on a first-come, first-seated basis.


Searching for something?  

If you're looking for information about specific artists or works of art that are not mentioned in NGAkids, just search the collection.

You can learn about the history of the National Gallery of Art or read gallery guides in five languages. Your teachers will find interesting activities and lessons in the NGAClassroom section of our Web site. 

NGAclassroom NGAloanfinder

Paintings of the Dutch Golden Age (PDF, 6.8 MB), a free 165-page guide to 17th-century Dutch art, is available in NGA Classroom.

Dutch Teaching Packet

There are many places on the main Web site to explore. You can always return to NGAkids by clicking the NGAkids text link or by returning HOME to start over. If you get lost while browsing, our direct address is http://www.nga.gov/kids.

Famiily guides

Inside Scoop - Jackson Pollock

The Inside Scoop features paintings by Jackson Pollock. (PDF, 580k)  

Download more children's guides to the Gallery's permanent collections and special exhibitions in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. 

The great picture hunt

If you're planning a visit to the National Gallery of Art, be sure to download The Great Picture Hunt (PDF, 184 k). This kid-friendly map highlights 16 popular paintings in the West Building. Locations are subject to change and some featured works may not be on display when you visit.

   Need help?

Technical problems
If you're having trouble loading this page, your browser may need updating. Read this introduction to the NGAkids page. If you're having trouble opening links, check your browser settings to be sure Javascript is enabled. Finally, try the "low tech" version of this page.

To view the Art Zone interactives you will need Adobe Shockwave Player, which also handles Flash content. QuickTime is used for several videos and animations.

Recommended Browsers

Mac OSX: Safari or Firefox 2

Windows: Explorer or Firefox 2

Firefox 3 is not fully compatible with Shockwave Player and Flash. This problem should be resolved in a future update, but for now we recommend Firefox 2.

You can test your browser to see if it's ready.

For more information about installing Shockwave Player, and to learn how to save the art you create online, visit the NGAkids HELP PAGE.

The links below will take you to the download sites for these popular browser plug-ins.

get shockwave

Get Flash Player

Get Acrobat Reader

Get QuickTime


The Art Zone
interactive art that you can make online
Photo Op

NGAkids PHOTO OP (Shockwave, 7 MB) is a two-part interactive introduction to digital photography and image editing. Use the virtual camera to snap pictures, then experiment with the easy-to-use photo editing tools to give your art a whole new look. The special effects palette, colorizing options, collage tools, warps, and mirrors will transform your photographs. This program is suitable for all ages. Learn more, or start the program. Get Shockwave Player.

Brushster screenshot

BRUSHster (Shockwave, 312 k) creates abstract art in many styles. The program is easy to use and fun for all ages. AUTO options offer interesting ideas for young artists, and advanced users can experiment with BRUSHster's customized tools to create sophisticated non-representational paintings. For a sample of what the program can do, here's a slideshow. Get Shockwave Player.

sample still life

Visit the NGAkids Art Zone to make a still life of your own. Mix everyday objects with elements borrowed from art in the National Gallery's collections. Get Shockwave Player.

inDutch-StudioCourtyard at night

Paintings by well-known 17th-century artists spring to life as you mix and match colorful characters, create decorative objects, and explore the kitchen, living quarters, artist's studio, and courtyard of this interactive DUTCH DOLLHOUSE. (Shockwave, 4.6 MB) A high-speed Internet connection or preloading prior to play is recommended. This interactive is fun for all ages. Get Shockwave Player.

Jungle interactive game

Create a tropical jungle filled with tigers, monkeys, and other exotic creatures. Inspired by the art of Henri Rousseau, NGAkids Jungle is an interactive art activity for children of all ages.
(Shockwave, 930 k) 

paintbox - holiday  mooseFLOW snowman animation

Draw a picture online with PaintBox. Create a motion painting wtih Flow

rotunda flowers
National Gallery of Art, West Building Rotunda


Current Exhibitions 


Learn more about the exhibition Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture Around the Bay of Naples, on view at the National Gallery of Art through March 22, 2009.

View a QuickTime movie clip about Pompeii and the Roman Villa.

.Pompeii and the Roman Villa

Pompeii guideDownload a Discovery Guide for young audiences. (PDF, 1.4 MB)

In the first century BC, the Bay of Naples became a favorite retreat for vacationing emperors, senators, and other prominent Romans. They built lavish seaside villas in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius where they could indulge in absolute leisure, read and write, exercise, enjoy their gardens and the views, and entertain friends. The artists who flocked to the region to adorn the villas also created paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts for the residents of Pompeii and nearby towns. Pompeii and the Roman Villa presents some 150 works of sculpture, painting, mosaic, and luxury arts, including recent discoveries on view in the U.S. for the first time and celebrated finds from earlier excavations. Exquisite objects from the richly decorated villas reveal the breadth and richness of cultural and artistic life, as well as the influence of classical Greece on Roman art and culture in this region. The exhibition also focuses on the impact that the 18th-century excavations and rediscovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum had on the art and culture of the modern world.




zoom! LEFT TO RIGHT: Leonardo da Vinci, Ginevra de' Benci, c. 1474/1478, oil on panel, National Gallery of Art, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund. Johannes Vermeer, A Lady Writing, c. 1665. oil on canvas, Gift of Harry Waldron Havemeyer and Horace Havemeyer, Jr., in memory of their father, Horace Havemeyer.  Pieter de Hooch, A Dutch Courtyard, 1658/1660, oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Andrew W. Mellon Collection

When you're looking at art online, it's hard to see the details. Try this. Click an image above or the "Zoom" links below for a closer look. 

Zoom  Learn about Ginevra de' Benci, the only portrait in America by Leonardo da Vinci.You can even see the fingerprints of the artist!
(Flash, 20 k) 

A Lady Writing is featured in a popular children's book about Johannes Vermeer. for a close look at the painting and other works by Vermeer. (Flash, 20 k) 

Zoom This 17th-century painting of a A Dutch Courtyard by de Hooch was the inspiration for the courtyard in our interactive Dutch House in the Art Zone. (Flash, 20 k)

Thanks for visiting NGAkids. Let us know what you think of the Gallery's Web site and tell us what else you'd like to see online. In accordance with the Gallery's privacy policy, we don't collect or share personal information about our visitors. We aren't able to answer letters from kids, but we'd enjoy hearing from you! Grown-ups are welcome to write, too, but tell them to be sure to include an e-mail address if they'd like a reply.

Send your comment to NGAkids

NGAkids online is supported in part by a generous grant from the Ruth S. Willoughby Foundation.

Site Credits

NGAkids logo

Remember -- clicking the red, white, and black icon at the bottom of most NGAkids pages will bring you back to this home page. To leave NGAkids and explore the National Gallery's main Web site, use the text links below:
Leonardo da Vinci's Ginevra de' Benci Vermeer - A Lady Writing de Hooch