Whether you are traveling to Washington, D.C. for celebration or protest this weekend, the art scene in the capital city is blossoming in 2017. When it comes to Washington, D.C., most people think of the monuments or House of Cards, but many are not aware of the exciting contemporary art scene in the city. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite galleries and museums that you should check out during your stay in DC.



National Gallery of Art – East Building

Photo // courtesy of National Gallery of Art East Building

The East Building is finally reopened after five years of renovation. What’s inside the museum is just as stunning as the architecture itself. Designed by I. M. Pei, the building stands out from the Smithsonian. If you don’t have enough time to go through every floor, make sure to go straight ahead to the “tower room” on the top floor. This isolated room presents visitors a vivid and hazy experience of looking at arts by using natural lights from the glass ceiling.




Photo // courtesy of Ron Blunt/Renwick Gallery

The first museum designed expressly for arts in the United States, this small museum is the most famous gallery on Instagram. Renwick is known for exhibiting works by artists who explore traditional and innovative ways of living in the modern society. After the successful exhibition, “Wonder” last year, the gallery reopened with a must-see exhibition, “Connections: Contemporary Craft”.




Photo // courtesy of Maria Bryk/Newseum

This interactive museum is conveniently located on the Presidential Inauguration parade. The museum will host “Inauguration Experience” event this weekend with an exhibition, “Louder than Words: Rock, Power, and Politics.” From the “Berlin Wall Gallery” to footages of the first women’s march 100 years ago, the Newseum provides visitors a different way to look at current events by creating interactive and engaging exhibitions.



Studio A by Aaron Pomerantz

Photo // courtesy of Evy Mages

This gallery is every young art collector’s dream. Located in a residential part of the city, Aaron Pomerantz built his first gallery from shipping containers in his backyard about a year ago to store his amazing art collection. A passionate art collector, Pomerantz hopes to grow the art scene in D.C. by hosting artists-curated shows and exhibitions. He builds relationships with contemporary artists and avidly helps them place their works in galleries across the nation. Currently by appointment only, the gallery is gearing up for a new exhibition in early March. For appointments, contact Aaron Pomerantz.



The Phillips

Photo // courtesy of The Phillips Collection

Founded by Duncan Phillips and Marjorie Acker Phillips in 1921, The Phillips Collection plays an important role in introducing modern art to the United States. Known as the home for the famous “Luncheon of the Boating Party,” The Phillips houses works from renowned artists to emerging young artists in D.C. Metro area. While there, be sure to check out the Rothko Room. Designed by abstract expressionist Mark Rothko himself, the room is a unique and intimate way to experience Rothko’s world.



Georgetown Galleries on Book Hill 

Photo // courtesy of Famous DC

Georgetown Gallery Row is an association of eight galleries in Georgetown. The goal is to introduce visitors to the art scene in this beautiful and historical neighborhood. The galleries host joint events and exhibitions with modern and contemporary arts in a wide range of media and materials. When the weather is nice, the galleries host “Art Walk” events which includes a stroll around Georgetown and refreshments.




Located in Logan Circle, ConnerSmith specializes in Post-War and contemporary art. Their focus is to mobilize the careers of artists who excel at communicating powerful concepts in diverse media.




Photo // Courtesy of Darrow Montgomery

This hole in the wall gallery is very easy to miss, especially since it’s located on P Street NW, but don’t let the surroundings and the small space fool you. This artist-centered non-profit organization provides artists a safe environment to do experimental works by covering all the financial costs. There are always new exhibitions, auctions, and educational programs happening at Transformer. Don’t miss this gem when you’re in town.