National Portrait Gallery, Penn Quarter
Washington , D.C.
Tel: 202 633 1000
Concierge.com's insider take:
When the National Portrait Gallery, located in the former Patent Office Building in Penn Quarter, emerged from a six-year, $283-million renovation in July 2006, it gained 57,000 square feet of additional space for its extensive collections. There are portraits of every American president (including Gilbert Stuart's Lansdowne portrait of George Washington and Pat Oliphant's caricatures of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon). But the gallery also displays photos, portraits, and videos of notables who have made contributions to American culture, from Charlie Chaplin to Shaquille O'Neal. The American Art Museum (202-633-7970; americanart.si.edu) shares the historic building.