Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the National Gallery. If, after reading, you still have a question, click on "I still have a question" and your message will be forwarded to the appropriate department. If you wish to contact a particular department, please see our list of departments.
- Are there discounts for students or seniors in the Gallery cafés/restaurants?
- Am I allowed to walk around the art in the Sculpture Garden?
- Which works of art, if any, can I sit on in the Sculpture Garden?
- How close can I get to a work of art?
- Is it okay to touch the art?
- How do you protect the art?
- Can I use flash photography in the Gallery?
- Is cell phone use allowed in the Gallery?
- Is filming for personal use allowed in the Gallery?
- How are art and wall label placement determined?
- How do I report an error in a wall label?
- How do I determine the monetary value of a work of art I own?
- Where can I get information about an object in the National Gallery of Art collection?
- How can I find out whether a particular work of art is currently on view at the National Gallery of Art?
- I would like to use images from your website. How do I secure permission?
- How can I download images?
- How can I find information on the duration of a film while in the Gallery?
- How do you notify guests of the cancellations of events?
- How can I contact the head of a department?
There are no discounts for students or seniors in the our cafés, although 10% discounts are available to National Members. Visitors in groups may purchase individual lunches from the full-service cafeteria or arrange for group meals 72 hours in advance by calling (202) 712-7458. Menus and ordering information for group meals are available here. Alternatively, sack lunches may be left in the checkrooms at the entrances to the National Gallery, and then retrieved to be eaten outside the museum.
2) Am I allowed to walk around the art in the Sculpture Garden?
The works of art in the Sculpture Garden are placed around a landscape of local vegetation. We ask that you stay on the paths to allow everyone to enjoy the art in a natural setting.
The Sculpture Garden serves millions of visitors a year and in order to keep the art safe, we ask that you please not touch any of the sculptures. You are encouraged to sit on the benches placed throughout the Sculpture Garden.
4) How close can I get to a work of art?
We take great care to ensure the safety and the availability of the art for all to enjoy. As such, please keep a distance of about two feet from the art. Some works of art have a limit line drawn around them, but most do not. This distance ensures that you or your personal belongings do not accidentally touch the art.
No, please do not touch works of art. Dirt, moisture, and other contaminants present on hands can stain or corrode the surfaces of artworks. Some works are more fragile than they appear, and even simple touching can cause permanent damage. Help us protect works of art and preserve our common heritage for future generations.
Our principal duty is to keep its collections and the facilities that house them intact and in optimum condition for future generations. To carry out this responsibility, the National Gallery maintains effective programs of security, environmental control, building maintenance, and conservation.
The security staff is present to ensure that art is kept safe for your enjoyment and that of future generations.
Photography for personal use, including flash, is permitted, except in special exhibitions and where specifically prohibited. Monopods and tripods are not permitted.
8) Is cell phone use allowed in the National Gallery?
Cellular phone use is allowed in the National Gallery of Art but we ask, in consideration of those around you, that you please not use audible functions of your cell phone or engage in a phone conversation while in the galleries.
9) Is filming for personal use allowed?
Yes, you may record video for personal use while at the National Gallery. We ask that for the enjoyment of the art by others, please do not use audio or speak aloud while using your video recorder. If you would like to video record for non-personal use, please contact the Press Office for information.
Within the galleries, the labels are usually placed below or to either side of the artwork. In some cases, the text is placed on one wall to indicate several works. In others, the building's architecture influences where the label is placed. At times, labels cannot be placed directly next to the object but every effort is made to place wall text within easy view of the art.
11) How do I report an error in a wall label?
If you feel that you have found an error in our wall labels, please fill out the Comment Form and use the subject "Permanent Collection—Artwork" if it is part of the National Gallery's collection or "Special Exhibitions" if it is not part of our collection. Include the object name and accession number (looks like: 1942.1.5) and the error and we will look into it.
The National Gallery of Art does not provide monetary information on any work of art.
It may be possible, however, to find information online by using a web search engine and including some of the following terms:
fine art auction
art price comparison
The entire National Gallery of Art collection is available for searching on our site. Hover over "Collection" from the menu at the top of any web page, then click on "Search the Collection" from the drop-down menu.
Hover over "Collection" in the top navigation of every web page, then drop down and select "Search the Collection." Search by artist name, title, key word, or other search term. The search results for a particular object will indicate "On View" or "Not on View." If the former, click on the link to see a map of where in our campus the work of art may be found. Check back frequently as our installations do change.
The National Gallery of Art implements an open-access policy for digital images of works of art that we believes to be in the public domain. These images are available free of charge for any use, commercial or non-commercial, and users do not need the National Gallery’s authorization to use these images. If you have additional questions regarding your specific image request, please submit using our online form.
You may download images that participate in the Open Access program. From individual art object pages, click on the downward arrow icon underneath the artwork image.
17) How can I find information on the duration of a film while in the National Gallery?
While in the National Gallery buildings, a sign announcing the film will have a description and runtime next to it. Further, while online, the runtime is listed in the film event page toward the bottom of the film description.
Cancellations of events are listed on our website in the event page for a particular event, as well as in the daily events page listing. We do everything possible to prevent the cancellation of events but in some instances (such as severe inclement weather), it may be necessary for the safety of our visitors. Additionally, cancellations may appear on our Facebook page.
19) How can I contact the head of a department?
Use the Web form and select "General Comment" from the drop-down list. You can enter a question there. If you would like a response, please be sure to include your e-mail contact information and someone will reply to your question.
Telephone: (202) 737-4215
Accessibility Information: (202) 842-6905
View list of departments.
The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets along Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC.
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
6th and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20565
GPS Location (latitude, longitude):
The East Building and the West Building are open daily from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Passes no longer required
Sculpture Garden Hours
Open daily 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.