Art flows through Washington, D.C. like the Potomac River. From world-class art museums to galleries with rotating exhibits, you will always find something new and exciting when you visit D.C.
We chatted with Al Miner, Founding Director/Chief Curator at the Georgetown University Art Galleries, to find out why locals and visitors should visit the galleries (more than once), what makes their exhibits special and what guests need to know before they arrive.
Where are the galleries located?
Location: Georgetown University Art Galleries, 3535 Prospect St NW, Washington DC
What topics do the galleries cover?
We exhibit work by socially-engaged contemporary artists and designers working in a variety of media. By placing contemporary artists at the center of critical conversations, we aim to promote cross-cultural understanding, advance social justice, broaden global consciousness, and inspire interdisciplinary thinking.
What are the galleries’ claim to fame?
The Maria & Alberto de la Cruz Art Gallery, which opened in 2018.
What is your favorite exhibit or artifact in the galleries?
2019’s exhibition “Glenn Ligon: To be a Negro in this Country is really never to be looked at,” featured the work of this critically acclaimed African American artist paired with a rare wallpaper depicting Washington, DC by Andy Warhol.
The exhibition was named one of 2019’s Top 20 US Art Shows by Hyperallergic.
What kinds of special exhibits and events do you host throughout the year?
During the academic year, September – May, we host three to five exhibitions each accompanied by a full series of free programs. Pivoting on the themes in the current exhibition, public programs include performance art events, lectures, panel discussions, film screenings, live music, art making activities, tours, and more.
Programs are often conceived in partnership with Georgetown University’s diverse academic departments linking art and other disciplines such as law and environmental studies.
Are there guided tours available?
Yes, guided special exhibition tours are available upon request in advance; open public tours are advertised on our website at delacruzgallery.georgetown.domains and social media channels.
Foreign language tours are sometimes available; these special tours are led by students in languages including Spanish and Chinese. Unfortunately, we do not yet have an audio guide.
How much time should someone plan to spend in the galleries?
Our three exhibition spaces are modest in size, but packed with content. An hour will allow you to see all the exhibitions and enjoy any video content in full.
What should someone bring with them and what items are not allowed in the galleries?
We ask our visitors to please be mindful of our exhibition spaces and help us protect the artwork on display. Food, drinks, gum, backpacks, pens and umbrellas are not permitted inside the galleries.
Visitors may store items like backpacks and umbrellas behind the reception desks in either of the galleries while they view the exhibitions. Pencils are available at the reception desks in both galleries.
Is photography allowed inside (without flash)?
What should parents of young children know before visiting the museum?
Our exhibitions are family-friendly, but please check our website prior to your visit to determine if the content is right for your children.
While we do not yet have drop-in activities for kids, we gladly host school groups and develop exciting, interactive content for their visits.
What’s the coolest item for sale in the gift shop?
There is no gift shop.
Is there a museum cafe or restaurant?
The Galleries do not have their own cafe, but we are located in the heart of Georgetown on the same block as three beloved local restaurants: 1789, The Tombs and Wisemiller’s.
What should teachers planning a field trip know before reaching out to you?
The needs and interests of students are at the center of The Galleries’ mission. We love welcoming school groups of up to 40 participants.
We appreciate teachers telling us what topics they’re currently covering in class so that we can design a tour and activities to appeal specifically to their students.
What else should a visitor know before visiting?
We look forward to welcoming and engaging returning visitors and new audiences to our Maria & Alberto de la Cruz Art Gallery, and Lucille M. & Richard F.X. Spagnuolo Art Gallery!
By focusing on the art and issues of our time, we aim to spark dialogue and provide meaningful and memorable experiences.
What are your normal days and hours of operation?
Wednesday – Saturday 10:00am – 6:00pm, Sunday 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Does the museum have a bag check or coat room?
Is there parking available?
Parking is very limited in the Georgetown area. Visitors to the Art Galleries can park in the University’s Southwest Garage, accessible via Canal Road NW, and then walk for approximately 10 minutes via Library Walk and N St. NW.
Please note that this route includes stairs. For accessible route information, please refer to the University’s Accessible Routes map.
Is there an admission fee?
All exhibitions and programs are free!