Visiting DC Area
I was born and raised in DC area, but moved away 30 years ago. Many of you know that it's an unwritten rule that locals can't go sightseeing. But now I will be visiting (house sitting and dog sitting for 2 weeks) without family, so I'll get to play unrepentant tourist with few commitments. It will be late March (Cherry Blossom Festival).
Suggestions in terms of galleries, exhibits, museums, etc? I'll visit the Smithsonian (especially American History and American Art). There's an Annie Liebovitz exhibition at American Art Museum.
I will also go to Holocaust Museum and Lincoln Memorial (though not to photograph). I'll have a car but will probably take Metro downtown if during rush hour.
Check out the Corcoran and the Phillips collection, don't know what's currently hanging at either. And if you're on the Mall, don't forget the Hirshorn.
There was recently a very nice display of albumen prints at the nat gallery on the mall. Not sure whether it's still up...
Also the Library of Congress may have something going. They have an amazing collection that seldom sees the light of day, unfortunately.
The national cherry fiasco is always amusing. Come early, very early!
I recommend always taking the metro downtown, instead of driving and hunting for a place to park. Enjoy.
If you suddenly get the urge to get the hell out of DC, let me suggest visiting the Torpedo Factory in Old Town, Alexandria. There is sometimes some good if not somewhat amateur work there. There is also a very nice little commercial gallery, Principle Gallery, nearby. The share of space devoted to analogue photography is very small in both, but there is a lot of other interesting visual art.
Everybody is giving good advice - I would just add the National Portrait Gallery.
Don't think anyone mentioned the National Geographic Museum, usually good stuff, even though the photographs are usually computer prints these days:
National Building Museum has had some surprisingly good photo exhibitions for the venue, plus its close to where you are already going. But I don't think photos are among the current offers:
Ford's Theatre is good if you like history. Haven't been, but the International Spy Museum is very popular; heard good things about the Newseum (which currently has a Neil Leifer exhibit). Neither is cheap. All are close to where you will be.
Oh I just thought of something else: the Air and Space Museum out at Udvar-Hazy near Dulles is a really cool place if you like aeronautica. I could probably go nuts in there with a camera if there weren't too many people around.
Looks like a couple of very interesting exhibits at Corcoran; that will be on my list. I'm not a super fan of modern art so the Hirshhorn may not make the cut. Unfortunately the end of March seems to be a fallow time for photographic exhibitions at the National Gallery.
I did visit the Torpedo Factory in Old Town a couple of years ago when in for a wedding.
I went to the Air and Space Museum when last in town, but only for a short time before a flight out of Dulles. Will have to try to get there again. I still remember the old (small) Air and Space Museum just off the mall.
I didn't know there was a National Building Museum. It does look interesting. But $22 for ticket to Newseum - would have to devote most of a day to justify given everything else in DC.
In addition to the other suggestions: check out the fish market which I believe is on Maine Street and the Jeffrerson Building of the Library of Congress - the interior is spectacular. The African Art Museum on the mall has some beautiful primitive pieces in the collection.