Washington, D.C. Sights

Renwick Gallery

  • Pennsylvania Ave. at 17th St. NW Map It
  • White House area

Fodor's Review

This luscious French Second Empire–style building is across the street from the White House and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and even with such lofty neighbors, it is still the most appealing architecture on the block. This was the first purpose-built museum in Washington, D.C., and it was known at the time as "the American Louvre." The words "dedicated to art" are engraved above the entrance. Designed by James Renwick in 1859 to hold the art collection of Washington merchant and banker William Wilson Corcoran, the National Historic Landmark building today is a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The Museum is currently closed for renovation. Upon reopening in late 2015 or early 2016, the museum will showcase its collection of craft and decorative arts in a captivating, interactive environment designed to illustrate not only the history of craft in America, but also its future. You'll discover exciting contemporary artists who are using materials in innovative ways, redefining what craft is and taking contemporary craft in bold new directions. Check the website for reopening details.

Sight Information


Pennsylvania Ave. at 17th St. NW, Washington, District of Columbia, 20502, USA

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