My last day of being on my own before Rob was done with his conference and the kids flew into join us, I had decided I wanted to check out the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) & National Portrait Gallery (NPG). I took the Metro in and after a short walk from the Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Station Metro stop, I was there. This museum is massive. Somehow I didn’t get a map when I went in, but I managed to see everything I wanted to see and more. Half of the building the SAAM and the other half is the NPG. Floor Plan I started at the bottom and worked my way around and up. In this post I’m sharing some of my favorites.

Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

This exhibit called the Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii is located on the 3rd Floor in the East Wing, consistes of 52 channel video installation. When you look at D.C. look closely because your on camera (closed-circuit television feed)!
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Can’t forget about Alaska and Hawaii
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Do Ho Suh: Almost Home was a special exhibit that I had read about before going. You can read about it in the pic below or here: Do Ho Suh: Almost Home. Due to it’s delicate framework and walls, you are only able to walk through a small section of it.

Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

This is the atrium in the center of the museum.
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Another fav (info)
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

I really enjoyed the exhibit called Off the Beaten Track, which included collected items of journals, postcards, Polaroids, and more. Seeing these things makes me wish I had more postcards and handwritten items from my travels.
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Adams Memorial was just such a touching sculpture. It was commissioned by Henry Adams, who’s wife, Clover Adams, committed suicide in 1885 by drinking darkroom (photography developing) chemicals. Augustus Saint-Gaudens created this sculpture to show the Buddhist idea of nirvana, pure joy and sorrow.

Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

America’s Presidents
I thought this portrait of Bill Clinton was intriguing. It’s located in the America’s Presidents exhibition on the 2md floor.
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

I really enjoyed the America’s Presidents exhibit the NPG. Here are some of my favorite portraits. Each portrait is labeled with their number and the years they were in office, like you see below 35 was John F. Kennedy with his portrait below that.
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Here are a few more of my favorite portraits. Top Left: Lionel Hampton (Bravo Exhibit) Top Right: LL Cool J (20th Century Americans: 2000 to Present) Bottom Left: Christopher Reeve Bottom Right: Juliette Gordon Low
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

I really liked Andy Warhol’s portrait of Michael Jackson located in the 20th Century Americans exhibit.
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Michelle Obama located in the 20th Century Americans exhibition on the 3rd floor
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Sollie 17 was an amazing depiction of life alone, isolated, and defeated of the American elderly.
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

A few other samples of the varied art you see here.
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

On the 3rd floor mezzanine, you’ll find Champions, which is a tribute to American sports figures that played a bigger role than just the sport they played.
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

After a few hours of walking around this mammoth but impressive museum, as I walked back to the Metro station I walked over to see China Town
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

This church was just so beautiful. I think this was the only place in my time in D.C. I had a begger ask me for money.
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

That evening back at the Gaylord at National Harbor we partied one last time and awaited the late arrival of Drew and Alex.
Smithsonian American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery - D.C.

See more pics from the day here.

More from this trip:
Afternoon in Washington, DC
Morning in Old Town Alexandria, Va
Philly to National Harbor – Headed to Maryland
24 hours in Philly
Day in Boston

A few more useful links…
Current Exhibitions

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Galleries for Folk and Self-Taught Art On View Indefinitely