Smithsonian Tour: Semi-Private American Art Exploration
12 Ratings
Embark on a 2.5-hour semi-private guided tour of the National Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum. Explore the best of American-made works in the historical Old Patent Office Building.
Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Cancellation: 1 day learn more
  • National Portrait Gallery - Once a Civil War Era hospital, this building has featured art exhibits as early as 1829. Poet Walt Whitman tended to wounded soldiers here, commemorated by a portrait hanging here today in the National Portrait Gallery. Other portraits recall the great women and men who shaped the United States. Presidential portraits, as well as those of the first ladies, trace a long lineage of famous leaders. Civil War figures, like Grant and Sherman, recall a more turbulent time in the nation’s history. An eclectic mix of paintings and photographs, as well as 19th century daguerreotypes, recall the Robber Barons, the Suffragettes, and various other individuals throughout the US’s short but remarkable past.

Within the American Art Museum, appreciate scenes by American artists like Mary Cassatt, who took part in the Impressionist movement. Fast-forward to Georgia O’Keeffe and her provocative flowers. Learn about the photographs commissioned by the government during the Great Depression as well as the curious portrait of former president Obama. Discover famous artists like Edward Hopper and David Hockney before moving on to more experimental and contemporary art that will need a bit of explaining to understand how this all fits into America’s very unique story.

What's Included
  • Semi-Private Museum Tour
  • Duration 2.5 Hours
  • Professional Tour Guide
  • Group Size Limited to 8 Guests
What's Not Included
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Additional Information

Partake in a cultural exploration at the National Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum via a 2.5-hour semi-private tour (limited to maximum of 8 guests). Experience the finest masterpieces of American artists, all housed within a single edifice. The iconic Old Patent Office Building, a historical landmark, is home to these two renowned museums, making it a fusion of art and history.

  • It is imperative that you provide us with guests MOBILE PHONE NUMBER (including country code)
  • A maximum of 8 people permitted per tour allowed
  • Notes: National Portrait Gallery & American Art Museum may be subjected to occasional closures without previous warning from the museum management. When this occurs, we will provide guests with an appropriate alternative if the museum opening time is delayed more than 1h from the tour starting time. In these cases we are unable to provide refunds or discounts. Appropriate dress is required for entry into some sites on this tour. No large bags or suitcases are allowed inside the museum, only handbags or small thin bag packs are allowed through security. Due to increased security measures at many attractions some lines may form on tours with ‘Skip the Line’ or ‘No Wait’ access. Some specific rooms inside the museum are subjected to a very quiet or restricted right to speak inside, in this cases your guide will provide the information about this places before entering the specific rooms where this rule applies. Some collections may vary along the year.
National Portrait Gallery
Meet on the stairs outside of the G street entrance in front of the the sign reading "National Portrait Gallery"
Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

Customer Ratings
(12 Ratings)
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Mar 16, 2024
National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum - We learned so much on this tour! Leigh was an amazing guide. If you have any interest in going on an art tour, make sure you ask for Leigh! The best!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Oct 1, 2023
A Tour of our Presidents' Portraits and Much, much more ... Don't Skip it! - Stephen was a superb tour guide and a joy to spend 2+ hours with. These two conjoining galleries are completely fantastic and historically relevant up until today. My personal favorite parts were the individual Presidential paintings, each having their own distinct style and flair. Stephen showed us many highights throughout both these extraordinary galleries. Great tour, rich and interesting. Highly recommend.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Aug 15, 2023
Interesting and very informative. - Richard Robinson III is very knowledgeable about all the paintings and artifacts. I am extremely impressed with the tour he gave us.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Jul 15, 2023
Best Use of Time - National Portrait Gallery - Annemarie was an absolute pleasure having as our tour guide. We booked this tour for the portraits of the presidents which she covered with interesting tidbits of history. It was the first part curating what to spend time seeing in the art portion that makes her stand a part as a guide. I highly recommend booking with her.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Jun 26, 2023
Great tour - Anne Marie was great - very knowledgeable and made sure we saw everything we wanted. We didn’t feel rushed and the tour flew by!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Mar 8, 2023
An afternoon with Richard at the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery - Richard was a knowledgeable humorous and thoroughly entertaining guide. My wife and I enjoyed the experience much more than if we had walked around on our own. Highly recommended.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Mar 7, 2023
Moved and Inspired! - We loved our afternoon with Richard. He shared so much history of the buildings, the art, and the artists themselves. He made this incredible, historic place come alive with stories and fun facts. We were moved and inspired, and had some great laughs! So much better than walking around not really knowing what you’re looking at. We would sign up with him again and again.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Oct 10, 2022
US History Coming to Life With Art! - Annemarie was a wonderful tour guide! She highlighted key things from each of the art museum and provided intriguing information. She really made history come to life (both past and present art) and helped the tweens/adults appreciate the rich history of our great nation!
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Oct 6, 2022
Educational and enjoyable - We enjoyed Richard’s way of presenting the art and history to us. I Highly recommend. Will book again. We learned about presidents, artists, architecture and scandalous parties in the past.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Sep 28, 2022
Love him! - He was great, lots of knowledge and stories. We had a great afternoon. Highly recommend and would do it again. Need more words.
Review provided by Tripadvisor
Select Date and Tickets
up to 8 guests
1 Adult
April 2024