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Open today: 10:00 to 5:00

Visitor Policies

Gallery Conduct
For the protection of visitors and staff, as well as to preserve the Gallery's collections and facilities, the following policies apply when visiting:

Please do not touch objects in the galleries. 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. 

Children may not be carried on the shoulders of another person or in a backpack child carrier. Unattended children under 12 years of age are not permitted in the galleries. Please keep your children with you at all times.

Please check or carry your backpack while in the galleries.


Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Security requires all bags be inspected before they can be placed in the checkrooms, and all bags are subject to security inspection before entering the Gallery. The Gallery requires visitors to check luggage, backpacks, umbrellas, and any other item that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in the galleries at the checkroom. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented for X-ray screening.

The Gallery is not responsible for loss or damage to laptop computers, cameras, fur coats, and other items of substantial value. Such items cannot be left in our checkrooms but may be carried into the galleries. Items larger than 17 x 26 inches (43 x 66 cm) are not permitted into the checkrooms or galleries.

The Gallery reserves the right to refuse other items and is not responsible for items held at the checkrooms.


All galleries and facilities are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs are available at all entrances on a first-come, first-served basis.


Strollers are available at all Gallery entrances on a first-come, first-served basis.


Sketching is permitted in the galleries (pencils and dry media only, no ink or paint).

School Tours 

For information about bringing your school group to the National Gallery of Art, see School Tours.

Independent Groups

While independently led groups are always welcome, we ask that they please yield to National Gallery of Art tour groups as a courtesy to all visitors.

Food and Drink

Food and drink is permitted in the Gallery cafés only and may not be carried into the galleries or auditoriums. Outside food and drink may not be brought into the Gallery.


Smoking is prohibited in all Gallery facilities.

Photography and Video

Photography for personal use is permitted except where specifically prohibited. Monopods, tripods, and selfie sticks are not permitted inside Gallery buildings. Small tripods may be used by visitors on the Gallery's outdoor grounds, including in the Sculpture Garden, except during heavily attended events.

The use of drones and other unmanned aerial devices or systems is prohibited on the property and grounds of the Gallery.

Cellular Phones

Talking on cellular phones is not permitted in the galleries or auditoriums.

Public Wi-Fi

The Gallery offers free Wi-Fi, accessible by selecting the “NGA_Public_WiFi” network. Review the Gallery's Wi-Fi policy here.


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Answers to frequently asked questions about the National Gallery of Art.

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