Metro Weekly

Museums & Galleries: Spring Arts Preview 2017

In The Tower: Theaster Gates — The Minor Arts

Several Washington museums are reflecting on American legends John F. Kennedy and Ella Fitzgerald, both born 100 years ago. Even more are honoring the April centennial of the year the U.S. began sending troops to Europe in what became World War I. Even visual artists were recruited in the cause, something documented in no less than three exhibits at the Library of Congress and the Air and Space and American History museums.

Not every museum is focused on the past, and a few are very much focused on the budding present, including a collaboration between the Hirshhorn and the Botanic Garden offering a glorious display of orchids. But for sheer verve in displays of eccentricity, nothing this spring beats the Mansion at Strathmore, where you can view drawings made exclusively using colored pencils — as well as a sculptural display of cassette tapes featuring original music inspired, indirectly, by Facebook.

It just goes to prove: creativity really can spark from anywhere.

1708 GALLERY

319 West Broad St.
Richmond, Va.
804-643-1708
1708gallery.org

  • Rudy Shepherd: We are all Trayvon Martin — The role of the artist as witness in contemporary society is explored in paintings and drawings investigating current events (Now-3/25)

AMERICAN VISIONARY ART MUSEUM

800 Key Highway
Baltimore, Md.
410-244-1900
avam.org

  • Matt Sesow: Shock and Awe — An original exhibition of 150 paintings by D.C.-based self-taught artist (Now-6/4)
  • Yummm! The History, Fantasy and Future of Food — The quirkiest museum around presents works by 34 artists exploring concepts of food and hunger. Paul Vilja, Gil Batie, Wayne Coyne, Christian Twamley, Jerry Beck, Wendy Brackman, Ramon Alejandro, Ruby C. Williams, Jim Buhler, Joe Bello, Bernard Stiegler, and Craig Norton are among those represented (Now-9/3)

ARTHUR M. SACKLER GALLERY: SMITHSONIAN’S MUSEUM OF ASIAN ART

1050 Independence Ave. SW
202-633-1000
asia.si.edu

  • Kung Fu Wildstyle — A month-long exhibition and program series highlighting connections between African American and East Asian art, music and film, as seen through contemporary street art by hip-hop impresario Fab 5 Freddy and Hong Kong graffiti artist MC Yan (4/1-30)
  • Inventing Utamaro: A Japanese Masterpiece Rediscovered — Discovered in 2014, the long-lost painting Snow at Fukagawa is displayed along with two others by legendary but mysterious 18th century artist that idealizes famous pleasure districts in what is now Tokyo (4/8-7/9)
  • The Glazed Elephant: Ceramic Traditions in Cambodia (Opens 4/15)
  • Peacock Room REMIX: Darren Waterston’s Filthy Lucre — Painter reimagines James McNeill Whistler’s famed room as a decadent ruin collapsing under the weight of its own creative excess (Now-6/4)
  • Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan — Charting the success of a decade-old British nonprofit that has helped revive Afghanistan’s proud cultural legacy by turning a former Kabul slum into a vibrant cultural and economic center (Now-10/29)

THE ATHENAEUM

201 Prince St.
Alexandria, Va.
703-548-0035
nvfaa.org

  • Virginia Plants and Pollinators — Botanic illustration and photography exhibit coincides with Historic Garden Week and the Old Town Garden Tour (4/6-5/14)
  • Pattern and Repetition: Reni Gower and Stephen Boocks — Two artists using repetitive shapes and patterns, combining both precision and randomness to create meditative and mesmerizing pieces (5/18-6/25)
  • Pairs/Fiber Art — Trudi Van Dyke curates a show in which selected artists were asked to develop pieces in relation to one another (6/29-8/6)
  • Leslie Nolan — An exhibition of solo works (8/10-9/17)
  • The Hand Print Workshop: 20 Years of Partnership in Print — Dennis O’Neill has fostered the work of printmakers across America and internationally, including many leading artists from the former Soviet Union (Now-4/2)

THE BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART

10 Art Museum Drive
Baltimore, Md.
443-573-1700
artbma.org

  • Off the Shelf: Modern & Contemporary Artists’ Books (3/12-6/25)
  • Front Room: Adam Pendleton — Using the irrationality of Dada as a means of re-envisioning race in America (3/26-8/13)
  • On Paper: Finding Form — Geometric forms are made expressive in these contemporary drawings from the museum’s collection (Now-4/30)
  • Shifting Views: People & Politics in Contemporary African Art — Pointedly political perspectives on the lives of Africans and their diasporic descendants (Now-6/18)
  • Timeless Weft: Ancient Tapestries and the Art of Louise B. Wheatley — Intimate exhibition celebrating the 40-year career of Maryland artist (Now-7/30)
  • Queer Interiors — As part of the museum’s broad Imagining Home exhibition, artists Rahne Alexander and Jaimes Mayhew created a larger-than-life bed and furnishings and a multimedia wall display known as the Baltimore LGBTQI+ Home Movie Quilt presenting a growing, crowd-sourced portrait of the city’s queer communities (Now-8/31)

DEL RAY ARTISANS

Nicholas A. Colasanto Center
2704 Mount Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, Va.
703-731-8802
delrayartisans.org

  • Through The Looking Glass — An ode to the childhood classic with personal twists and tales by member artists (Now-3/26)
  • Reflecting on our Future Reception — Celebrating the gallery’s 25th anniversary (3/19)
  • Breaking The Glass Ceiling – The Sky’s The Limit (3/31-4/30)
  • A New Beginning (Now-5/21, VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital)
  • Speak Your Mind — In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, celebrating the relationship between art and the human mind (5/5-28)
  • Thanks for all the Fish (6/2-25)
  • Clowning Around (8/4-27)

FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY

Great Hall
201 East Capitol St. SE
202-544-7077
folger.edu

  • 500 Years of Treasures from Oxford — In the U.S. for the first time, a selection of 50 manuscripts and early printed books, including an illuminated copy of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in Middle English, a wonderfully decorated French paraphrase of the Old Testament, and a series of ground-breaking works in the history of science and medicine (Now-4/30)
  • A First Folio of Shakespeare — The first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, including the only source for 18 of his plays, is on permanent display (Ongoing)

FORD’S THEATRE

Center for Education and Leadership
514 10th St. NW
202-397-7328
fordstheatre.org

  • Lincoln and Leadership — Exploring the qualities of good leadership through the lens of Abraham Lincoln’s key principles and examining why he has remained relevant into the 21st Century (Ongoing)
  • The Lincoln Book Tower — A winding staircase surrounds a 34-foot tower of books about Lincoln, containing a fraction of the roughly 15,000 titles that have been written about the 16th president (Ongoing)

GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY MUSEUM: TEXTILE MUSEUM
701 21st St. NW
202-994-5200
museum.gwu.edu

  • Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair — Stunning ensembles by leading designers telling the story of the fair’s creator Eunice W. Johnson, who overcame racial prejudice to bring global fashion to African-American audiences (3/18-7/24)
  • Foundations for a Nation: Architectural Images from the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection — Revealing how the U.S. Capitol and White House were developed as architectural icons for Washington (Opens 4/29)
  • Your Next President…! The Campaign Art of Mark and Rosalind Shenkman — Rare campaign flags and patriotic textiles illustrate how presidential campaigning developed in the 19th century (Now-4/9)
  • A Collector’s Vision: Creating the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection — Highlights of the maps, prints, rare letters, photographs, and drawings documenting the history of Washington, D.C. (Ongoing)

HILL CENTER

Old Navy Hospital
921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.
202-549-4172
HillCenterDC.org

  • The Hill Rag’s Art and the City: A Column by Jim Magner — Artists represented include Alan Braley, Thomas Bucci, Patrick Campbell, Ellen Cornett, Dana Ellyn, Tati Kaupp, Jan Kern, Andrei Kushnir, Anne Marchand, Bruce McNeil, Barbara Nuss and Matt Sesow (Now-4/30)

HILLWOOD MUSEUM & GARDENS

4155 Linnean Ave. NW
202-686-8500
hillwoodmuseum.org

  • Spectacular Gems and Jewelry from the Merriweather Post Collection — The story behind some of the remarkable stones and the jewelry into which they were transformed into one of the greatest collections of the 20th century (6/10-1/1/18)
  • Philip Haas: Four Seasons — Four larger-than-life, three-dimensional portrait busts — sculptural interpretations of Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s celebrated botanical paintings — become the first-ever art installations in the Hillwood gardens (Now-3/31)
  • Friends and Fashion: An American Diplomat in 1820s Russia — Watercolor portraits that give a sense of life among the Russian and European aristocracy a century ago (Now-6/11)

HILLYER ART SPACE

9 Hillyer Court NW
202-338-0680
hillyerartspace.org

  • Preconceptual Zeitgeist IV — Curated by Sondra Arkin, Ellyn Weiss and Thomas Drymon (Now-4/2)
  • Osvaldo Mesa (Now-4/2)
  • Zoe Linn Jarvis (4/7-30)
  • Bonnie Crawford Kotula (4/7-30)
  • Judith Pratt (4/7-30)
  • Julie Willis (5/5-28)
  • Craig Subler (6/2-7/2)
  • Matthew McGlaughlin (6/2-7/2)
  • Julia Kwon (7/7-30)
  • Jessica Burnam (7/7-30)
  • Gloria Duan (7/7-30)
  • Melanie Gritzka de Villar (8/4-27)

HIRSHHORN MUSEUM & SCULPTURE GARDEN

700 Independence Ave. SW
202-633-1000
hirshhorn.si.edu

  • Yayoi Kusauma: Infinity Mirrors — Lose yourself in the immersive mirrored rooms created by the world-renowned Japanese artist (Now-5/14)
  • Orchids: A Moment — The 22nd annual exhibition presented in collaboration with the U.S. Botanic Garden and Smithsonian Gardens is a showcase of hundreds of fragrant orchids (Now-5/14)
  • Linn Meyers: Our View From Here — D.C. artist’s temporary site-specific wall drawing, stretching the entire circumference of the inner-circle galleries (Now-8/20)
  • Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s (Now-5/13)
  • Bettina Pousttchi: World Time Clock — A series of 24 photographs taken in 24 different time zones, in which a public clock is captured at the same moment: five minutes before 2 p.m. (Now-4/23)
  • Suspended Animation — Six artists who use digitally generated images as a tool to question conceptions of reality (Now-3/12)
  • Barbara Kruger: Belief+Doubt — Installation questions ideology, social norms, and consumption (Ongoing)

INTERNATIONAL SPY MUSEUM

800 F St. NW
202-393-7798
spymuseum.org

  • Original George Washington Spy Letter — A letter penned by the first Commander-in-Chief initiating a spy network, commissioning his trusted confidant Nathaniel Sackett as “intelligence director” (Now-3/31)
  • Operation Spy — A one-hour, adrenaline-fueled immersive mission
  • Spy In The City — Armed with a GPS device, museumgoers embark on a high-stakes operation outside the museum’s neighborhood
  • Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains — Over 100 pieces from the Bond films explore how the evildoers and their plots have changed to reflect the times
  • Permanent Exhibition — The largest collection of international espionage artifacts on public display, spanning the history of the tradecraft around the globe, and telling stories of individual spies and their missions, tools, and techniques, with interactive displays

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First St. SE
202-707-8000
loc.gov/exhibits

  • Baseball’s Greatest Hits: The Music of Our National Game — Featuring baseball sheet music from the collections of the Music Division, representing only a small fraction of more than 400 published songs about the game (Now-7/22)
  • World War I: American Artists View the Great War — Documenting the work of American artists who galvanized public interest in World War I, from its onset through its aftermath (Now-8/19)
  • Mapping a Growing Nation: From Independence to Statehood — Displaying one of only seven known copies of Abel Buell’s eighteenth-century New and Correct Map of the United States of North America, along with other early maps (Ongoing)
  • Hope for America: Performers, Politics and Pop Culture — Drawing from the personal papers, joke files, films, radio and television broadcasts and other materials donated by Bob Hope and his family (Ongoing)
  • Herblock Gallery – Every six months the Library presents a selection of 10 cartoons demonstrating the value of the late Washington Post editorial cartoonist’s pointed commentaries on the state of affairs (Ongoing)

LOGAN FRINGE ARTS SPACE

1358 Florida Ave. NE.
202-737-7230
capitalfringe.org

  • Community Collective Photography Showcase — Creative DC, Exposed DC, DC Focused, IGDC and StreetMeetDC join forces for a showcase of 48 unique photographs (4/8-5/6)

LONG VIEW GALLERY

1234 9th St. NW
202-232-4788
longviewgallery.com

  • ReFresh VII — Featuring new work by gallery favorites including Mike Weber, Ryan McCoy, Cheryl Wassenaar and Colin Winterbottom (Now-3/19)
  • Encaustics — Featuring work by Georgia Nassikas, Shawna Moore and Lisa Kairos(3/23-4/23)
  • Wood Block Prints — Featuring work by Eve Stockton and Matt Neuman (4/27-5/28)
  • Gian Garofalo (6/1-7/9)
  • Rebecca Coles (7/14-8/24)

MANSION AT STRATHMORE

5301 Tuckerman Lane
North Bethesda
301-581-5100
strathmore.org

  • Chroma — Exploring the vast reaches of photography through works that experiment, question and investigate the medium, whether by using toys or electricity rather than light (Now-4/2)
  • Interiors — Celebrating modern works for the home, whether furniture, tapestries or objects, illustrating how art elevates the everyday into the sublime (Now-4/2)
  • All My Friends by Daniel Watkins — Facebook profile pictures are pegged to a specific musical note, resulting in a piano arrangement dictated by the image’s digital data, and then recorded onto cassettes, arranged sculpturally (Now-4/2)
  • 31st Biennial Exhibition of the Creative Crafts Council (4/8-5/21)
  • Drawing for Art (5/24-6/6)
  • 25th Annual Colored Pencil Society of America International Exhibition (6/11)
  • Jennifer Kahn Barlow — Some of D.C.’s most delicious desserts and dining spots immortalized in a series of detailed and tantalizing oil paintings (Ongoing, Comcast Lounge)

NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM

Independence Ave at 6th St. SW
202-633-2214
airandspace.si.edu

  • Artist Soldiers: Artistic Expression in the First World War — WWI marked a turning point with the appearance of artwork by firsthand participants, both professional artists recruited by the U.S. Army and soldiers creating while in the battlefield, as documented in this joint exhibition with the American History Museum (4/6-1/31/19)
  • America by Air: The History of Commercial Aviation in the United States from Airmail to Airlines — Showing how the federal government has shaped the industry, how improvements in technology have revolutionized air travel, and how the flying experience has changed (Ongoing)
  • Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall — Museum’s central exhibition space is undergoing major renovation but will re-open on the institution’s 40th anniversary to the day (Ongoing)

NATIONAL BUILDING MUSEUM

401 F St. NW
202-272-2448
nbm.org

  • Architecture of an Asylum: St. Elizabeths 1852-2017 — The story of the sprawling National Historic Landmark campus and how it reflects evolving theories of how to care for the mentally ill (3/25-1/15/18)
  • Timber City — Demonstrating the wide range of benefits offered by cutting-edge methods of timber construction, including strength, fire resistance, sustainability, and beauty (Now-9/10)
  • The Landscape Architecture of Lawrence Halprin — Strong, expressive forms that evoke the structures and processes of nature, often with terracing enlivened by flowing water, are hallmarks of the architect’s revolutionary work (Now-4/16)
  • House & Home — Surveying houses both familiar and surprising, through past and present –- including a same-sex couple –- challenging ideas about what it means to live at home in America (Ongoing)
  • Summer Block Party — Chicago’s Studio Gang architecture and urbanism practice will design the 2017 summer installation (Summer)

NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART

3rd Street and Constitution Avenue NW
202-737-4215
nga.gov

  • East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography — The first exhibition to focus exclusively on photographs made in the eastern half of the country during the 19th century, photos that helped shape America’s national identity as well as played a role in the emergence of environmentalism (3/12-7/16)
  • The Woodner Collections: Master Drawings from Seven Centuries — Approximately 100 drawings dating from the 14th to the 20th century and including works by da Vinci, Durer, Raphael, Degas and Picasso (3/12-7/16)
  • In The Library: Process and Participation in the Work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude — A series of photographs by the husband-and-wife photography duo Harry Shunk and Janos Kender capturing the famous European husband-and-wife duo that created installations by transforming buildings or landscapes through massive wrapping techniques (Now-4/14)
  • Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence (Now-6/4)
  • Special Installation: Rineke Dijkstra — Four large-scale portraits of adolescents as well as the 1991 self-portrait that inspired much of the 57-year-old Dutch artist’s more recent work (Now-7/16)
  • The Urban Scene: 1920-1950 — 25 black-and-white prints exploring the spectacle of urban modernity by luminaries including Louis Lozowick and Reginald Marsh and other artists of the era (Now-8/6)
  • In The Tower: Theaster Gates: The Minor Arts — Artist salvages discarded materials found in and around his native Chicago, in the process resurrecting as art declining urban institutions and traditions, re-envisioning place (Now-9/4)

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MUSEUM

1145 17th St. NW
202-857-7700
ngmuseum.com

  • @NatGeo: The Most Popular Instagram Photos — A look at the magic and influence of photography in the digital age through the world’s top media brand on Instagram (Now-4/30)
  • Earth Explorers — An interactive, hands-on showcase of the work of some of the most innovative and exciting National Geographic explorers (Now-9/10)

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY & CULTURE

14th St. & Constitution Ave. NW
844-750-3013
Nmaahc.si.edu

  • Same-day, timed-entry passes are available every day at the crack of dawn online first-clicked, first-served, and a limited number of walk-up passes are available every day starting at 1 p.m. Otherwise, advance timed entry passes are available online months in advance. Once you snag a timed-entry pass, you’ll be able to see the collection of 37,000 objects grouped into sections ranging from specific region — American South, American West — to broad topics — Civil Rights, Clothing & Dress, Music. Further heightening demand is the James Beard Foundation-recognized 400-seat Sweet Home Cafe showcasing traditional African-American cuisine broken into four regions: the Northern States, the Agricultural South, the Creole Coast, and the West Range.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY

1400 Constitution Ave. NW
202-633-1000
americanhistory.si.edu

  • Ella Fitzgerald at 100: The First Lady of Song — One of the greatest American singers helped pave the way for other women to follow her inspiring example in the male-dominated field of jazz that still reverberates a century after her birth (3/30-4/2/18)
  • Advertising War — Before the advent of radio and motion pictures, art and illustration were the primary forms of mass communication, which is why governments, militaries and service organizations hired artists and illustrators to depict the ravages of war and to rally patriotism with the outbreak of WWI (Opens 4/6)
  • Gen. John J. Pershing and World War I, 1917-1918 — A re-creation of General Pershing’s war office, giving a sense of America’s global reach and influence a century ago (Opens 4/6)
  • Modern Medicine and the Great War — WWI provided a testing ground for the application of new medical technologies and procedures, and in some cases accelerated their general acceptance or development (Opens 4/6)
  • Uniformed Women and the Great War — A display of uniforms highlighting the varied roles of women in WWI (Opens 4/6)
  • Cultivating America’s Gardens — An examination of gardening in the U.S., from early horticulture practices to Victory gardens to the romance of the American lawn (Opens 5/4)
  • American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith — A display of prominent artifacts highlighting the history of citizen participation, debate and compromise from the nation’s formation to today (Opens 6/28)
  • Many Voices, One Nation (Opens 6/28)
  • Religion in Early America — National treasures from the Smithsonian’s collection as well as significant objects on loan will help tell the American story of religious diversity, freedom and growth (Opens 6/28)
  • American Ballet — A display of costumes worn by ballerinas Violette Verdy, Marianna Tcherkassky and Misty Copeland (Now-4/30)
  • Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II — Exploring the painful history of Japanese Americans post-Pearl Harbor, focused on Executive Order 9066, FDR’s order that resulted in internment camps for which the U.S. Congress and President Reagan later apologized and offered restitution (Now-2/19/18)
  • American Stories – An engaging mix of artifacts telling the various stories of the country’s history, from the Pilgrims’ arrival to the historic 2008 election (Ongoing)

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW
202-633-1000
mnh.si.edu

  • Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend — Showcasing what is known about how narwhals sense their environment and exploring exciting new scientific discoveries about these animals in the context of a changing arctic climate (Opens August)
  • Primordial Landscapes: Iceland Revealed — Photographer Feodor Pitcairn and poet Ari Trausti Guðmundsson reveal a land of fire, ice, hardy life and natural beauty (Now-April)
  • Objects of Wonder — Explore the breadth, scope and splendor of the world’s most extensive natural history research collection, including many exceptional objects rarely seen by the public (Now-2019)
  • Nature’s Best Photography: Best of the Best — The 21st annual exhibition presents 83 fine art prints accompanied by an HD video, all courtesy of the Windland Smith Rice International Awards (Now-Sept.)
  • 100 Years of America’s National Park Service: Preserve, Enjoy, Inspire — Over 50 images by award‐winning photographers showcasing the majesty, diversity and importance of America’s national parks (Now-Aug.)
  • The Last American Dinosaurs: Discovering a Lost World — As it develops a new National Fossil Hall, this exhibition is one place for the museum to display its ancient bones collection (Now-2018)
  • Mud Masons of Mali — Djenne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mali, is famous for its spectacular architecture thanks to its centuries-old tradition of masons, whose work is highlighted through archival and contemporary photographs and early engravings (Indefinite)

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN

4th Street and Independence Avenue SW
202-633-1000
nmai.si.edu

  • Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces — Documenting the remarkable yet woefully unrecognized history of American Indian and Alaska Native men and women who have participated in every major U.S. military encounter since the Revolutionary War, serving at a higher rate in proportion to their population than any other ethnic group; this exhibit has spurred on plans for a National Native American Veterans Memorial (Now-Jan. 2018)
  • Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World — Organized around the solar year, this exhibition focuses on indigenous cosmologies, or the worldviews and philosophies related to the creation and order of the universe that guide American Indian communities (Now-April 2019)
  • For a Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw — A rare insider’s perspective on the Native America of the Southern Plains during the mid-20th century (Now-6/4)
  • The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire — One of the monumental engineering achievements in history, this network of more than 20,000 miles crossed mountains and tropical lowlands, rivers and desserts, linking the Inka capital Cusco with the farthest reaches of its empire — and still serves Andean communities today in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile (Now-1/1/20)
  • Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations — Tells the story of the treaties signed between early U.S. leaders and influential Native diplomats (Now-Spring 2020)
  • Return to a Native Place: Algonquian Peoples of the Chesapeake — A look at the Native peoples of our region, told through photos, maps, ceremonial and everyday objects, and interactive displays (Ongoing)

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WOMEN IN THE ARTS

1250 New York Ave. NW
202-783-5000
nmwa.org

  • Chromatic Scale: Prints by Polly Apfelbaum — Philadelphia installation artist whose printed works of striking colors and bold abstract shapes, alternately geometric and organic, reference Minimalist and Pop art (3/10-7/2)
  • Revival — Works by Petah Coyne, Lalla Essaydi and Joana Vasconcelos, among others, illuminate how women regenerate sculpture and photo-based art to profound expressive effect in a celebration of the museum’s 30th anniversary (6/23-9/10)
  • Border Crossing: Jami Porter Lara — Albuquerque-based artist creates clay sculptures resembling that ubiquitous icon of modern life, the plastic bottle (Now-5/4)
  • New Ground: The Southwest of Maria Martinez and Laura Gilpin — Illuminating feminine aspects of the wild, wild American west, at least through the pottery and photography of these female mid-20th century Southwestern artists (Now-5/14)

NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY

8th and F Streets NW
202-633-1000
npg.si.edu

  • America’s Presidents: Temporary Installation — Set up in the west gallery on the second floor while the permanent gallery space is refurbished and updated (3/24-9/4)
  • The Face of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now — Drawing its title from a military history book by John Keegan, exhibition explores and assesses the human costs of ongoing wars through portraiture (4/7-1/28/18)
  • Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image — The German-born international glamourpuss brought androgyny to the silver screen and the broader American culture in the mid-20th century (6/16-4/15/18)
  • Recent Acquisitions (Now-11/12)
  • Bill Viola: The Moving Portrait — Portraits focused on the face and the body and employing metaphors of water, light and spirituality (Now-5/7)
  • Lincoln’s Contemporaries — Meet the fascinating people beyond the known politicians and the military leaders of the Civil War (Now-5/19)
  • One Life: Babe Ruth (Now-5/21)
  • Double Take: Daguerreian Portrait Pairs — Seven subjects, everyone from Jefferson Davis to Frederick Douglass, are seen in multiple captures through an early photographic process(Now-6/4)
  • The Struggle for Justice — A showcase of those who have struggled to achieve civil rights for disenfranchised or marginalized groups, from Frederick Douglass to Cesar Chavez, Betty Friedan to Sylvia Rivera (Ongoing)
  • Nelson Shanks: The Four Justices — Artist’s monumental group portrait, a tribute to the four female justices who have served on the U.S. Supreme Court (Ongoing)

NEWSEUM

555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
888-NEWSEUM
newseum.org

  • Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe — Revived for a limited time one of the Newseum’s most popular exhibits to mark the centennial of JFK’s birth (Opens 9/29)
  • Pictures of the Year at 75 — Celebrating one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious photojournalism competitions, founded in 1944 at the University of Missouri (Opens 4/6)
  • 1967: Civil Rights at 50 — Powerful photos and images of historic newspapers and magazines explore how African Americans used their First Amendment rights to fight for change, specifically the growing militancy of the struggle for racial justice a half-century ago (Now-1/2/18)
  • 9/11 Gallery Sponsored by Comcast (Permanent)
  • Inside Today’s FBI — An update to the Newseum’s popular FBI exhibit explores how the agency fights crime in the age of global terrorism and cybercrime, with news stories and dozens of new artifacts (Indefinitely)
  • Journalists Memorial — Honoring reporters who’ve faced threats on the job or died in the line of duty (Permanent)
  • Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement — Exploring the new generation of student leaders that emerged in the 1960s to fight segregation and fight for civil rights (Indefinitely)

THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION

1600 21st St. NW
202-387-2151
phillipscollection.org

  • George Condo: The Way I Think — A survey of drawings and paintings by prolific painter known for his rich pictorial inventions, existential humor and imaginative portraits incorporating a hybridization of art-historical influences (3/11-6/25)
  • Markus Lupertz — The first comprehensive survey in the U.S. of works by artist who began painting in a postwar Germany dominated by American Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art (5/27-9/3)
  • Toulouse-Lautrec: Illustrates the Belle Epoque — Drawn from artist’s most prolific years of capturing the heart of Parisian nightlife in dynamic cabaret and cafe-concert scenes (Now-4/30)
  • One-On-One: Enrique Martine Celaya, Albert Pinkham Ryder — Part of a series, one work by Celaya is placed in conversation with several paintings by Ryder (Now-4/2)
  • Intersections: Arlene Shechet: From Here on Now — New York-based sculptor known for off-kilter ceramic sculptures (Now-5/7)
  • Jake Berthot: From the Collection and Promised Gifts (Now-4/2)
  • Jacob Lawrence: The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture — A special exhibition of 15 rarely seen silkscreen prints portraying the life of the former slave turned revolutionary leader in the fight for Haiti’s independence (Now-4/23)
  • Women of Influence: Elmira Bier, Minnie Byers and Marjorie Phillips — Examining the critical roles these three women have played in shaping the Phillips (Now-4/2)

RENWICK GALLERY

Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW
202-633-1000
renwick.americanart.si.edu

  • June Schwarcz: Invention and Variation — Artworks spanning the entirety of the career of this pioneering artist who influenced a new generation of artists with her technical innovations combined with inventive, unorthodox designs (3/10-8/27)
  • Voulkos: The Breakthrough Years — The first exhibition to focus on the early career of Peter Voulkos, or from 1953-1968, when the potter’s radical methods and ideas opened up the possibilities for ceramics in ways that are still being felt today (4/7-8/20)
  • Connections: Contemporary Craft — Highlighting new acquisitions updating the presentation of crafts and decorative arts for the 21st century (Ongoing)

SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM

8th and F Sts. NW
202-633-7970
americanart.si.edu

  • American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times — A golden age of photojournalism meant that no politician was photographed more than JFK in mid-20th century America, as documented in images capturing the dramatic scope of his life (5/3-9/17)
  • Down These Mean Streets: Community and Place in Urban Photography — The work of 10 photographers drive to document and reflect on the stage of American cities during the transformative mid-20th century (5/12-8/6)
  • Donald Sultan: The Disaster Paintings — An industrial landscape series of large-scale illustrations of robust, man-made structures, from industrial plants to train cars, depicted as fragile constructs that can be undone by catastrophic events (5/27-9/4)
  • Isamu Noguchi, Archaic/Modern — First full-scale exhibition to explore how the ancient world shaped this American artist, who was among the most innovative sculptors last century (Now-3/19)
  • Gene Davis: Hot Beat — A selection of 15 classic, large, brightly colored stripe paintings from one of the leading Color Field artists (Now-4/2)
  • The Art of Romaine Brooks — A definitive collection of 50 paintings and drawings by the lesbian artist (Now-10/2)
  • Measured Perfection: Hiram Powers’ Greek Slave — Featuring work by one of the most innovative sculptors of the 19th Century (Now-7/9)
  • Harlem Heroes: Photographs by Carl Van Vechten — Many central figures in the Harlem Renaissance were captured by this photographer (Now-4/2)

TOUCHSTONE GALLERY

901 New York Ave. NW
202-347-2787
touchstonegallery.com

  • Common Threads by April M. Rimpo — Exploring repeated images from around the world through the use of bold acrylics and watercolors (Now-3/26)
  • Scribbles: An Urban Art Series by Lisa Tureson — A mixed-media series inspired by a wall on an urban street in Denmark in which layers of decaying paint revealed crumbling evidence of so many people and so much bygone time (Now-3/26)

UNITED STATES BOTANIC GARDEN

100 Maryland Ave. SW
202-225-8333
usbg.gov

  • You Can Grow It! — Intended to inspire the experienced and novice gardener to have more fruitful experiences, exhibit documents and showcases the basics of growing plants and offers tips and solutions to many common plant problems (Now-10/15)
Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.