Best DC Art Museums

DC Art Museums You Have to Visit At Least Once

Located just a short two-hour drive from Richmond, Washington, D.C. has no shortage of notable art museums and free exhibits. With plenty of museums located within walking distance of each other, there’s no excuse not to lace up your walking shoes and enjoy a weekend full of culture and creativity. With the help of our friends at Cheap Movers DC (, we’ve compiled a list of the best galleries to see on your next road trip to our nation’s capital. Here the top 4 D.C. art museums that you have to visit at least once:

1. Hirshhorn Museum

Located on 7th Street SW and Independence Avenue, the Hirshhorn Museum houses modern and contemporary artwork inside of a unique, cylindrical building. With three levels of art, guests can explore permanent collections of paintings and sculptures, learn about new and emerging talent, and watch artistic movies made by noted filmmakers. Recent exhibitions have featured the work of Yayoi Kusama and Linn Meyers and with daily hours from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; it’s perfect for spontaneous fun on an afternoon off of work.

2. National Gallery of Art

You might have to take multiple trips to the National Gallery of Art just to see everything that’s inside! Located at Constitution Avenue NW between 3rd and 9th Street, the museum is composed of two large buildings that are connected by a tunnel. The west wing includes European classics from the medieval years through the 19th century and American artwork that leads up to the twentieth century. The east building houses modern and contemporary art and frequently features new artists. The museum also boasts a gorgeous Sculpture Garden that sits across the street and is an excellent place for a leisurely walk.

Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the museum offers free admission to all visitors.

3. National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery is located at 8th and F Street SW and demonstrates a captivating glimpse into the lives of monumental Americans. Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., the museum is a beautiful combination of history and art and features the famous “Time Magazine Collection” cover art from various Time magazine publications. There’s also an extensive collection of presidential portraits and paintings of previous first ladies and is an ideal museum for history buffs to visit.

4. National Museum of African Art

Located on 950 Independence Avenue SW, The National Museum of African Art is home to over 12,000 objects that represent the African culture and features family heirlooms, artifacts, sculptures, weapons, and many more pieces of art. The museum chronicles the experiences and achievements of African Americans throughout the years of slavery up to present day and offers many educational programs for both children and adults. Guests can visit the museum from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays with free admission to the public.


Top Art Galleries in Richmond

Top 7 Contemporary Art Galleries in Richmond, VA

The historic city of Richmond, Virginia is steadily growing as a contemporary arts community. With several local and international artwork displayed in exhibitions throughout the town, it’s an excellent place for those who appreciate the fine arts. And for the top contemporary art galleries that Richmond has to offer, check out our picks below.

1. 1708 Gallery

Located at 319 West Broad Street, this nonprofit organization was established in 1978 by a group of artists who attended Virginia Commonwealth University and is devoted to showcasing emerging contemporary art to the residents of Richmond. Past and present exhibits include the stunning works of Soren Huttel and Rudy Shepherd.

2. ADA Gallery

The ADA Gallery is nestled in downtown Richmond and opened in 2003 to work with both new and established artists from across the country. Exhibitions here include Kottie Palmoa, whose works depict popular culture and urban life, and Sarah Bednarak, who created a geometric sculpture aptly called “Geometron.”

3. Art Works

This 25,000-square foot facility features five galleries and studio spaces where artists can create, display, and sell their artwork. Located at 320 Hull Street, Art Works houses a number of permanent artists and includes up-and-coming sculptures such as James Ross and Steven Lloyd.

4. Page Bond Gallery

Located at 1625 West Main Street in a 1940’s historical building, the Page Bond Gallery has 3,600-square feet of space and includes four galleries that exhibit the works of contemporary artists. Ceramics, paintings, photographs, and sculptures are all featured within the gallery and include work from modern icons such as Lucian Freud and Ryan McGinnis.

5. Reynolds Gallery

The Reynolds Gallery spans 4,400-square feet and hosts 15 exhibitions each year. Located at 1514 West Main Street, the gallery displays and sells many pieces of art created by local and international talent and includes emerging artists such as Ellsworth Kelly and Jasper Johns.

6. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

This historic museum was established in 1936 with the goal of collecting, displaying, and promoting art to Richmond residents. The museum’s extensive collection includes ancient American art, art deco, and 20th-century European pieces. Contemporary collections include sculptures created by Robert Lazzarini and photographs provided by Sally Mann. Guests can visit the museum at 200 North Boulevard.

7. Visual Arts Centre of Richmond

Located at 1812 West Main Street in a 30,000-square foot dairy building, the Visual Arts Center of Richmond has 15 studios where artists can create and teach classes and workshops. Contemporary works found here include drawings, paintings, and sculptures by Aggie Zed and paintings by Megan Marlatt.