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So you know the difference between a Monet and a Hopper. Or you’ve uncovered the secret to understanding abstract art. Maybe your dream date is even at a museum.

When we think of Washington, the art and culture may be the last thing to come to mind. But just below the pomp and circumstance is a home to some of the most exclusive art communities in the world.

Whether you’re more of a Leonardo lady or a Van Gogh guy, here are some of the best art organizations to put on your radar right now:

The Arts Club of Washington

Located in the former home of James Monroe, this cultural group attracts DC’s most eccentric of artists. To thrive in this club, potential members must have a strong passion for art of all kinds.

While the club is open to professionals of all disciplines, it mostly attracts those established in the visual, theatrical, and literary fields. The club exists as a cultural haven for its members– providing classical and jazz concerts, a complimentary art studio, and entrance into 25 reciprocal clubs all over the world. Membership dues exceed $1000 per year.

2017 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006 | (202) 331-7282 | Website

International Club of DC

Although this club exists solely within DC, it holds true to its cause, containing over 47,000 members from more than 90 countries, while partnering with over 80 embassies. The club hosts concerts, festivals, and receptions for members. Young professionals with a passion for culture and a desire to meet others from various ethnic backgrounds should look into this club. Basic memberships are free of charge.


The Cultivist

The Cultivist is the arts club for the international art lover. Jet around the world and you’ll find member-friendly museums, events, and private showings exclusive to Cultivist members. With a single membership card, art and culture-enthusiasts slip through museums, galleries, and art fairs worldwide, all with no tickets or bookings. Featured in publications such as Vogue and the New York Times, the Cultivist lives up to its mission of offering members unique opportunities to delve into the realm of global art and culture. Membership rates in the U.S. start at $2500.


Cosmos Club

Three presidents, 36 Nobel Prize winners, 61 Pulitzer Prize winners—these are the people who make up the Cosmos Club. This cultural club is one the world’s most esteemed and membership into the group is highly rare. Only those distinguished in science, literature, the arts, or public service are considered for membership. But don’t fret, tours of the club are open to the public.

2121 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 | (202) 387-7783 | Website

SW Arts Club

Within the art and culture realm, the SW Arts Club might be Washington’s greatest hidden gem. While most are unaware of the club, this obscurity only adds to the awesomeness of the group’s artistry. Fueled on the modern and urban culture within DC, the group offers a variety of visual art exhibits based upon city life. Lovers of photography and paintings can find insight and beauty to take away from the open galleries in the club’s vibrant art annex. The club sometimes even offers its visitors freebies, like iced coffees from local cafes.

700 Delaware Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024 | (202) 554-0103 | Website


Photography by Samuel Zeller