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National Gallery of Arts
The National Gallery of Arts in Washington, D.C. has an extensive collection of artwork of the masters from the Middle Ages to the modern era.
When to come
Avoid Sunday afternoons if possible. It is most crowded then. Mornings are better. Also, weekdays are better than weekends - and winter is better than summer.
There are two, each with a different focus:
It has a neo-classic architectural design. It houses precious paintings and sculptures by European and American masters. The list includes Botticelli, El Greco, Raphael, Renoir, Rembrandt (see his self-portrait above), and Whistler. The West Wing also boasts the only Leonardo da Vinci painting in the Western Hemisphere.
It is a striking ultramodern building freely using angular shapes. It features works by the likes of Picasso, Matisse and Warhol. The skylit atrium is dominated by a suspended Calder mobile.
There is also a large outdoor sculpture garden.