After 3 years of renovation The National Gallery if Art reopened last fall with 12,250 more square feet for art. The National Gallery is a treasure trove of great art and just celebrated its 75th anniversary. Note it's not a part of the Smithsonian. My mom used to take me here a lot as a child, but this was my first visit in many years. She enjoyed watching all the films they show - classic and contemporary cinema from around the world. Be sure to reserve a lot of time for your visit to enjoy everything as there's so much to see. The new space includes the roof terrace, an outdoor sculpture terrace overlooking Pennsylvania Ave. On the roof is an eye-catcher giant 14.5 foot tall sculpture, an electric cobalt blue "Hahn/Cock" on loan on from the Glenstone Museum.
The museum is made up of two buildings and a sculpture garden that turns into an ice-skating rink in the winter time. The East building focuses on modern art and contemporary artists, while the West building focuses on Renaissance art. They have a good directory so you can focus on the type of art you like. The two buildings connect underground through a concourse walkway. Ten years ago they installed a light sculpture that has 41,000 computer programmed LED lights that run on a program along the 200 foot underground space. This moving walkway connects you to their cafe and gift shop which is huge and a lot of fun to browse through.
Admission is free and the museum offers free Wi-Fi! Handicap parking is allowed right in front of the museum and courtesy wheelchairs are available to borrow. Free concerts are held in the garden room on Sunday evenings. It's definitely one of the premiere art galleries in the world and always an interesting place to spend a few hours.