Smithsonian American Art Museum and Portrait Gallery

These two museums, American Art and Portrait Gallery, are separate museums, but share a building. The building is pretty interesting itself - Walk Whitman called it the "noblest of Washington buildings" and President Lincoln's inaugural ball was held here in 1865.

According to my pamphlet: The Smithsonian American Art Museum tells the stories of America through the visual arts and its collection spans more than three centuries of artistic achievement that parallels the nation's cultural development. The National Portrait Gallery tells the history of America through the individuals who have shaped the culture of this country.
Really great section featuring US presidents.

I love this next picture so much. The lighting, scenery and detail is gorgeous. It's called "Great Picture" by Albert Bierstadt. His other works are incredibly gorgeous too. The little author info next to the painting was very interesting - he was known for really building up the anticipation prior to the revealing of new paintings which helped him to earn more money. His paintings focused a lot on the American West, but were often a bit exaggerated. I'd like a copy of this in my home one day.
Thomas Moran painted these beautiful Grand Canyon pictures.

You can even find Joseph Smith and Brigham Young in the museum.
There's just something about this picture that I really like.

They have a nice little place where you can sit and eat and relax inside of the museum which is always nice.
*This post was originally written back in April. However, when blogger went crazy for a few days it messed up this post. I have since gotten it back to mostly normal, but it's still missing parts from the original. Ah well.

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