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National Portrait Gallery (United States)

From Academic Kids

The National Portrait Gallery is an art gallery in Washington, DC administered by the Smithsonian Institution. Its collections focus on images of famous individual Americans, including a gallery wholly devoted to George Washington.

It resides in the Old Patent Office Building, located just south of Chinatown in the Penn Quarter district of downtown Washington. The third oldest federal building in the city, constructed between 1836 and 1867, the marble and granite museum has porticoes modeled after the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. It was spared from demolition by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1958 and given to the Smithsonian, which renovated the structure and opened the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery there in 1968.

It is the namesake for the Gallery Place Washington Metro station, located across the intersection of F and 8th Streets, Northwest.

The National Gallery has been closed for extensive renovations and expansion since January 2000; it will reopen on July 4, 2006. While the Gallery is closed, many of the works in its collections are travelling to affiliate museums around the world.

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