The Corcoran Gallery of Art is one of the oldest privately supported cultural institutions in Washington, DC. The museum's main focus is American art. The permanent collection includes works by Rembrandt Peale, Eugène Delacroix, Edgar Degas, Thomas Gainsborough, John Singer Sargent, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Edward Hopper, Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Gene Davis, and many others. Founded in 1869 by William Wilson Corcoran, the Corcoran was the oldest and largest non-federal art museum in the District of Columbia. Its mission is "dedicated to art and used solely for the purpose of encouraging the American genius."
The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are a national art museum in Washington, D.C. Andrew W. Mellon donated a substantial art collection and funds for construction of the museum. The core collection also includes major works of art donated by Paul Mellon, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, Lessing J. Rosenwald, Samuel Henry Kress, Rush Harrison Kress, Peter Arrell Brown Widener, Joseph E. Widener, and Chester Dale. The Gallery's collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, medals, and decorative arts traces the development of Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present, including the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas and the largest mobile ever created by Alexander Calder.
The Gallery's campus includes the original neoclassical West Building designed by John Russell Pope, which is linked underground to the modern East Building, designed by I. M. Pei, and the 6.1-acre Sculpture Garden. The Gallery often presents temporary special exhibitions spanning the world and the history of art.
The National Museum of African Art is an African art museum located in Washington, D.C., United States. The museum is one of nineteen under the wing of the Smithsonian Institution. The museum, which was started in 1964, was originally located at the Frederick Douglass House in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
In 1979 the museum was transferred over to the Smithsonian and relocated to the National Mall. It opened in its current location, as one of two institutions, constructed mostly underground, in the quadrangle complex behind the Smithsonian Institution Building (the Castle), in 1987. The other is the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery for Asian art.
The Renwick Gallery is a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, located in Washington, D.C., and focuses on American craft and decorative arts from the 19th century to the 21st century. It is housed in a National Historic Landmark building that was begun in 1859 on Pennsylvania Avenue and originally housed the Corcoran Gallery of Art (now one block from the White House and across the street from the Old Executive Office Building). When it was build in 1859, it was known, at the time, as the American Louvre.
The first-floor gallery features temporary exhibits that usually rotate about twice a year. On the second floor, in the Grand Salon, is one of the most famous art-filled rooms in Washington, it is hung with 70 paintings, by 51 American artists, painted between 1840 and 1930.
The Renwick Gallery, the Museum's branch location for contemporary American craft and decorative arts, is located steps from the White House in the heart of historic federal Washington.
The International Gallery is home to a revolving and exciting array of visiting exhibitions. Check at the information desk in the Castle for show information. Enter at the copper-domed kiosk on Jefferson Drive next to the Castle.
American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music (July 11, 2011-Oct. 9, 2011). One of the first interactive museum exhibitions to tell the story of the profound influence and impact of Latinos in American popular music, including jazz, R&B, rock 'n' roll and hip-hop.
Artists At Work (June 23, 2011-Oct. 2, 2011) Ripley Center Concourse. Works in all media—painting, sculpture, photography and video—by Smithsonian staff.
The Discovery Theater
The Discovery Theater offers the best in live performing arts for young people. Each season more than 30 performances feature puppets, music, theater, storytelling, dance and cutting-edge science for groups and families. Visit DiscoveryTheater.org or call 202-633-8700.
Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) showcases 40 to 50 exhibitions in cities across the nation every year. Look for a Smithsonian traveling exhibition scheduled to visit your community at sites.si.edu.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (on the building itself called the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center for the Performing Arts, and commonly referred to as the Kennedy Center) is a performing arts center located on the Potomac River, adjacent to the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. The Center, which opened on September 8, 1971, produces and presents theater, dance, ballet, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, and folk music, in addition to multi-media performances for all ages.
It is the busiest performing arts facility in the United States and annually hosts approximately 2,000 performances for audiences totaling nearly two million; Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts welcome 20 million more. Now in its 41st season, the Center presents the greatest examples of music, dance and theater; supports artists in the creation of new work; and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. With its artistic affiliate, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Center's achievements as a commissioner, producer, and nurturer of developing artists have resulted in over 200 theatrical productions, dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works.
It represents a public-private partnership, since it is both the nation's living memorial to President John F. Kennedy and the "national center for the performing arts," which includes educational and outreach initiatives, almost entirely paid for through ticket sales and gifts from individuals, corporations, and private foundations.
Designed by architect Edward Durell Stone, it was built by Philadelphia contractor John McShain and is administered by a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution. It receives federal funding each year to pay for the maintenance and operation of the building.