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. 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.

African American Civil War Memorial MuseumAfrican American historyOperated 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 MuseumKatzengallery.jpgArtPart of American University, regional, national, and international contemporary art
Anacostia Community MuseumAnacostia-Museum B&W.jpgSmithsonian InstitutionAfrican American historyLocal history and culture
Anderson HouseLarz Anderson House - Washington, D.C..jpgHistoric houseHeadquarters 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 AmericasArtFounded by the Organization of American States as a museum for modern and contemporary Latin American and Caribbean art
Blessed John Paul II ShrinePope John Paul II Cultural Center.jpgReligionLife and papacy of Pope John Paul II and the history of Catholic heritage in North America
Charles Sumner SchoolCharles Sumner School - Washington, D.C..jpgHistoryOne of the first public school buildings erected for the education of Washington's black community
Christian Heurich MansionChristian Heurich Mansion aka Brewmaster Castle.JPGHistoric houseGilded Age mansion with early household innovations
Corcoran Gallery of ArtCorcoran gallery entrance.jpgArtAmerican art from early days up to the present, part of the Corcoran College of Art and Design
DAR MuseumDAR mus - IMG 8541.JPGArtOwned by Daughters of the American Revolution, features 30 period rooms of decorative arts including furniture, silver, paintings, ceramics, textiles, toys, quilts
Decatur HouseDecatur House.jpgHistoric houseEarly 19th-century house with exhibits about the White House Currently closed for tours.
Dumbarton HouseDumbarton House.jpgHistoric houseEarly 19th century period house, headquarters of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America
Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and CollectionDumbarton Oaks - house photo with snow.jpgLibraryExhibits of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art and European masterpieces from its collections
Folger Shakespeare LibraryFolger Shakespeare Library.JPGLibraryExhibits from its collections about William Shakespeare
Fondo del SolFondo del Sol, Washington DC.jpgArtArt and cultural heritage of the people of the Americas
Ford's Theatre National Historic SiteFords Theatre thumbnail.jpgHistorySite of assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, includes theater presentation, Lincoln museum and Petersen House where he was taken
Freer Gallery of ArtFreer Gallery.jpgSmithsonianArtAsian 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 SiteFrederick Douglass House.jpgHistoric houseHome and estate of Frederick Douglass, one of the most prominent African Americans of the 19th century
Gallaudet University MuseumCulture/historyPermanent and rotating exhibits chronicling deaf culture and history
General Federation of Women's Clubs HeadquartersGeneral Federation of Women's Clubs headquarters.JPGHistoric houseTours of the social clubhouse headquarters, changing exhibits of art, photographs and artifacts from its collections
George Washington University Art GalleriesHillwood Museum Exterior Front.jpgArtTwo galleries, includes painting, sculpture, and photographs, ranging from rare historic pieces to Washingtoniana and Americana to modern art
Hillwood Estate, Museum & GardensHillwood Museum Exterior Front.jpgDecorative artsEstate 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 GardenHirshhorn Museum DC 2007.jpgSmithsonianArtContemporary and modern art
Historical Society of Washington, D.C.Central Public Library & City Museum of Washington, D.C..JPGHistory, LibraryExhibits of the city's history from its collections
Interior MuseumDepartment of the Interior.JPGHistoryActivities 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 MuseumSpy museum night.jpgHistoryEspionage history, artifacts, famous figures
Kreeger MuseumKreeger Museum.jpgArt19th- and 20th-century paintings and sculptures by internationally known artists, works by local Washington artists, traditional west and central African art
Laogai Museum2000 S Street NW.jpgPrisonConfronts the tragic legacy of China’s Laogai system of forced labor prisons
L. Ron Hubbard HouseL. Ron Hubbard House - Dupont Circle.JPGHistoric houseResidence of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard from 1955 until 1959
Library of CongressLibrary of Congress from North.JPGLibraryExhibits from its collections in American history, culture and art
Lillian & Albert Small Jewish MuseumAdas Israel Synagogue.JPGEthnic - Jewish historyHistory 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 MemorialAerial view of Lincoln Memorial - east side EDIT.jpegHistoryIncludes 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.jpgWax museumWax figures of media celebrities, Presidents, political figures, historical figures, sports stars and more
Marian Koshland Science MuseumKeck Center of the National Academies.JPGScienceModern science and scientific issues including climate change, learning, aging and infectious disease
Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site1318 Vermont Avenue, Northwest (House), (Washington, District of Columbia).jpgHistoric houseHome of educator and civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune
Meridian International CenterMeridian House.jpgArtExhibitions of paintings, photographs, sculptures, videos, and crafts that reflect various aspects of American culture to encourage foreign understanding
O Street Museum FoundationArtThe 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 MuseumSmithsonian Air and Space Museum.jpgSmithsonianAerospaceHistory and science of aviation and spaceflight, as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics
National ArchivesUSNationalArchives.JPGLibraryExhibits 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 MuseumEntrance to the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum.jpgNatural historyLocated on the campus of the United States National Arboretum, Bonsai and Penjing botanical specimens and displays
National Building MuseumNationalBuildingMuseum.JPGArchitectureExhibits about architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning
National Gallery of ArtNational Gallery of Art DC 2007 047.jpgArtPaintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, medals, and decorative arts that trace the development of Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present
National Geographic MuseumNational Geographic Museum Building.jpgNatural historyOperated by the National Geographic Society, changing exhibits of photography, natural history, culture and history
National Guard Memorial MuseumNational Guard Memorial Building.JPGMilitaryHistory 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 CultureSmithsonianEthnic - African AmericanPlanned museum to open in 2015, exhibit gallery located on the second floor of the National Museum of American History
National Museum of African ArtNational Museum of African Art DC 2007 003.jpgSmithsonianArtAfrican art and culture, includes paintings, musical instruments, sculpture, jewelry, regalia, textiles, pottery
National Museum of American HistoryNational Museum of American History 1.jpgSmithsonianHistoryAmerican social, political, cultural, scientific and military history
National Museum of the American IndianNational Museum of the American Indian.JPGSmithsonianEthnic - Native AmericanLife, languages, literature, history and arts of the Native Americans of the Western Hemisphere
National Museum of American Jewish Military HistoryNational Museum of American Jewish Military History.JPGEthnic - Jewish - Military - HistoryJewish Americans who served in the armed forces
National Museum of Crime & PunishmentLaw enforcementHistory of crime and its consequences in America and American popular culture
National Museum of Natural HistoryNational museum of natural history entrance.jpgSmithsonianNatural historyGalleries include paleontology, geology, mammals, human origins, insects, ocean life, gems and minerals, Western, African and Korean cultures
National Museum of Women in the ArtsNational Museum of Women in the Arts.jpgArtWomen’s achievements in the visual, performing and literary arts
National Portrait Gallery2008-0601-DC-NatlPortGall.jpgSmithsonianArt - HistoryImages and history of famous individual Americans
National Postal MuseumNational postal museum.jpgSmithsonianPhilatelyHistory of the United States Postal Service and of mail service around the world
NewseumNewseum.jpgMediaInteractive museum of news and journalism
The Octagon HouseOctagon house.jpgHistoric houseEarly 19th-century townhouse
Old Stone HouseThe Old Stone House.jpgHistoric houseMid 18th century period house
Phillips CollectionThe Phillips Collection.JPGArtAmerican and European impressionist and modern art
President Lincoln's Cottage at the Soldiers' HomeLincoln Cottage 2007.jpgHistoric houseCottage retreat of President Abraham Lincoln and other Presidents
Renwick GalleryRenwickGallery.jpgSmithsonianDecorative artsAmerican craft and decorative arts from the 19th century to the 21st century
Arthur M. Sackler GallerySackler Gallery.jpgSmithsonianArtInclude 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
Scottish Rite Temple and Supreme Council LibraryHouse of the Temple.JPGMasonicMasonic principles of personal, social and intellectual freedom, artifacts of American history, Masonic regalia and memorabilia
S. Dillon Ripley CenterS. Dillon Ripley Center - entrance kiosk.jpgSmithsonianExhibitionExhibits of art, photography
Sewall-Belmont House and MuseumSewall-Belmont House.JPGHistoric house - HistoryU.S. women's suffrage and equal-rights movements
Smithsonian American Art MuseumReynolds Ctr.jpgSmithsonianArtAmerican art that covers all regions and art movements found in the United States
Textile MuseumTextile Museum.JPGTextilesTextiles from around the world including rugs, clothing
Tudor PlaceCyark Tudor Place 2.jpgHistoric houseMansion with European and American decorative arts including American silver, porcelain, furniture, glassware, sculpture, portraits, prints and textiles
United States CapitolUnited States Capitol - west front.jpgGovernmentTours of the building
United States Capitol Visitor CenterCvc-aerial.jpgHistoryHistory of the U.S. Capitol and Congress
United States Holocaust Memorial MuseumUnited States Holocaust Memorial Museum.jpegHistoryHistory of the Holocaust in Europe
U.S. Navy MuseumNavy-Museum.jpgMaritime - MilitaryHistory of the U.S. Navy from the American Revolution to the present, naval artifacts, models, documents and fine art
USS Barry (DD-933)USS Barry.jpgMuseum ship - Military1950s Destroyer museum ship
Washington MonumentWashington Monument Dusk Jan 2006.jpgHistory
White HouseWhiteHouseSouthFacade.JPGHistoric houseOfficial state residence of the President of the United States, tours by advance reservation
Woman's National Democratic Club MuseumWoman's National Democratic Club.JPGHistoric housewebsite, political memorabilia, artwork, and photographs in the Whittemore House, headquarters of the Woman's National Democratic Club
Woodrow Wilson HouseWoodrow Wilson House.JPGHistoric houseHome of President Woodrow Wilson after he left office

Defunct museums[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bead Museum to Close, DCist, Dec. 24, 2008
  2. ^ B'nai B'rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum - Virtual Gallery
  3. ^ "Decision coming on national Jewish museum in D.C",, 9/29/2011

External links[edit]