Welcome Back

A Message from the Director

On Friday, September 18 we opened our doors for the first time after six months of closure during an unprecedented public health challenge. I’m particularly grateful for the remarkable commitment and service of our security, maintenance team, collections caretakers and other staff who continued their essential work in the museum during that time. It’s because of them that we can welcome you back.

We’re excited to see you again! In consultation with public health officials and our colleagues across the broader Smithsonian Institution, we’ve made a number of changes at the museum to maximize safety for visitors and staff. Please make sure to review these new guidelines before your visit and reserve your free, timed-entry passes.

Whether you come visit us in the museum or here online, there’s plenty that's new to see and do. From all of us at the National Portrait Gallery, thank you and welcome back!

Kim Sajet, Director
National Portrait Gallery 

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As the Smithsonian continues a gradual, phased reopening, we're putting safety first, with new measures in place to protect everyone’s health, including new hours and timed-entry passes.

The entrance to the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum is located at 8th and G Streets NW in Washington, DC. The museums share a single entrance, and your pass is valid for entry to both museums. The museums’ F Street entrance is closed.

Hours and Admission

Open Wednesday – Sunday | 11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m
Closed Nov. 11 & 26, Dec 24 & 25 and Jan. 20, 2021 
Admission is FREE

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Location

National Portrait Gallery
8th and G Streets NW
Washington, DC 20001

View directions


Visitor Guidelines

If Sick Stay Home: 

We’re asking all visitors who are sick or feel unwell to please stay home.

ticket iconReserve a FREE timed entry pass
  • All Smithsonian visitors, regardless of age, will now require a free timed-entry pass to enter the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Timed-entry passes are not required at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
  • Visitors can acquire timed-entry passes by reserving online or by phone at 1-800-514-3849, ext. 1
  • Visitors will be able to secure up to six passes for personal use only. Passes may not be sold or transferred. Passes are valid only for the issued date and time and void if altered.  
  • Visitors may choose to print timed-entry passes at home or show their timed-entry passes on their phone or other mobile device. Printed and digital passes will be scanned at the entrances of the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. 
mask iconFace Coverings

Visitors ages six and older are required to wear a face covering during their visit. We strongly recommend that all visitors ages two and older wear face coverings as well. Face coverings may be removed while eating 
or drinking in designated spaces. 

distance iconSocial Distancing

Please maintain a safe social distance of six feet or more between households or groups at all times. Social distancing signage and directions will be found throughout our facilities. 

handwashing iconHygiene

Please wash and sanitize hands frequently during your visit and practice good hygiene. Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout our facilities. 

baggage iconPersonal Belongings

We encourage you to limit the number of personal belongings and bags you bring into our facilities, as they will be subject to a thorough search. Limiting the items you bring will increase your speed through security check points, helping us all maintain a safe social distance. Please note that we do not offer coat or bag storage at this time. 


Keeping Us All Safe 

To keep us all safe, and to support efforts to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, we have limited capacity and implemented new safety measures in our museums. Your visit to the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, two Smithsonian museums that share one historic building, will be different and new procedures will be in place. Please review the important information below as you plan your visit.

  • Visitors ages six and older are required to wear a face covering during their visit. We strongly recommend that all visitors ages two and older wear face coverings as well. 
  • Please wash and sanitize hands frequently during your visit and practice good hygiene. Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout our facilities.
  • Your visit will be guided by wayfinding signage to allow for social distancing.
  • Visitor maps will not be provided at this time but you can download one here in advance or use the museums' free Wi-Fi to access a floor plan during your visit.
  • We encourage you to limit the number of personal belongings and bags you bring into our facilities. Suitcases, large umbrellas, and backpacks are not allowed in the galleries. Security officers may ask you to hand-carry smaller backpacks, or wear them on your front, to protect the artworks. Please note that we do not offer coat check or bag storage at this time. Strollers are permitted in the galleries.
  • We continue to evaluate our exhibits, interactives, and indoor spaces to ensure public safety. Some features may be closed or operate at limited capacity.  
  • All on-site public tours and programs are currently suspended.  
  • The museums' cafe and store will be closed.  No outside food will be permitted.
  • The National Portrait Gallery will continue to offer virtual programs and experiences. Please check our events calendar for specific dates and details
  • For additional tips and guidelines visit https://www.si.edu/visit/tips

Please note:
COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that is believed to mainly spread from person-to-person contact. The Smithsonian is doing its part to mitigate transmission intensity, and we ask you, our visitors to do the same and help us reduce the spread of COVID-19. You must follow all posted instructions while visiting the Smithsonian, including instructions about wearing face coverings and social distancing. Despite these measures, the risk of contracting COVID-19 could increase by visiting the Smithsonian. By visiting the Smithsonian, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.
 
The Smithsonian reserves the right to modify its hours of operations, capacity, or visitor guidelines as circumstances require, and to deny entry or access to any person who fails to follow these guidelines or whose conduct puts Smithsonian staff, visitors, or property at risk.