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  • May 24, 2024
  • Last Update May 23, 2024 12:43 pm
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Museum in Washington

Museum in Washington

The new Museum of the Bible recently opened to widespread fanfare and has received both positive and negative attention since. PBS NewsHour conducted a tour and found it to be “an exceptional museum that stays away from controversial topics, such as proselytizing or proselytism, while still upsetting certain religious traditions that feel left out.”

This Smithsonian museum holds over 123 million specimens and artifacts, such as dinosaur skeletons, rare gems, natural history exhibits, insect zoo exhibits and more – making it one of Washington’s top museums.

National Museum of Natural History

The National Museum of Natural History on the Smithsonian National Mall is one of the world’s premier museums, housing an expansive collection of plants, animals, fossils, gems and minerals, cultural artifacts and scientific specimens – with 614 scientific publications being written about this collection during 2022 alone! 

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Permanent exhibits at this venue include Hope Diamond Hall and Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology Gems Minerals as well as butterfly pavilion, insect zoo and Sant Ocean Hall – popular attractions among many visitors!

This green-domed museum was constructed in 1910 as one of the first Smithsonian buildings to focus solely on research and displays. Since its opening, its exhibitions and educational programs have won international acclaim.

Dine with dinosaurs, admire whale skeletons or watch tarantula feeding at this popular museum! Additionally, this attraction provides interactive activities and programs to make learning fun for both children and adults. Join a FossiLab volunteer and sift sediments for bone particles; or learn to identify insects and dinosaurs by their footprints before participating in a conservation workshop!

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the first and only Smithsonian institution museum dedicated solely to documenting black life, history, and culture. Opened on Washington’s National Mall in 2016 with President Obama as its inaugural curator, its striking 400,000 square-foot building contains artifacts, interactive exhibits and site-specific artworks that document black lives and history.

Visits to the museum force visitors to face America’s shameful legacy of slavery and racial oppression squarely in their faces, but its creators don’t wish for visitors just to commemorate pain – rather, they hope they come away feeling inspired by slaves’ strength as they endured their journeys, realizing African American history is also part of American narratives.

The Museum’s collection is astounding, including rare artifacts like a Ku Klux Klan hood and stereotyped depictions of black people from history. On its above-ground floors there are displays about African American communities’ contributions to various aspects of economy, education, art and sport – in addition to hosting theater performances, an auditorium and library services.

National Air and Space Museum

On the National Mall is this Smithsonian museum dedicated to flight and space exploration – one of America’s most beloved institutions. Showcasing historic aircraft and artifacts as well as educational activities such as lectures and demonstrations, this popular attraction stands as one of its cornerstones.

After its renovation in 2023, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum continues to gain popularity among visitors. Reopened on October 14, this eight-gallery space chronicling humanity’s pursuit of space travel reopened to visitors – such as peering inside an Apollo 11 command module or touching lunar rock samples!

The Smithsonian operates the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport to showcase thousands of artifacts too large for display at its main facility, such as Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, Chuck Yeager’s Bell X-1 and John Glenn’s Friendship 7 spacecraft – Charles Lindbergh himself had one! Additionally, this gallery houses one of its largest art collections; from airline poster advertising campaigns to paintings inspired by NASA space missions; its free admission draws millions of visitors annually!

Textile Museum

The Textile Museum in Washington is one of the city’s most engaging attractions, providing an enthralling blend of history and art. Situated within George Washington University’s urban campus, this multilevel attraction houses textiles from all around the world as well as interactive exhibits and gift shop offerings.

The Museum was established by collector George Hewitt Myers and initially housed in two historic buildings located in Kalorama neighborhood. Since its opening, it has become a leading global center for the exhibition, study, collection and preservation of textiles and carpets from all around the globe.

It fosters public knowledge and appreciation of the artistic merits and cultural significance of textile traditions from around the globe through research, publications, exhibitions and educational programs. Furthermore, the museum holds many events and workshops for people interested in weaving or other forms of textile art as well as housing an exceptional library containing books on this topic.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) features the first federal collection of American art in America and houses one of the world’s largest American art collections. Its permanent collections document American culture from colonial times to today.

The museum’s main building, designated a National Historic Landmark in Washington’s downtown cultural district, houses its permanent collections, exhibition galleries, the Luce Foundation Center for American Art and Lunder Conservation Center. There are also two additional structures on site: Renwick Gallery and Robert & Arlene Kogod Courtyard.

SAAM’s collection reflects the diversity of American artistic practice, featuring one of the premier collections of American contemporary craft as well as paintings and sculptures spanning from the Gilded Age to modernism. 

Additionally, its research, education, and publications programs include six online art-research databases as well as American Art: an independent peer-reviewed journal published annually. SAAM hosts fellowship programs that support scholars studying traditional as well as contemporary American art, craft and decorative arts.

The Phillips Collection

Established in 1921 by founder Duncan Phillips as “an intimate museum with experiment stations”, this museum has lived up to his original vision ever since it opened. Housed within an historic Georgian Revival house and two-story gallery annex (built in 1960), you’re guaranteed an enjoyable visit every time with carefully curated special exhibitions or frequent rearranging of its permanent collection bringing a unique experience each time you visit.

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The Phillips’ most celebrated holdings comprise European masterpieces as well as American art from Thomas Eakins to Winslow Homer, Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Alfred Stieglitz lithographs by Alfred Stieglitz; paintings by Renoir, Cezanne and Bonnard among many others; however modern works such as Richard Diebenkorn’s magenta and gray birch panel or Nekisha Durrett’s beeswax sculptures of Eleanor Bumpurs push the envelope.

Phillips Museum visitors can also get a taste of contemporary art through its Phillips Intersections series of projects exploring links between old and new artistic traditions, or take in performances by composer Nathalie Joachim or singer Zilia Sanchez during their visits. Tryst Cafe provides lunch and dessert service, while visitors may checkout books from its extensive library collection.

Old Stone House

On M Street in Georgetown lies DC’s oldest surviving building on its original foundations – The Old Stone House was constructed by a cabinetmaker in 1765 and later served as various uses such as paint shop, clock store and haberdashery. When threatened with demolition in 1950 due to urban legend of President Washington and city designer Pierre L’Enfant meeting here to plan out DC layout it was saved due to urban legend.

Georgetown Historic District is home to this house which remains 85% unchanged from its 18th-century construction, and you’ll find an NPS-run gift shop and displays depicting everyday life of ordinary Americans during colonial times. On the second-floor you can explore parlor, dining room and bedrooms furnished in 1790 style – low ceilings may cause discomfort initially but the house provides an amazing insight into colonial living conditions; period-dressed park ranger tours are available as well.

DAR Museum

The museum, located at 1776 D Street NW and open six days a week, fulfills three missions of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution: education, historic preservation and patriotism through its collections of items made or used prior to 1840 Americana such as furniture, silver, ceramics and paintings from pre-1840 America as well as 31 period rooms with changing exhibits as well as its library’s archive of historical manuscripts and Americana.

The Daughters of the American Revolution Museum is housed within a city block-long complex and serves to educate visitors on its historical impact and legacy. It features a library, manuscript room and auditorium – making it the world’s largest museum founded and run by women.

The DAR Museum provides hands-on activities designed to foster conversations and bring people together, such as Esther Nisenthal Krinitz’s Storycloth workshop which uses fabric and stitching techniques to tell her family’s history; using an 18th century Victorian virtual reality device called a stereoscope; or participating in one of our many DAR Museum tours and programs that foster community building.

Frequently Asked Questions

Washington offers one of the country’s widest ranges of cultural experiences, from world-renowned art museums to natural history collections and everything in between. Classic paintings stand alongside groundbreaking contemporary creations – Washington has it all!

Enter into American history at this free museum dedicated to American culture. Through research, in-depth exhibitions and extensive collections showcasing America’s story – from Dorothy’s ruby slippers to President Jefferson’s lap desk – this museum tells it all!

There are numerous popular museums in Washington, but none more popular than the Smithsonian. Comprised of 19 museums and 9 research centers, its exhibits span art, science, history and more.

The Smithsonian is world-famous, offering many educational opportunities for kids. At its National Air and Space Museum alone, there’s a flight simulator as well as planes and rockets on display; kids can also explore a two-story climbing jungle, sit in a semi truck cab, manipulate water with hands-on exhibits and more!

Kids who like experimenting with ideas will love this hands-on exhibits centering around science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Here they can experiment with surface tension by blowing giant bubbles; build and test out cars on tracks; or create art in their studio.

Washington, DC offers an abundance of world-class museums that cover various subjects ranging from art and history to science – many are even free for visitors!

Washington is best-known for its free museums lining the National Mall, but its cultural offerings go well beyond U.S. history and include art, African American culture and even all things spy related. No matter your interests are you are sure to find something worthy in our nation’s capital!

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