Why it took me so long to visit the Kreeger Museum, I really don’t know. I had heard about how great it was from my own daughter after she went there on a school field trip a few years ago, so it’s been on my radar. I just hadn’t actually been.
But I finally did get there and understand why Sasha enjoyed it so much! (My kids are at sleep away camp, so this was a solo visit.) Located in DC’s Foxhall-Palisades neighborhood, the Kreeger Museum is perfect for an art fix that’s gratifying without being overwhelming.
It’s not huge, but the collection, most of it from the 19th and 20th centuries, housed in several small indoor galleries and around its five acres outside is very impressive. Inside, there are works by Monet, Picasso, Miro, Calder, and many more celebrated artists. And the sculpture garden outdoors includes beautiful, interesting, even fun pieces.
Currently on exhibit, “Objects from the Studio: The Sculptor’s Process,” includes models of the sculptures outside, some that you can see right beyond the window. Another gallery features portraits of David and Karmen Kreeger along with info about their lives and philanthropic contributions to the art world.
The museum itself, both the interior space and outdoor architecture, are artfully designed, too. There are high arching ceilings, galleries built around a small courtyard, and expansive windows that bring in beautiful light and offer views of the art outside.
You have up to 50 minutes, which is plenty of time, to tour indoors before exploring the outdoor collection. That part starts on the terrace, where there are several large sculptures. Then you can wander the grounds containing all kinds of large-scale installations. On one side is a fountain/pool with seating and sculptures around it, a small patch of woods has art and a trail that loops around, a grassy expanse includes more large pieces, and there’s even a piece “climbing” on the side of building (my favorite), another snaking up a tree, and one that plays solar powered music.
Both adults and kids will be delighted — by all of it, indoors and out.
The Kreeger Museum is located at 2401 Foxhall Road. It’s open Tuesday – Saturday with timed-entry sessions: 10-10:50am, 11-11:50am, 2-2:50pm, and 3-3:50pm (the 50 minutes is for indoor self tours, then you can spend time outside). Admission is free, and there’s a suggested donation of $10/adult, $8/senior. Tickets need to be reserved in advance, and there’s plenty of availability right now.
KFDC Tip: Plan on lunch or an ice cream treat at Jetties before or after — it’s located right down Foxhall Road and they have delicious sandwiches, salads, and scoops!
2 Responses to Explore Art Indoors & Out at the Kreeger Museum
Quite an interesting place! I love how the internet gets me accustomed to new hidden gems in the world. This place looks fascinating to visit whether an art lover or not.
Thanks for this recommendation! I am local and always looking for new spots to take my kids. We went here yesterday (including a stop at Jettie’s — yum!) and had a great time.
FYI, it may be worth noting that strollers are not allowed in the museum. So if you have young kids, be aware of that. Also, the garden terrain is not very stroller friendly either. The place is small enough where carrying my 16-month old wasn’t too much of a hassle though! My 3 and 5 year olds loved walking around the museum which has lots of different rooms to explore.
We also stopped by Stoddert Rec Center — about a 5 min drive away — to play on the playground after the museum. The center has a good toddler-sized playground around the side of the building with rubber flooring (not mulch, which the 16-month old loves to eat!).