Museums in District of Columbia


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  • International Spy Museum
    Considered to be the country's only public museum devoted to the history of global espionage, the International Spy Museum teems with multimedia displays, hands-on activities, and educational events. Filled with low-lit halls and mysterious doors, the museum backs up its exhibits with experience; many of its board members, staff, and speakers are former spies. Executive Director Peter Earnest, for one, spent more than 35 years in the CIA and its National Clandestine Service; frequent speaker Oleg Kalugin once held a position as major general of the KGB. Through special talks and an array of exhibits, the group reveals several hundred years of spy techniques and gadgetry, showcases connections between real spies and pop culture, and draws from international backgrounds to grant a global perspective. In the Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains exhibit, visitors explore the most memorable villains from throughout the James Bond film series, discovering the role the series played in shaping public perception of spying and exploring how the villains changed to reflect their times. Featuring over 110 movie and historic artifacts, a series galleries allows visitors to learn about the wide variety of evildoers from many perspectives. For an additional charge, guests can opt to embark on a simulated covert mission entirely based on real intelligence case files in Operation Spy, a one-hour interactive exhibit during which participants ride in simulated truck beds and use video surveillance to find leaked nuclear-trigger technology in a fictional country.
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    800 F Street NW
    Washington, DC US
  • Corcoran Gallery of Art
    Contemplate an original Picasso, imagine yourself Andy Warhol's muse, and then trace Monet’s brushstrokes, but save time to appreciate the architecture as well. Inside this historic Beaux Arts building, every corner presents a new feast for the eyes, whether it's a contemporary photograph, European painting, or the gallery’s stunning glass roof.
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    500 17th Street Northwest
    Washington, DC US
  • The Phillips Collection
    The Phillips Collection takes its name from collector Duncan Phillips, who opened his vast personal collection to the viewing public in 1921. Today that collection spans styles and continents, and includes works by Rothko, Matisse, Van Gogh, and O’Keefe. The space itself—the Phillips family mansion—lends the experience an intimate, personal feel.
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    1600 21st St. NW
    Washington, DC US
  • Uncork'd Art
    Uncork'd Art's instructors invite artists of all skill levels to let their creativity flow while practicing no-pressure painting. During their adult classes, experienced local artists unlock latent talents with a complimentary glass of wine, a brought-from-home snack, and muses equipped with brass knuckles. Instructors lead students in painting experiments during Just For Fun sessions, and provided materials allow for the creation of acrylic-adorned masterpieces. Throughout the 6-week art- and wine-appreciation course, students learn theories and techniques, sample fragrant vinos, and produce three finished paintings. Uncork'd also offers private parties for groups of 10 or more, as well as happy-hour classes, which include helpful instruction with complimentary wine and supplies. Prospective pupils can schedule their next creative frenzy by perusing the online calendar.
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    1054 31st St. NW
    Washington, DC US
  • Tudor Place
    The story of the descendants of the nation’s First Family is told at Tudor Place, an historic home hidden away on a Georgetown side street. The five-acre estate was the home of Martha and George Washington’s granddaughter Martha Parke Custis Peter. Five more generations of the family lived here before it became a National Historic Landmark in the 1980s, and now the notable home contains more of George and Martha’s memorabilia than anywhere outside of Mount Vernon. But because the home was occupied by members of the Washington family for nearly 200 years, its riches span the centuries, from original keepsakes handed down by Martha herself to more current pieces that tell the family’s rich history. The extensive gardens are particularly lovely in the spring, when many of the period flowers bloom.
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    1644 31st St NW
    Washington, DC US
  • Smithsonian Institution Museums
    When British scientist and visionary James Smithson left his estate to the United States, he hoped that it would one day become ?an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.? Smithson got his wish, and then some. His generous gift transformed into The Smithsonian Institution, the world?s largest museum and research complex. Since its founding in 1846, The Smithsonian has blossomed into exactly what Smithson envisioned: a place where knowledge is celebrated, advanced, and shared with new generations. Anchored on the National Mall, the Institution?s many branches explore the worlds of art, science, history, and culture, inviting guests to discover their origins and see what the future might have in store.
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    950 Independence Avenue Southwest
    Washington, DC US

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