At the National Portrait Gallery of Art (NPG), and Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) at 8th & G Streets NW, Washington DC 20001, we offer 1-hour and 1.5-hour tours
Tour times: Pick a time from 11:30 am. The last tour starts at 5:30 pm.
The Museum-and-Monument Day Tour DC Hotel pick up in the morning and drop off by 5:30
If there are other Smithsonian museums you would like to tour in Washington DC (Freer and Sackler Galleries for Asian Art, National Museum of American History for famous historical objects (from Abe Lincoln's hat, to Dorothy's Ruby Slippers), please ask. We will arrange a tour!
Tour Titles at the National Gallery of Art
The American collection spans works from the colonial era through the 20th century. See portraits of early U.S. Presidents and dignitaries, paintings depicting scenes from various Native American tribes, works depicting historic battles, and large canvases showing vast unsettled territories, as America continued to expand westward beyond the original thirteen colonies.
Dutch & Flemish Works
With busy ports such as Antwerp and Amsterdam, the Netherlands dominated European trade during the 17th century. See how the elevated status of newly rich merchants spurred new and exciting cultural developments in art. The tour features the work of Hals, Leyster, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, and Vermeer, among other Dutch and Flemish artists.
French Art through Impressionism
See French paintings from the Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classic, Romantic, and Realist eras. This tour culminates in the Impressionist galleries, with vibrant examples of artwork from Degas, Monet, Renoir, and Pissarro.
The Italian Art collection at the NGA allows us to trace the developments in painting from the Byzantine style of the 13th century through the dazzling beauty of portraits from the high Renaissance. Feast your eyes on works by famous artists such as Giotto, Fra Lippi, Raphael, and see the only Leonardo da Vinci portrait in all of North & South America!
Indoor sculpture examples include works in metal, marble, and terracotta from the Renaissance era through the early 20th century. Walk through the Sculpture Garden outdoors (weather permitting), and see thought-provoking and whimsical modern and contemporary works by Alexander Calder, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol Lewitt, and Roy Lichtenstein.
Throw caution to the wind and let your docent choose a dozen works of art at the National Gallery of Art — expect to see spectacular paintings from the American, Dutch, French and Italian collections.
Tour Titles at the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Historical Figures Tour at the National Portrait Gallery
The focus is on portraits of Early Settlers, Founding Fathers, Social Reformers, Poets & Writers, Scientists & Inventors and all US Presidents — from George Washington to Barack Obama — at the National Portrait Gallery.
America, America Tour at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
At the Smithsonian American Art Museum, prepare to be impressed by Hudson River School Painters such as Albert Bierstadt, Asher Durand, and Thomas Moran: Niagara, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite are all featured. Twentieth century works include paintings and photographs documenting moments and movements in American history, from the Gilded Age through the Depression Era, from WW II into the Civil unrest during the Vietnam War.
Sample Itinerary for the Museum-and-Monument Day Tour
Tour 1: DC Hotel pick up at 9:30 am
~ Choice of Museum (from 10-11 am from mall museums*)
~ A drive by some of DC’s monuments, with 2 stops (11:15-12:45)
~ Lunch (12:45-1:45)
~ Tour of the Library of Congress (2:15-3:30)
~ A walk through the Botanical garden or National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture garden (weather permitting) before drop off to DC Hotel by 5:30
Tour 2: DC Hotel pick up at 9:30 am
~ A drive through DC’s Monuments, with 1 stop (9:45-10:30)
~ Choice of Museum (from 10:45-12:00 from mall museums*)
~ Lunch (12:00-1:00)
~ Scenic drive to Mount Vernon to tour George Washington’s estate (2:00–4:30 pm)
~ Return to DC hotel by 5:30
*Mall museums include the following:
National Gallery of Art (for European and American masterpieces)
Smithsonian’s Freer & Sackler galleries (for Asian art and the Peacock Room)
Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art (for historic American objects and history behind the Star Spangled Banner, Abe Lincoln’s hat, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers
Wandering Docent is NOT affiliated with the National Gallery of Art or any of the Smithsonian Museums.