The newest addition to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the National Sculpture Garden is home to over twenty sculptures. The garden is centered around a large fountain, which predates the creation of the sculpture exhibit. The garden is directly to the West of the National Gallery of Art, and borders the National Mall to the South.
The garden was completed and opened to the public in 1999 after an extensive redesign of its 6.1 acres. The fountain at the garden’s center is converted into an ice skating rink from December to March. The garden is also home to the Pavilion Café, a small restaurant.
Location: Constitution Ave NW & 7th Street, Washington, DC 20408
Hours: 10-7 daily, though during Jazz in the Garden, a weekly Friday event in spring and summer, the garden is until 9pm, weather permitting.
Cost: Free, as is the National Art Gallery itself.
Nearby Attractions: A great place to start is the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, which is directly across the National Mall from the garden. Immediately to the West is the National Art Gallery.
There’s no shortage of things to see and do in D.C. Check out our page on the District of Columbia for guides and information on Monuments, Museums, Galleries and more.
As we left the Hirshhorn and crossed the National Mall, we were surprised to see yet another sculpture garden. As it was on our way to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, we took the time to do a quick circuit of the garden. There were some heavy equipment and barricades blocking parts of the garden, which probably had something to do with the ice skating rink.
Between that and the wet, grey weather, it definitely wasn’t the best day to visit. That said, we still saw a few of our favorite sculptors, and enjoyed the casual stroll. We’d love to check out Jazz in the Garden the next time we’re in town.
Know Before You Go
- The garden is outdoors, so plan ahead for inclement weather.
- There is no shortage of restaurants and bars just North of the garden.
- The National Sculpture Garden represents less than a third of the National Art Gallery’s campus, which stretches East towards the Capitol Building.
- For you music lovers, more information on Jazz in the Garden can be found here.
- While it’s certainly possible to find a parking spot, D.C., as a rule, is better explored on foot, by train or by taxi.