on June 30, 2005
This was the most beautiful museum we visited. We gravitated towards the Italian Renissance galleries, as they are my favorite. Each gallery has tablets in a holder describing the works in depth. The museum is quite large, so it is helpful to stop at the information desk and ask about highlights if you have limited time or have an area of special interest, like Rembrandt. Currently, the museum has a special exhibition of Gilbert Stuart portraits (look at your $1 bill--that's a Stuart of Washington) until late July. The reason is the normal home of these paintings. The National Portrait Gallery is undergoing renovation. A notable highlight familiar to anyone who has seen the movie "Glory" is a cast of the memorial to Shaw and his black union troops. The museum is quite a bit quieter, given its nature, than any other museum. Children are notably fewer. Allow at least three hours to see the works.
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