O Street Museum Foundation

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O Street Museum Foundation
O Street Museum Foundation is located in Washington, D.C.
O Street Museum Foundation
Location within Washington, D.C.
Established April 24, 1998
Location 2020 O Street Northwest
Washington, DC
United States
Coordinates 38°54′30″N 77°02′45″W / 38.9083°N 77.0459°W / 38.9083; -77.0459
Public transit access WMATA Metro Logo.svg      Dupont Circle
Website www.omuseum.org

The O Street Museum Foundation is a museum which focuses on exploring the creative process. Located in Washington, D.C., O Street Museum Foundation is housed in five interconnected town houses that includes over 100 rooms and 32 secret doors.


The collection contains 15,000 pieces of art, 20,000 books,[1] architecture, manuscripts, music, and memorabilia. Visitors can listen to unique music, leaf through manuscripts and rare books, touch and explore art and sculpture, and tour through different architectural styles.[2]

The museum houses both permanent and rotating exhibits. Pieces represented in the collection are works by sculptor Frederic Hart, and Frederic Remington, paintings by Kurt Wenner, architecture by Edward Clark, signed scripts of the Academy Award winning trilogy Lord of the Rings, letters and drawings by John Lennon [3] which were featured in the book The John Lennon Letters by Hunter Davies, and 60 signed Gibson guitars. The signed guitar collection includes guitars from Les Paul, inventor of the electric guitar, The Eagles, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Arlo Guthrie, Emmylou Harris, Paul Williams, The Rolling Stones, U2, Sean Lennon, and J.D. Souther.

Rotating exhibits include Faces of Hope [4] featuring Chip Duncan's photography retrospective of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Darfur—which debuted at The 2011 World Peace Festival, and is featured in the book, “Enough to Go Around—Searching for Hope in Afghanistan, Pakistan & Darfur.” First Ladies of Rock by Gerald Johnson. Rhythmic Rebels Visual Interpretations of a Moment by photographer Sandrine Lee.

Building history[edit]

Designed in 1892 by architect of the Capitol Edward Clark,[5] the building served as a home for himself, Champ Clark, Speaker of the House from 1911-1919 (during Teddy Roosevelt’s Presidency), a brother, known only as "the artist" and a sister.

Originally spanning three row houses, the residence was connected through the basement and main floor and contained separate sleeping quarters for each brother upstairs. It has been suggested that Clark incorporated left over tiles and wood from the Capitol into his new home.

In the 1930s the home was converted into three separate rooming houses for FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's G-men.

On February 14, 1980, H.H. Leonards purchased 2020 O Street, the first row house in the series of connected brownstones. Leonards renovated the townhouse as a bed-and-breakfast and private club. After renovations were completed, Leonards designed and built a new brownstone on the adjacent vacant lot at 2022 O Street. Leonards subsequently acquired three adjacent row houses, each incorporated into the single property.[6]

In 1998 Leonards opened the O Street Museum inside the The Mansion on O Street. The museum includes art, sculpture, music, memorabilia and written manuscripts in the collection. The museum hosts concerts, book signing talks, film screenings[7] and tours throughout the year.

Today, the property consists of more than 100 rooms of varying architectural, artistic and design periods and include hand painted ceilings original Tiffany stained glass windows, a two-story Log Cabin and an Art Deco penthouse.[8] The unique decor and architecture of the building has been chronicled in books including "Four Blind Mice (novel)," by James Patterson, "Afterburn" by Zane (author)[9] and in the young adult series Gilda Joyce: The Dead Drop by Jennifer Allison[10]

Public programs[edit]

O Street Museum hosts educational programs for all age groups to learn about and participate in the creative process. Programs include artist-in-residence programs,[11] jammin’[12] (live music collaboration), songwriters’ workshops, book signings, film screenings[13] and live performances.

Current Artists-in-Residence

Ying Ming Tu is a visual artist who focuses on painting, documentary film making, and photography.

After serving in the Taiwan military as a bodyguard to Chiang Kai-Shek, Tu entered National Taiwan University and earned a BA degree in history. In early 80's, he came to the US to study film and television at UCLA,where he earned his MFA degree. His Mickey Mao series has shown in Taipei, Los Angeles and Belgium, and was well received by the public and critics alike.

Linda Wolf is an internationally recognized photographer and author. She is the co-author of Daughters of the Moon, Sisters of the Sun, which won the Athena Award for Excellence in Mentoring; Global Uprising: Confronting the Tyrannies of the 21st Century; and Speaking & Listening From the Heart. Wolf is the founder and executive director of Teen Talking Circles (originally the Daughters Sisters Project), and through TTC is a pioneer in the revival of the modern Talking Circle in the therapeutic movement. In 2006, through Teen Talking Circles, she became the recipient of a seven year AnJeL Fund Grant from the Rudolph Steiner Foundation.


As a non-profit corporation The O Street Museum operates without paid employees or paid board members. Everyone that works there is a volunteer.[14]

Hours of operation[edit]

The Museum is located at 2020 O Street N.W. in the middle of 20th & 21st Streets. Less than a block from the Dupont Circle Metro Red Line — South Exit

Open daily 11:00 am to 4:00 pm by reservation only


  1. ^ "The Mansion on O — Dupont Circle Washington D.C. Museums". Retrieved March 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ "A Tour of the Wonderfully Weird O Street Museum". Retrieved June 2010. 
  3. ^ "Mrs. Yoko Ono Lennon Does Not Sweat". Retrieved October 2010. 
  4. ^ "Faces of Hope". Retrieved March 27, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Capitol Architect". New York Times Archives. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  6. ^ Wakefield, Julie (March 15, 1996). "When a Neighborhood Gets Clubbed". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  7. ^ Debalkew, Tsehaye. "A Film Depicting Post-famine Ethiopia Screened in DC". Embassy of Ethiopia. 
  8. ^ "Charles Luck Perspective". Retrieved 2010-06-10. 
  9. ^ Feld, Karen (February 8, 2005). "Oh, the stories of "O"!". The Washington Examiner. 
  10. ^ Allison, Jennifer (2009). "The Dead Drop". Puffin Books. 
  11. ^ Ying-ming, Tu. "From Timeless to Infinity". The Art of Tu-2(Tu Ying-ming. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  12. ^ "Best of D.C. 2012 Arts & Entertainment - Best Bluegrass Jam - Washington City Paper". Retrieved March 30, 2012. 
  13. ^ Debalkew, Tsehaye. "A Film Depicting Post-famine Ethiopia Screened in DC". Embassy of Ethiopia. Retrieved 2012-04-25. 
  14. ^ "National Registry of Non-Profits". Guidstar. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°54′29″N 77°02′45″W / 38.9081°N 77.0459°W / 38.9081; -77.0459