The city's first museum of modern art is its richest, with a fine collection of paintings from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries showcased in the Dupont Circle mansion of its founder, steel heir Duncan Phillips. The permanent holdings, including works by Picasso, van Gogh, Cézanne, Degas, Rodin, Rothko, and O'Keeffe, were largely acquired by Phillips himself; in 1923 he shocked Washington society by paying the staggering sum of $125,000 for Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party, the collection's undisputed highlight. Rotating temporary exhibits focus on themes as diverse as French Impressionism and the contemporary landscape art of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
Tip: On Sunday afternoons in winter and spring, follow the crowds to classical music concerts in the mansion's genteel and graceful Music Room.
Admission: Free Tuesday-Friday; $10 Saturday-Sunday; $12 for temporary exhibitions all week. Closed Monday.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.