National Gallery of Art – East Building is an Instagramer’s Dream

Our friends from Frederick came to town on a rainy Saturday for a day of touristing. The sky was spitting rain but we didn’t let that stop us from engaging on a self guided monument tour.  Our tour led us to the Sculpture Garden where we took in the larger than life outdoor art and enormous fountain. By this point, the dreary weather was getting to us so we headed inside the National Gallery of Art – East Building to continue our contemporary art adventure.

The National Gallery of Art – East Building is not to be confused with the National Gallery of Art next door. The main building (we went there with Museum Hack) is home to a wide range of American and European art while the East Building is home to contemporary art. Neither building is part of the Smithsonian but they do share space on the National Mall with some of the other Smithsonian museums. 

So, What’s Cool to See in the National Gallery of Art – East Building? 

Once inside the gorgeous, open lobby we realized this is the home of the giant blue rooster. This guy has been the star of many of my friends’ Instagram feeds lately. We immediately rushed to the terrace to take a picture with him. This is my favorite thing about the contemporary art galleries in the city. The art makes you want to strike a pose with it or caption it with your own sassy commentary. Some of our other favorite pieces include: 


Plan Your Trip

Estimated time to see the entire museum: 1-1.5 hours

Where: 150 4th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Closest Metro Stop: Smithsonian (orange, blue, silver) or Archives (green, yellow)

Cost: Free

Food: Head over to Oyamel for Mexican food or Rasika for Indian food in nearby Chinatown. Also check out our list of 10 Places to Eat Near the National Mall

While You’re in the Neighborhood: Head next door to the main National Gallery of Art building to see American and European Art or across the mall to the Hirshhorn Museum for more contemporary Art. The Air and Space Museum and American Indian Museum are also close by. 

About Kelley Smith 75 Articles
I'm Kelley Smith and I love sharing tips on how to best explore Washington, DC. I love pretty much anything I can eat plus really good beer and whiskey served by story telling bartenders. I also like sassy museum guides, photogenic architecture, and colorful urban gardens.

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