List of museums in Washington, D.C.

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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.

Name Image Smithsonian Type Summary/Website
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 Anacostia-Museum B&W.jpg Smithsonian Institution African American history Local history and culture
Anderson House Larz Anderson House - Washington, D.C..jpg 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 Museum of the Americas.jpg Art Founded by the Organization of American States as a museum for modern and contemporary Latin American and Caribbean art
Charles Sumner School Charles Sumner School - Washington, D.C..jpg 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 DAR mus - IMG 8541.JPG 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 Decatur House.jpg Historic house Early 19th-century house with exhibits about the White House. Currently closed for tours.
Dumbarton House Dumbarton House.jpg Historic house Early 19th century period house, headquarters of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection Dumbarton Oaks - house photo with snow.jpg Library Exhibits of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art and European masterpieces from its collections
Folger Shakespeare Library Folger Shakespeare Library.JPG Library Exhibits from its collections about William Shakespeare
Ford's Theatre National Historic Site Fords Theatre thumbnail.jpg History Site of assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, includes theater presentation, Lincoln museum, and Petersen House where he was taken
Freer Gallery of Art Freer Gallery.jpg 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 Frederick Douglass House.jpg 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[1]
General Federation of Women's Clubs Headquarters General Federation of Women's Clubs headquarters.JPG 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[2]
German-American Heritage Museum of the USA Hockemeyerhall2.jpg 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 Heurich House Museum.jpg Historic house Gilded Age mansion with early household innovations
Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens Hillwood Museum Exterior Front.jpg 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 Hirshhorn Museum DC 2007.jpg Smithsonian Art Contemporary and modern art
Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Central Public Library & City Museum of Washington, D.C..JPG 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[3]
Interior Museum Department of the Interior.JPG 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 International Spy Museum - 2012.jpg History Espionage history, artifacts, famous figures
Kreeger Museum Kreeger Museum.jpg 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 2000 S Street NW.jpg Prison Confronts the tragic legacy of China’s Laogai system of forced labor prisons
L. Ron Hubbard House L. Ron Hubbard House - Dupont Circle.JPG Historic house Residence of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard from 1955 until 1959
Library of Congress Library of Congress from North.JPG Library Exhibits from its collections in American history, culture and art
Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum Adas Israel Synagogue.JPG 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 Aerial view of Lincoln Memorial - east side EDIT.jpeg History Includes displays about the building of the Memorial and some of Lincoln's phrases
Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. Madame Tussauds, Washington, D.C. 2011 crop.jpg Wax museum Wax figures of media celebrities, Presidents, political figures, historical figures, sports stars and more
Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site 1318 Vermont Avenue, Northwest (House), (Washington, District of Columbia).jpg Historic house Home of educator and civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune
Meridian International Center Meridian House.jpg 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[4]
Museum of the Bible Museumofthebible-2017-11-04-exterior-front-left-label.jpg 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 Air and Space Museum.jpg Smithsonian Aerospace History and science of aviation and spaceflight, as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics
National Archives USNationalArchives.JPG 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 Entrance to the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum.jpg Natural history Located on the campus of the United States National Arboretum, Bonsai and Penjing botanical specimens and displays
National Building Museum NationalBuildingMuseum.JPG Architecture Exhibits about architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning
National Gallery of Art National Gallery of Art DC 2007 047.jpg 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 National Geographic Museum Building.jpg Natural history Operated by the National Geographic Society, changing exhibits of photography, natural history, culture and history
National Guard Memorial Museum National Guard Memorial Building.JPG 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-nmaahc-outside-20160720.jpg Smithsonian Ethnic - African American National museum devoted to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. Opened September 24, 2016.[5]
National Museum of African Art National Museum of African Art DC 2007 003.jpg Smithsonian Art African art and culture, includes paintings, musical instruments, sculpture, jewelry, regalia, textiles, pottery
National Museum of American History National Museum of American History 1.jpg Smithsonian History American social, political, cultural, scientific and military history
National Museum of the American Indian National Museum of the American Indian.JPG 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 National Museum of American Jewish Military History.JPG Ethnic - Jewish - Military - History Jewish Americans who served in the armed forces
National Museum of Natural History National museum of natural history entrance.jpg 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 National Museum of Women in the Arts.jpg Art Women’s achievements in the visual, performing and literary arts
National Portrait Gallery 2008-0601-DC-NatlPortGall.jpg Smithsonian Art - History Images and history of famous individual Americans
National Postal Museum National postal museum.jpg Smithsonian Philately History of the United States Postal Service and of mail service around the world
Newseum Newseum.jpg Media Interactive museum of news and journalism
The Octagon House Octagon house.jpg Historic house Early 19th-century townhouse
Old Stone House The Old Stone House.jpg Historic house Mid 18th century period house
Phillips Collection The Phillips Collection.JPG Art American and European impressionist and modern art
President Lincoln's Cottage at the Soldiers' Home Lincoln Cottage 2007.jpg Historic house Cottage retreat of President Abraham Lincoln and other Presidents
Renwick Gallery RenwickGallery.jpg Smithsonian Decorative arts American craft and decorative arts from the 19th century to the 21st century
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Sackler Gallery.jpg 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 Pope John Paul II Cultural Center.jpg 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[6]
Scottish Rite Temple and Supreme Council Library House of the Temple.JPG Masonic Masonic principles of personal, social and intellectual freedom, artifacts of American history, Masonic regalia and memorabilia
S. Dillon Ripley Center S. Dillon Ripley Center - entrance kiosk.jpg Smithsonian Exhibition Exhibits of art, photography
Sewall-Belmont House and Museum Sewall-Belmont House.JPG Historic house - History U.S. women's suffrage and equal-rights movements
Smithsonian American Art Museum Reynolds Ctr.jpg Smithsonian Art American art that covers all regions and art movements found in the United States
Textile Museum Textile Museum.JPG Textiles Textiles from around the world including rugs, clothing, located at George Washington University
Tudor Place Cyark Tudor Place 2.jpg Historic house Mansion with European and American decorative arts including American silver, porcelain, furniture, glassware, sculpture, portraits, prints, and textiles
United States Capitol United States Capitol - west front.jpg Government Tours of the building
United States Capitol Visitor Center Cvc-aerial.jpg History History of the U.S. Capitol and Congress
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.jpeg History History of the Holocaust in Europe
U.S. Navy Museum Navy-Museum.jpg Maritime - Military History of the U.S. Navy from the American Revolution to the present, naval artifacts, models, documents and fine art
Washington Monument Washington Monument Dusk Jan 2006.jpg History
White House WhiteHouseSouthFacade.JPG 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[7]
Woman's National Democratic Club Museum Woman's National Democratic Club.JPG Historic house website, political memorabilia, artwork, and photographs in the Whittemore House, headquarters of the Woman's National Democratic Club
Woodrow Wilson House Woodrow Wilson House.JPG Historic house Home of President Woodrow Wilson after he left office

Defunct museums[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gallaudet University Museum". Gallaudet University. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Art Galleries". Georgetown University Department of Art and Art History. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Gallery of Art". Howard University. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Official site". MOCHA. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Smithsonian Opening African-American History Museum Sept. 24". Associated Press. February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  6. ^ "Exhibitions at Salve Regina Gallery". Catholic University of America. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Visitor Information". The Wilderness Society. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-25. Retrieved 2009-03-02. Bead Museum to Close, DCist, Dec. 24, 2008
  9. ^ "Black Fashion Museum collection finds a fine home with Smithsonian". Washington Post. May 23, 2010. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Black Fashion Museum, African American Heritage Trail". Cultural Tourism DC. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  11. ^ "MOCHA History". Museum of Cultures and Heritages of America — "MOCHA". Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  12. ^ "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.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2013-01-04. B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum - Virtual Gallery
  14. ^ "Decision coming on national Jewish museum in D.C",, 9/29/2011
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Flora Gill Jacibs, 87, Who Opened Doll House Museum, Dies". NY Times. June 12, 2006. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Washington Dolls' House & Toy Museum founder's collection heading to market". Antique Trader Antiques Auction News. March 23, 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  18. ^ "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.

External links[edit]