List of museums in Washington, D.C.
This list of museums in Washington, D.C. encompasses museums defined for this context as institutions (including nonprofit organizations, government entities, and private businesses) that collect and care for objects of cultural, artistic, scientific, or historical interest and make their collections or related exhibits available for public viewing. Also included are university and non-profit art galleries. Museums that exist only in cyberspace (i.e., virtual museums) are not included.
To use the sortable table, click on the icons at the top of each column to sort that column in alphabetical order; click again for reverse alphabetical order. Additionally, the museums listed below are all mapped with pricing for each one.
|African American Civil War Memorial Museum||African American history||Operated by the National Mall and Memorial Parks, history of the African American soldiers and sailors who fought for the Union in the United States Civil War|
|American University Museum||Art||Part of American University, regional, national, and international contemporary art|
|Anacostia Community Museum||Smithsonian Institution||African American history||Local history and culture|
|Anderson House||Historic house||Headquarters of the Society of the Cincinnati, early 1900s palatial residence with period furnishings, Society artifacts, portraits, armaments, and personal artifacts of Revolutionary War soldiers|
|Art Museum of the Americas||Art||Founded by the Organization of American States as a museum for modern and contemporary Latin American and Caribbean art|
|Charles Sumner School||History||One of the first public school buildings erected for the education of Washington's black community|
|Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office||History||website, apartment where Clara Barton lived throughout the Civil War that was her home base for her work as the "angel of the battlefield." After the war, she ran the Missing Soldiers Office out of this apartment. Barton and her staff received approximately 66,000 letters from families looking for their lost loved ones. They were able to locate approximately 23,000 missing men.|
|DAR Museum||Art||Owned by Daughters of the American Revolution, features 30 period rooms of decorative arts including furniture, silver, paintings, ceramics, textiles, toys, quilts|
|Decatur House||Historic house||Early 19th-century house with exhibits about the White House. Currently closed for tours.|
|Dumbarton House||Historic house||Early 19th century period house, headquarters of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America|
|Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection||Library||Exhibits of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art and European masterpieces from its collections|
|Folger Shakespeare Library||Library||Exhibits from its collections about William Shakespeare|
|Ford's Theatre National Historic Site||History||Site of assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, includes theater presentation, Lincoln museum, and Petersen House where he was taken|
|Freer Gallery of Art||Smithsonian||Art||Asian art including East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Islamic world, the ancient Near East, and ancient Egypt, as well as a significant collection of American art|
|Frederick Douglass National Historic Site||Historic house||Home and estate of Frederick Douglass, one of the most prominent African Americans of the 19th century|
|Gallaudet University Museum||Culture/history||Permanent and rotating exhibits chronicling deaf culture and history|
|General Federation of Women's Clubs Headquarters||Historic house||Tours of the social clubhouse headquarters, changing exhibits of art, photographs and artifacts from its collections|
|George Washington University Art Galleries||Art||Two galleries, includes painting, sculpture, and photographs, ranging from rare historic pieces to Washingtoniana and Americana to modern art|
|Georgetown University Art Galleries||Art||Located in the Walsh building and around the Georgetown campus|
|German-American Heritage Museum of the USA||Ethnic German American||German-American history and culture, operated by the German-American Heritage Foundation of the USA in a Victorian townhouse|
|Heurich House Museum||Historic house||Gilded Age mansion with early household innovations|
|Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens||Decorative arts||Estate and gardens of Marjorie Merriweather Post, rooms decorated with her collections of 18th- and 19th-century French art, china and art treasures from Imperial Russia|
|Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden||Smithsonian||Art||Contemporary and modern art|
|Historical Society of Washington, D.C.||History, Library||Exhibits of the city's history from its collections|
|Howard University Gallery of Art||Art||Located in Childers Hall, home of the Fine Arts Division of the College of Arts and Sciences|
|Interior Museum||History||Activities of the agencies of the United States Department of the Interior, including the National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, United States Fish and Wildlife Service and United States Geological Survey|
|International Spy Museum||History||Espionage history, artifacts, famous figures|
|Kreeger Museum||Art||19th- and 20th-century paintings and sculptures by internationally known artists, works by local Washington artists, traditional west and central African art|
|Laogai Museum||Prison||Confronts the tragic legacy of China’s Laogai system of forced labor prisons|
|L. Ron Hubbard House||Historic house||Residence of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard from 1955 until 1959|
|Library of Congress||Library||Exhibits from its collections in American history, culture and art|
|Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum||Ethnic - Jewish history||History of the local Jewish community; preserves the oldest synagogue building in the Washington, D.C., area; operated by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington|
|Lincoln Memorial||History||Includes displays about the building of the Memorial and some of Lincoln's phrases|
|Madame Tussauds Washington D.C.||Wax museum||Wax figures of media celebrities, Presidents, political figures, historical figures, sports stars and more|
|Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site||Historic house||Home of educator and civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune|
|Meridian International Center||Art||Exhibitions of paintings, photographs, sculptures, videos, and crafts that reflect various aspects of American culture to encourage foreign understanding|
|Museum of Cultures and Heritages of America - MOCHA||Art||Contemporary and heritage artwork exhibitions, focus on culturally diverse, old and newer native born artists, and immigrant artists|
|Museum of the Bible||Religious||Documents the narrative, history and impact of the Bible.|
|O Street Museum Foundation||Art||The collection rotates and changes daily and includes art, music, architecture, memorabilia, manuscripts, sculpture and other items that promote exploration of the creative process.|
|National Air and Space Museum||Smithsonian||Aerospace||History and science of aviation and spaceflight, as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics|
|National Archives||Archives / History||Exhibits from its collections including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and a copy of the 1297 Magna Carta confirmed by Edward I|
|National Bonsai and Penjing Museum||Natural history||Located on the campus of the United States National Arboretum, Bonsai and Penjing botanical specimens and displays|
|National Building Museum||Architecture||Exhibits about architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning|
|National Gallery of Art||Art||Paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, medals, and decorative arts that trace the development of Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present|
|National Geographic Museum||Natural history||Operated by the National Geographic Society, changing exhibits of photography, natural history, culture and history|
|National Guard Memorial Museum||Military||History of the National Guard of the United States from the Revolutionary War era to post-9/11 era|
|National Museum of African American History and Culture||Smithsonian||Ethnic - African American||National museum devoted to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. Opened September 24, 2016.|
|National Museum of African Art||Smithsonian||Art||African art and culture, includes paintings, musical instruments, sculpture, jewelry, regalia, textiles, pottery|
|National Museum of American History||Smithsonian||History||American social, political, cultural, scientific and military history|
|National Museum of the American Indian||Smithsonian||Ethnic - Native American||Life, languages, literature, history and arts of the Native Americans of the Western Hemisphere|
|National Museum of American Jewish Military History||Ethnic - Jewish - Military - History||Jewish Americans who served in the armed forces|
|National Museum of Natural History||Smithsonian||Natural history||Galleries include paleontology, geology, mammals, human origins, insects, ocean life, gems and minerals, Western, African and Korean cultures|
|National Museum of Women in the Arts||Art||Women’s achievements in the visual, performing and literary arts|
|National Portrait Gallery||Smithsonian||Art - History||Images and history of famous individual Americans|
|National Postal Museum||Smithsonian||Philately||History of the United States Postal Service and of mail service around the world|
|Newseum||Media||Interactive museum of news and journalism|
|The Octagon House||Historic house||Early 19th-century townhouse|
|Old Stone House||Historic house||Mid 18th century period house|
|Phillips Collection||Art||American and European impressionist and modern art|
|President Lincoln's Cottage at the Soldiers' Home||Historic house||Cottage retreat of President Abraham Lincoln and other Presidents|
|Renwick Gallery||Smithsonian||Decorative arts||American craft and decorative arts from the 19th century to the 21st century|
|Arthur M. Sackler Gallery||Smithsonian||Art||Include Chinese, Indian, Korean and Japanese paintings, photography, contemporary ceramics from China, 19th- and 20th-century Japanese prints, contemporary Japanese pottery, Persian and Islamic paintings and manuscripts|
|Saint John Paul II National Shrine||Religion||Life and papacy of Pope John Paul II and the history of Catholic heritage in North America|
|Salve Regina Gallery||Art||Part of Catholic University of America|
|Scottish Rite Temple and Supreme Council Library||Masonic||Masonic principles of personal, social and intellectual freedom, artifacts of American history, Masonic regalia and memorabilia|
|S. Dillon Ripley Center||Smithsonian||Exhibition||Exhibits of art, photography|
|Sewall-Belmont House and Museum||Historic house - History||U.S. women's suffrage and equal-rights movements|
|Smithsonian American Art Museum||Smithsonian||Art||American art that covers all regions and art movements found in the United States|
|Textile Museum||Textiles||Textiles from around the world including rugs, clothing, located at George Washington University|
|Tudor Place||Historic house||Mansion with European and American decorative arts including American silver, porcelain, furniture, glassware, sculpture, portraits, prints, and textiles|
|United States Capitol||Government||Tours of the building|
|United States Capitol Visitor Center||History||History of the U.S. Capitol and Congress|
|United States Holocaust Memorial Museum||History||History of the Holocaust in Europe|
|U.S. Navy Museum||Maritime - Military||History of the U.S. Navy from the American Revolution to the present, naval artifacts, models, documents and fine art|
|White House||Historic house||Official state residence of the President of the United States, tours by advance reservation|
|The Wilderness Society Gallery||Photography||Exhibits from its collections, including photos by Ansel Adams|
|Woman's National Democratic Club Museum||Historic house||website, political memorabilia, artwork, and photographs in the Whittemore House, headquarters of the Woman's National Democratic Club|
|Woodrow Wilson House||Historic house||Home of President Woodrow Wilson after he left office|
- Army Medical Museum and Library, opened 1862, became the National Museum of Health and Medicine in 1989 and relocated to Silver Spring, Maryland in 2011
- Bead Museum, closed December 2008, museum website
- Black Fashion Museum, founded 1979, moved to Washington in 1994, closed in 2007 and collection donated to the National Museum of African American History and Culture
- Corcoran Gallery of Art, open 1869-2014. Art holdings donated to the National Gallery of Art, building donated to George Washington University.
- Fondo del Sol
- Marine Corps Museum, 1960-2005, collections now part of the National Museum of the Marine Corps
- National Children's Museum, founded as the Capital Children’s Museum in 1974, closed in 2015, planned reopening in 2019
- National Gallery of Caricature and Cartoon Art, open 1994-1997, collections now at the Library of Congress.
- National Jewish Museum, collections now online, trying to establish to new museum
- National Museum of Crime & Punishment, closed in September 2015 and is now operated as Alcatraz East in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
- National Pinball Museum, website, planned move to Baltimore, Maryland
- Washington Doll's House and Toy Museum, founded in 1975, closed 2004.
- Washington Gallery of Modern Art
- USS Barry (DD-933), opened as a museum ship in 1984, closed in 2015
- Arboreta in Washington, D.C. (category)
- Aquaria in Washington, D.C. (category)
- Botanical gardens in Washington, D.C. (category)
- Houses in Washington, D.C. (category)
- Museums list
- Nature centers in Washington, D.C.
- Observatories in Washington, D.C. (category)
- Smithsonian museums
- "Gallaudet University Museum". Gallaudet University. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- "Art Galleries". Georgetown University Department of Art and Art History. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- "Gallery of Art". Howard University. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- "Official site". MOCHA. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
- "Smithsonian Opening African-American History Museum Sept. 24". Associated Press. February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
- "Exhibitions at Salve Regina Gallery". Catholic University of America. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- "Visitor Information". The Wilderness Society. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-25. Retrieved 2009-03-02. Bead Museum to Close, DCist, Dec. 24, 2008
- "Black Fashion Museum collection finds a fine home with Smithsonian". Washington Post. May 23, 2010. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
- "Black Fashion Museum, African American Heritage Trail". Cultural Tourism DC. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
- "MOCHA History". Museum of Cultures and Heritages of America — "MOCHA". Retrieved 9 December 2017.
- "Wood collection of cartoon and caricature drawings". Library of Congress. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
During his professional life, Wood worked diligently to establish a museum or gallery to preserve and showcase his collection. He achieved his goal in 1995 with the opening of the National Gallery of Caricature and Cartoon Art in downtown Washington, D.C., but the gallery closed in 1997, due to a lack of sustained funding.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2013-01-04. B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum - Virtual Gallery
- http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/63005/decision-coming-on-national-jewish-museum-in-d.c/ "Decision coming on national Jewish museum in D.C", JWeekly.com, 9/29/2011
- "Flora Gill Jacibs, 87, Who Opened Doll House Museum, Dies". NY Times. June 12, 2006. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
- "Washington Dolls' House & Toy Museum founder's collection heading to market". Antique Trader Antiques Auction News. March 23, 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
- "Display Ship USS BARRY leaving Washington Navy Yard". Historic Naval Ships Association. February 2, 2015. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
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