When people think of art, they tend to think of Europe, but the United States has a very rich history in the arts. This can be witnessed by visiting the many great museums and art galleries that are found in every major city in the country. When traveling to the nation’s capital, visitors with a taste for the arts really need to take in the National Portrait Gallery.
The gallery is open to the public every single day of the year, except for Christmas Day. What they will see upon entering the gallery is a definitive collection of great Americans displayed through portraits. Historical figures, as well as iconic actors and artists, are on display, broken down into a series of exhibitions and collections.
The National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1962, before finally being opened to the public 6 years later. The gallery is actually part of the Smithsonian Foundation and shares space with the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
The museum has gone to great length to add to its collection over the years, gathering some of the most iconic portraits in the history of the United States. Included among the must see items on display are the “cracked plate” portrait of Abraham Lincoln, which just happens to be the last photograph taken of the President before his assassination. Another portrait that visitors must take in is the “Landsdowne portrait” of George Washington, which the gallery purchased back in 2000 for the princely sum of $30 million.
Anyone planning to visit the National Portrait Gallery should visit the website to download the floor plan of the massive space, as well as to check which exhibitions are currently on display.