The humidity says summer, but the calendar says it’s almost time to start planning your company’s holiday party. Forget in-office parties or chain restaurant venues. We live in a city full of buildings that people travel from around the world to visit. Take advantage!
Seriously, wouldn’t you rather dine with Michelle Obama’s portrait than stare at the wall of another generic hotel ballroom? The event spaces and galleries at the National Portrait Gallery should be at the top of the list for your next function, and here’s why:
1. The Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard is a Legitimate Architectural Wonder
Host your next event in the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard and you’ll feel like you’ve been gifted the privilege of dining inside a masterpiece. The sweeping current of the glass canopy is juxtaposed against the striking façade of the museum’s Greek revival architecture. Designed by world-renowned architects Foster + Partners and named one of the Seven Architectural Wonders, your evening will have the all-weather convenience of an indoor environment with a celestial outdoors feel. There is no more magnificent a space in Washington, DC to hold a large event.
Seated Dinner: 850 | Reception: 1200
2. The Great Hall is Fit for Presidents — and First Ladies
Finally, an opportunity to say, “If it was good enough for Abraham Lincoln, it’s good enough for me.” Famously used during President Lincoln’s second inaugural ball, the Great Hall is a beautiful example of American Victorian Renaissance style. The hand-laid encaustic tile floor, curving double staircase, and soaring vaulted ceilings are sure to captivate guests — and their Instagram followers. Oh, and did we mention you’ll be dining near Michelle Obama’s portrait?
Seated Dinner: 300 | Reception: 366
3. The Luce Foundation Center’s Skylight is Literally the Length of a City Block
You won’t have any colleagues sneaking out early when you host an event in the Luce Foundation Center. The marble floor, elaborate columns, and a city-block-long skylight set a scene that could be straight out of a movie. The space’s verticality will allow your guests to get lost in a sea of painting, sculpture, folk art, and craft collections featured in floor-to-ceiling displays. The Luce Foundation Center is suited for events large and small, so if you don’t know if you’re hosting an event for 200 or 500, this is the space for you.
Seated Dinner: 300 | Reception: 600
4. The Rotunda & Portico is the best of both worlds
For an intimate reception, there is no better space than the Portrait Gallery’s Rotunda and Portico. The Portico’s Athenian columns frame a quintessential DC backdrop, creating the perfect outdoor space for an elegant reception. Guests can step inside and head in to the Rotunda to take in sweeping views of the grand staircase, the famous America’s Presidents Gallery, and the courtyard. The only problem will be figuring out how to top this event the following year!
Seated Dinner: 50 | Reception: 100
5. Art. All the art.
The highlight of hosting an event at the National Portrait Gallery is your crowd-free access to the gallery’s collection and exhibitions. It’s like Night at the Museum without all the CGI.
Walking the halls of the National Portrait Gallery takes you on a tour of our nation’s history. The recently refurbished America’s Presidents gallery filters American history through the lens of our nation’s past leaders, while the upcoming Eye to I exhibit reflects our history through the eyes of American artists. For those who want to take a trip down a more recent memory lane, One Year: 1968, An American Odyssey takes guests back to the year the National Portrait Gallery opened, a year in which politics and artistry, activism and athleticism collided, forever changing the course of our culture and our nation.
For event inquiries, please contact the National Portrait Gallery at NPGHostanEvent@si.edu or 202-633-3111.