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Release Date: January 13, 2011

Permanent Collection Audio Tours for Adults and Children Now Offered Free of Charge at National Gallery of Art

Washington, DC—The National Gallery is now offering audio tours of its renowned permanent collection for adults and children on new equipment with color screens and high-quality sound—free of charge for the first time in the Gallery's history. The Director's Tour for adults features Gallery experts insights into the collections many masterpieces. Highlights of this tour are offered in a variety of languages. Last summer, the Gallery also introduced a childrens audio tour designed especially for ages 7–12, exploring 50 paintings in the West Building.

These audio tours allow visitors to enjoy the Gallery at their own pace, selecting works of interest as they go, and deciding the length of time they spend with each object. The new, improved audio tour equipment from Acoustiguide gives visitors a choice between touch screen and button-based models.

Audio tours are available to pick up at the West Building Mall entrance. For group reservations of audio tours (10 or more), please call (202) 842-6592. For more information, please visit

The Director's Tour

Adult visitors may tour the galleries while listening to the Gallery's director, curators, and conservators discussing more than 130 beloved masterpieces by artists from the Italian Renaissance to the era of French impressionism. Among these works is the portrait of Ginevra de' Benci, a teenaged fiancée who posed for Leonardo da Vinci, then in his twenties. It is the artists only painting in the the Americas.

The Director's Tour; Highlights in Foreign Languages

The director's introduction and commentary at 26 stops are available as free audio guides in Spanish, French, Russian, Japanese, and Mandarin.

Childrens Tour

Animated by actors speaking the parts of people and animals in works of art, the Gallery's audio tour gives children aged 7–12 a chance to get up close and personal with some of the worlds greatest paintings on display in the West Building. Prompts and pauses encourage kids to stop, look, and think, making the tour an interactive way to experience the creativity of masters including Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Claude Monet, and Winslow Homer. This free audio guide is made possible through the generous support of MSST Foundation.

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. For information call (202) 737-4215 or visit the Gallery's Web site at Follow the Gallery on Facebook at, Twitter at, and Instagram at

Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.
For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]

The Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.

Press Release

Questions from members of the media may be directed to the Department of Communications at (202) 842-6353 or [email protected]

The public may call (202) 737-4215 or visit for more information about the National Gallery of Art.