National Portrait Gallery

The Place: The National Portrait Gallery

Where: 8th and F Streets NW

Why Live Near Here: One of the great perks of living in DC is the fact that we have all but one of the free, always open (except Christmas Day and when the government is shut down) Smithsonian museums at our fingertips.  The person who wants to live near this gorgeous Greek Revival building is a fan of  everything from traditional masterpieces to modern art, and maybe has a thing for presidential portraits.

Things to Know: A few interesting facts about The National Portrait Gallery:

  1. The National Portrait Museum is one of the two museums responsible for Gallery Place Metro station’s name. (The other is the Smithsonian American Art Museum that’s housed in the same building).
  2. Until 1968, the famous Landsdowne portrait of George Washington was only displayed three times in the United States (it was originally gifted to British Prime Minister in 1796). In 2001, after an indefinite loan to the National Portrait Gallery, the famous portrait was purchased for $20 million.
  3. In November 2010, the Gallery hosted a new exhibit, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture”. The exhibit focused on depictions of homosexual love through history, and was the first exhibit hosted by a national museum that addressed the topic.

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