Metro Weekly

Museums & Galleries: Fall Arts Preview 2017

Every exhibit, demonstration, art show and gallery event in DC this fall!

Art — Illustration: Scott G. Brooks

The Freer Gallery of Art reopens with a weekend-long, outdoor celebration trumpeting its prime real estate on the National Mall. Similarly, the National Portrait Gallery celebrates the fact that the Old Patent Office was retrofitted for its permanent use 50 years ago.

Somewhat in contrast, two local organizations are experimenting with more nomadic approaches. There’s CulturalDC’s year-long plan to present a succession of artists in a shipping container, retrofitted as a mobile exhibition space. And then there’s the Washington Project for the Arts’ concept, still in the gestating phase, to develop a visual art “Lending Library.”

There are plenty of other visual art efforts afoot seeking to shake things up, especially in a broader, more global, political sense. Upcoming Civil War-inspired installations at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Hirshhorn seem poised to stoke debate in drawing parallels to today and conveying the sense that very, very little has changed, much less gotten better. Still more exhibits — at the Hirshhorn, at Hillyer, at FotoWeekDC among them — bear witness to the serious struggles artists and everyday citizens are facing today in other parts of the world, from China to Russia to Iran.


319 West Broad St.
Richmond, Va.

  • Bethany Collins: of a piece — Through translation and transposition, drawing and installation, Chicago-based artist explores multiplicities and contradictions in language as a lens for considering racial identity (Now-10/21)
  •  InLight Richmond 2016 – A one-night, public exhibition of light-based art installations and performance, kicking off with a Community Lantern Parade (11/3)


Katzen Arts Center
4400 Wisconsin Ave. NW

  • Twist-Layer-Pour: Sondra N. Arkin, Joan Belmar, and Mary Early — Site-specific installations (Now-10/22)
  •  I Am — An East-West arts initiative organized by Caravan (Now-10/22)
  •  Making a Scene: The Jefferson Place Gallery — Presented by the Alper Initiative for Washington Art (Now-10/22)
  •  Tethered to the Cradle: Kinetic Work by Christopher Carter — Sculptures of ready-made forms intended to invite viewer interaction, reflection and contemplation and inspired by artist’s experiences and memories of adolescence (Now-12/17, Sculpture Garden)
  •  William Woodward: The Seven Deadly Sins — Artist tries to imagine Federico Fellini, Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton as painters, and how they might have depicted their subjects in whimsical and elusive ways rather than strident and explicit interpretations (Now-12/17)
  •  Between Two Rounds of Fire, The Exile of The Sea — Arab modern and contemporary works from the Barjeel Art Foundation (Now-12/17)


800 Key Highway
Baltimore, Md.

  • The Great Mystery — One of the world’s most curious museums is letting its curiosity run wild in a year-long, partly Albert Einstein-inspired exhibition celebrating life’s mysteries, the ultimate source of artistic creativity, scientific inquiry and social progress; on display are works of 44 visionary artists, research scientists, astronauts, mystics and philosophers (10/7-9/2/18)
  •  Reverend Albert Lee Wagner: Miracle at Midnight — A one-man show in celebration of one of America’s most prominent visionary artists, curated from 50 masterpieces (Ongoing)


201 Prince St.
Alexandria, Va.

  • Third Annual Athenaeum Invitational — Artists, both those specially invited and others who answered a call for submissions, create works showing a sense of lightness or hope emanating from something dark (9/21-10/29)
  •  Plein Air Sketches — The display of quick, on-site sketches created by members of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters (11/2-12/10)


10 Art Museum Drive
Baltimore, Md.

  • Tomas Saraceno: Entangled Orbits — Argentina-born artist and architect has created an ambitious, site-specific installation, a luminous, “spiderweb”-esque sculpture to be suspended across the museum’s East Lobby (10/1-6/10/18)
  •  Spiral Play: Loving in the ’80s — 12 brilliantly colored, three-dimensional collages, some monumental in scale, made by the artist Al Loving that expanded on the definition of modern painting (10/18-4/15/18)
  •  Front Room: Njideka Akunyili Crosby — Los Angeles-based artist debuts a suite of new paintings drawing on her experiences of moving from Nigeria and building relationships in the U.S. (10/25-3/18/18)
  •  Crossing Borders: Mexican Modernist Prints — Approximately 30 prints, drawings and photographs from the BMA’s collection by Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Elizabeth Catlett (11/19-3/11/18)
  •  Front Room: Adam Pendleton — Using the irrationality of Dada as a means of re-envisioning race in America (Now-10/1)
  •  Shifting Views: People & Politics in Contemporary African Art — Pointedly political perspectives on the lives of Africans and their diasporic descendants (Now-12/3)
  •  Imagining Home — The inaugural exhibition for the museum’s Patricia and Mark Joseph Education Center brings together more than 30 works from across the collection in various media exploring the universal theme of home (Now-8/1/18)
  •  Annet Couwenberg: From Digital to Damask — An intimate exhibition of approximately 11 works by Maryland-based artist reveals the intersection of science, art, technology and history that makes textiles a fascinating art form (Now-2/18/18)



  • Salvatore Pirrone: String Room — Eight visual artists will transform a remodeled 40-foot shipping container into an intimate solo exhibition space all season long, launching with this artist and an interactive installation at The Yards SE (October)
  • Subsequent exhibitions include: Maggie Gourlay: Feelin’ Grounded
  • JD Deardourff: Uncanny Fantastic
  • Amy Wike: In A Word
  • Nara Park
  • Amanda Burnham: Block Watch
  • Jung Min Park: Memory-Scape
  • Noa Heyne: Posthumous Adaptations


Nicholas A. Colasanto Center
2704 Mount Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, Va.

  • Childhood Passions — Member artists created artworks honoring playful, fun things that instinctively bring children joy, but that we tend to lose sight of as we grow up (Now-10/1)
  •  Captured Beauty! A Fine Art Photography Exhibition — A co-presentation with Union 206 Studio showcasing a group of photographers’ visions of beauty as fine art, captured through careful positioning of their lens and post-processing techniques (10/6-29)
  •  Under $100 — Artworks by members priced for less than a Benjamin, refreshed all month long as sales clears out more space (11/3-26)
  •  Holiday Market 2017 — The 22nd annual market offers pottery, photography, jewelry, cloth, paper crafts, and glass made by local artists (Dec.)


201 East Capitol St. SE

  • Painting Shakespeare — An exploration into how Shakespeare’s words have inspired visual artists, as seen in pictures, oil sketches and paintings from the Folger’s collection (Now-2/11/18)
  •  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)


2801 16th St. NW

  • A citywide celebration of photography, this year’s 10th annual FotoWeekDC specifically celebrates “Landmarks of Photography” through special exhibitions and installations, events, film screenings, and lectures. Highlights include: Opening Party — Co-presented with BYT and featuring open bars, small bites, photo booths, live music and more at FotoWeekCentral, aka neighboring host venues Spain Arts & Culture and the Mexican Cultural Institute (11/10)
  •  Competition Winners Gallery (11/11-19)
  •  Cislanderus — An exhibition focused on a group of Spanish-speaking people who, in the late-18th century, migrated from the Canary Islands to what is now Texas and Louisiana, where their culture lives on today, if barely (11/11-12/10)
  •  World Press Photo Exhibition 2017 — A jury’s selection of the best photos out of more than 80,000 submissions from photographers in 126 countries, presented by Lightscape Foundation (11/3-26, Dupont Underground)
  •  Magnum: 70 at 70 — A celebration of the diversity of the Magnum Photos agency and its photographers, who have covered everything from apartheid South Africa to the Arab Spring to the recent migration crisis (11/11-19)
  •  Black Dolls Project (11/11-20, Anacostia Arts Center)


1050 Independence Ave. SW

  • IlluminAsia: A Festival of Asian Art, Food, and Cultures — After a lengthy renovation, these two Smithsonian museums “where Asia meets America” reopen with a weekend-long celebration transforming the grounds into a night market, complete with food stalls, live music and performances (10/14-15)
  •  Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan — The only exhibition open during renovation charts a decade-old British nonprofit’s help in reviving Afghanistan’s proud cultural legacy (Now-10/29, International Gallery)
  •  Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt — The Freer reopens with cat power, an exhibition of nearly 70 works, dating from the Middle Kingdom to the Byzantine period, revealing the roles felines played in the religious, social and political life of ancient Egypt (10-14-1/15/18)
  •  Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice Across Asia — Step into a Tibetan Buddhist shrine, visit a Sri Lankan stupa, see the exploits of an 8th century Korean monk and discover multiple Buddhas and bodhisattvas in this look at Buddhist art through the lens of spiritual practice and the perspectives of practitioners (10/14-11/29/20)
  •  Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran — Exploring the meaning behind the museums’ extraordinary collection of luxury metalwork, dating from the first millennium BCE to the early Islamic period (Reopens 10/14)
  •  Resound: Ancient Bells of China — An interactive exploration of bronze bells and how their musical tones varied depending on their shape, size and where struck (Opens 10/14)
  •  Subodh Gupta: Terminal — Internationally acclaimed artist transforms familiar household objects into wondrous structures, here towers of brass containers, connected by an intricate web of thread to create a monumental installation recalling the architectural features found on religious structures (10/14-6/24/18)


701 21st St. NW

  • The Box Project: Uncommon Threads — A display of what results when 36 leading fiber artists are challenged to create a three-dimensional work to fit inside a standard box (9/30-1/29/18)
  •  For The Record: New Photography and Art Capture Changing Washington — Compelling images from the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.’s annual juried competition document the city’s evolving urban landscape through the eyes of local artists; this year focused on eight neighborhoods, one in each ward, from Burleith in Ward 2 to Ivy City in Ward 5 to Congress Heights in Ward 8 (Opening 11/8)
  •  Textiles 101 — An interactive display allowing museumgoers to enter the mind of an artist and explore the basic elements — fiber, structure and color — that influence textile design (Opening Winter 2018)
  •  Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse — The designers Luisa Cevese of Milan’s Riedizioni, Christina Kim of Dosa in Los Angeles, and Reiko Sudo of Tokyo’s Nuno are highlighted for their pioneering creative approaches to recycling textiles in their works (Now-1/7/18)
  •  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 (Ongoing)
  •  A Collector’s Vision: Selections from the Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection — Recent acquisitions and rare treasures are on rotating display from the museum’s repository of maps, prints, rare letters, photographs, and drawings documenting the history of Washington, D.C. (Ongoing)


Old Navy Hospital
921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.

  • Regional Juried Exhibition — Over 100 artists working in an array of mediums were selected for this annual exhibition (Now-10/1)
  •  Fall Exhibitions (10/5-12/30): Joanathan Bessaci: Maps 
  •  Rachael Bohlander: Art of Empowerment 
  •  Karin Edgett: Truth 
  •  Michael Ford: Homeplace 
  •  Judith Peck: Gathering Shards 
  •  Scott Warren: World Views 
  •  Pottery on the Hill Show and Sale — East City Art sponsors this exhibition of works in clay by 17 of the nation’s top ceramic artists, including Trista Depp Chapman, Dan Finnegan, Matthew Hyleck, Donna Polseno, Stacy Snyder, and Catherine White (10/28-29)


4155 Linnean Ave. NW

  • Spectacular Gems and Jewelry from the Merriweather Post Collection — The story behind some of the remarkable stones and jewelry in one of the greatest collections of the 20th century (Now-1/7/18)
  •  The Artistic Table — Interior designers will create a range of beautiful and artistic presentations for Hillwood’s dining room, the adjacent breakfast room, and the outdoor dacha (1/17/18-6/10/18)


9 Hillyer Court NW

  • Urban Mapping: Public Space Through the Lens of Contemporary Iranian Artists — As curated by Gohar Dashti, the photo and video installations in this exhibition not only document narratives of urban life, but also the often difficult experience of life in Iran by 10 artists (Now-10/29)
  •  Art All Night: Made in DC! — Performances curated by Alexandra Delafkaran and DIY screen printing with The Arcade (9/23)
  •  Katherine Akey (11/3-12/12)
  •  Lloyd Kofi Foster (11/3-12/12)
  •  Ibero American Cultural Attache Association (11/3-12/12)


700 Independence Ave. SW

  • What Absence Is Made Of — The unexpected and mind-bending ways that artists express absence or loss and surmount the limits of the material world, as seen in a survey of 70 works spanning 70 years and drawn from the Hirshhorn’s extensive collection, including Annette Lemieux, Constantin Brancusi, Ed Atkins, On Kawara, and John Baldessari (10/18-Summer 2019)
  •  Mark Bradford: Pickett’s Charge — A timely, commissioned “cyclorama” of eight large, site-specific painting collages inspired by the same-named Philippoteaux masterpiece depicting the loss of the Confederate Army at the Battle of Gettysburg that still has resonance today (11/8-11/12/18)
  •  Ai Weiwei: Trace — A massive installation from China’s most famous and provocative international artist, featuring 176 portraits, each made of thousands of plastic LEGO bricks, of individuals whom he considers activists, prisoners of conscience or advocates of free speech (Now-1/1/18)
  •  Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Utopian Projects — Survey of acclaimed Russian artists includes more than 20 of the Kabakovs’ maquettes, or whimsical models, for projects realized and unrealized, frequently referencing Soviet-era architecture and prisoners, with allusions to escape, whether by ship, angel or mythic tale (Now-3/4/18)
  •  Barbara Kruger: Belief+Doubt — Installation questions ideology, social norms, and consumption (Ongoing)


800 F St. NW

  • 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 in 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
  •  A Spy’s Eye View of the Civil War — Highlighting the significant role espionage played during the War Between the States
  •  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
  •  The 21st Century — Learn about the new intelligence battlefield of cyberspace and explore what would happen if a cyber attack hit the electrical grid



  • Washington National Opera Presents RETNA — An exhibit of graphic and street artist whose work informs the sets and costumes of the WNO’s Aida (Now-9/24, Hall of Nations)
  •  Leonard Bernstein at 100 — A special traveling exhibition from the Grammy Museum premiering at the Kennedy Center featuring more than 150 artifacts, including photographs, scores, awards, correspondence, furniture, and films, offering a comprehensive retrospective of the great bisexual composer’s life and career, plus interactive features offering listening and simulated conducting opportunities (9/21-11/5, Terrace Gallery)


Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First St. SE

  • Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration — Showcasing the library’s extensive collection of original drawings commissioned during the past 50 years by newspapers and television stations to capture the personal dynamics of legal trials where cameras aren’t allowed (Now-12/30)
  •  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)
  •  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-12/31)
  •  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)


1358 Florida Ave. NE.

  • Antarah Crawley: New Syllabus — Dreamscapes inspired by Egyptian hieroglyphs and focused on empowering individuals, by D.C. artist whose murals could be viewed inside and outside of Fort Fringe, Capital Fringe’s previous New York Avenue NW location (Now-10/15)


1234 9th St. NW
September 7 – October 1, 2017

  • Photography — Works by Colin Winterbottom, David Douglas, and Curtis Speer (Now-10/8)
  •  Sondra N. Arkin: What You See Is All There Is (10/12-11/26)
  •  Mike Weber and Jason Wright (11/30-1/7/14)


5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, Md.

  • Wet — An exhibition of water and aquatic life and customs, from oil paintings so realistic you’re ready to take a dip, to sculptures evoking myths and sailor songs, to textile crustaceans (Now-11/5)
  •  Perspective: Eileen Martin — An exhibition of works in a variety of mixed media, including glass, wire, and collage, exploring the rapidly fading line between what’s safe and respectful to say or do and what’s dangerous or impolite (Now-11/5)
  •  Symbiosis: Jeremiah Morris — A photographer who creates multimedia sculptures from reclaimed materials and photographs in a way that celebrates resilience, adaptation, and the odd in-between of the natural and unnatural worlds in which humans exist (Now-11/5)
  •  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)
  •  The 84th Annual Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature — Intricately detailed works of art, painstakingly produced in miniature (11/18-1/17/18)
  •  27th Annual Strathmore Juried Exhibition (1/13/18-3/4/18)


Independence Ave. & 6th St. SW

  • 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 Museum of American History (Now-11/11)
  •  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 — John Glenn’s Mercury “Friendship 7,” Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis,” the Gemini IV capsule, SpaceShipOne, Apollo Lunar Module, and the original studio model of Star Trek‘s Enterprise are featured in the renovated main hall (Permanent)
  •  The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age – The 1903 Wright Flyer, the world’s first successful airplane, serves as the centerpiece of this exhibition (Ongoing)


401 F St. NW

  • Investigating Where We Live — Select local teens spent five weeks over the summer exploring the built environment in D.C. through cameras, creative writing, interviews, and their own observations, and their findings form the basis of this annually changing exhibition (Now-1/15/18)
  •  Making Room: Housing for a Changing America — Models, plans, and images presenting smaller, often communal alternative living options in contrast with increasingly outdated American norms; exhibition’s centerpiece is a full-scale, flexible dwelling (11/18-9/16)
  •  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 (Now-1/15/18)
  •  Around the World in 80 Paper Models — Architectural paper models representing castles and cathedrals, cultures and countries, all from the 4,500-piece Kemnitzer Paper Model Collection recently donated to the museum (Ongoing)
  •  Cool & Collected: Recent Acquisitions (Ongoing)
  •  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)


3rd St. & Constitution Ave. NW

  • Saul Steinberg — A special installation of 18 drawings, two photographs and an assortment of small sculptures by late artist, especially revered for his incisive New Yorker covers (Now-5/18/18)
  •  Posing for the Camera: Gifts from Robert B. Menschel — Some 60 photographs, spanning 150 years, documenting how the act of posing for a portrait changed with the invention of the medium (9/17-1/28/18)
  •  Bosch to Bloemaert: Early Netherlandish Drawings from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen — Highlights among 100 drawings from the Rotterdam museum on display include studies from the circle of Rogier van der Weyden, two sheets by Hieronymus Bosch, six drawings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, and a selection of works by Abraham Bloemaert (10/8-1/7/18)
  •  Edvard Munch: Color in Context — An exhibition of 21 prints that demonstrate how the 19th century artist was inspired by advances in the science of color as well as writings about color’s visual and physical power (Now-1/28/18)
  •  In the Library: Jost Amman and 16th-Century Woodcut Illustration — Swiss artist completed hundreds of designs for book commissions, from bibles to classics, history to literature, costumes to emblems, and his prints influenced artists including Rubens and Rembrandt (Now-1/5/18)
  •  Matthias Mansen: Configurations — Contemporary German artist creates large-scale woodcuts, advancing the tradition by transforming pieces of scavenged wood into printing blocks, carved and recarved (Now-12/13)


1145 17th St. NW

  • Sharks: On Assignment with Brian Skerry — Immersive exhibition includes large-scale images, videos, artifacts, models, and interactive experiences highlighting this award-winning photographer’s passion for sharks and plea to protect, respect and appreciate the mighty fish increasingly threatened by human activities (Now-10/1)
  •  Earth Explorers — An interactive, hands-on showcase of the work of some of the most innovative and exciting National Geographic explorers (Closes 9/17)
  •  Wild: Michael Nichols — Images of wildlife and wild places as seen through the eyes of a legendary photographer and former National Geographic editor in this special exhibition (10/12-1/12/18)
  •  Tomb of Christ: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre Experience — Be transported to Jerusalem for an immersive 3-D experience unlike anything seen in a museum before, virtually visiting the church and learning about its storied history, enduring mysteries, and technological advances helping with ongoing research and restoration (11/15-8/15/18)
  •  National Geographic: Exploration Starts Here — A showcase of the greatest hits from the National Geographic Society’s long and storied history of discovery, introducing the many explorers, scientists, storytellers and artifacts that has made it possible (Ongoing)


14th St. & Constitution Ave. NW

  • Same-day, timed-entry passes are available every day at the crack of dawn online, and a limited number of walk-up passes are available 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.


1400 Constitution Ave. NW

  • 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 (Now-4/2/18)
  •  Innovations in Defense: Artificial Intelligence and the Challenge of Cybersecurity — Celebrating the prize-winning artificial intelligence machine Mayhem Cyber Reasoning System (Now-9/17)
  •  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 (Now-6/3/18)
  •  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-12/8/18)
  •  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)
  •  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 (Ongoing)


10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW

  • Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend — Showcasing exciting new scientific discoveries about these animals in the context of a changing arctic climate (Now-2019)
  •  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 — Fine art prints accompanied by a video, all winners of the Windland Smith Rice International Awards (2016 winners on display through Sept., 2017 beginning in October)
  •  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)


4th St. & Independence Ave. SW

  • 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, and at a higher rate in proportion to their population than any other ethnic group; exhibit has spurred on plans for a National Native American Veterans Memorial (Now-Jan. 2018)
  •  Americans — A showcase of nearly 350 objects and images, from a Tomahawk missile to baking powder cans, all demonstrating that Indian words and images are everywhere in American life, and revealing that Americans have always been fascinated, conflicted, and profoundly shaped by their relationship to American Indians (Opens Late 2017)
  •  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-Through 2021)
  •  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-Sept. 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)


1250 New York Ave. NW

  • Equilibrium: Fanny Sanin — An exploration into the rigorous working process of pioneering Colombian-born, New York-based artist, known for her colorful geometric abstract compositions (Now-10/29)
  •  Wonder Women! — Images of the powerful woman, real and imagined, in a wide-ranging selection of artist correspondence, sketches, ephemera, photographs, posters, rare books, museum archival material and artists’ books, all drawing from the museum’s Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center (Now-11/17)
  •  Inside The Dinner Party Studio — Exploring the creation of Judy Chicago’s monumental and radical artwork, one of the most iconic of the 20th century, illustrated through archives, documentation and film (9/17-1/5/18)
  •  Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today — The first U.S. exhibition to explore abstraction among African-American women artists, featuring work by more than 20 women, including progenitors like Mavis Pusey and contemporary artists such as Shinique Smith (10/13-1/21/18)
  •  El Tendedero/The Clothesline Project — Mexico City-based artist Mónica Mayer will display on a clothesline answers from female residents about what they dislike most about D.C., part of a four-decade-old, multi-city participatory project (11/10-1/5/18)


8th & F Streets NW

  • America’s Presidents Reopens — After 18 months, the gallery’s most popular exhibition has been refurbished with new labels, wall texts, and the addition of interactive touch screens boosting knowledge of each president, allowing access to other visual material, and enhancing the overall experience (Opens 9/22)
  •  Celebrating 50 Years — Marking the anniversary of the Old Patent Office Building becoming the renovated permanent home of this gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Now-1/6/19)
  •  One Life: Sylvia Plath — The first exploration of the poet and writer’s life in an art and history museum, revealing how Plath shaped her identity visually as she came of age as a writer in the ’50s (Now-5/20/18)
  •  The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers — Over 70 objects in all media and from artists including Winslow Homer, Dorothea Lange, Elizabeth Catlett and Lewis Hine depict laborers throughout the changing landscape of America, from slave laborers to steel workers to the modern gradual disappearance of the worker (11/3-9/3/18)
  •  Portraits of the World: Switzerland — The first in a series highlighting the global context of American portraiture, here focused on a portrait of Italian dancer Giulia Leonardi by Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler (12/15-11/12/18)
  •  Antebellum Portraits by Matthew Brady (Now-6/3/18)
  •  Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image — As documented in this exhibit, the German-born international glamourpuss brought androgyny to the silver screen and the broader American culture in the mid-20th century as an early pioneer of cross dressing and of embracing bisexuality without apology (Now-4/15/18)
  •  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 (Now-1/28/18)
  •  Lincoln’s Contemporaries — Meet the fascinating people beyond the known politicians and the military leaders of the Civil War (Now-5/12/19)
  •  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)
  •  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)


555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

  • Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe — One of the Newseum’s most popular exhibits is revived to mark the centennial of JFK’s birth (9/29-1/7/18)
  •  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)
  •  The 2017 Pulitzer Prize-Winning Editorial Cartoons of Jim Morin — Miami Herald cartoonist won his second Pulitzer statute for his take on campaign 2016 and other issues of the year, including race, gun violence and fake news (Indefinitely)
  •  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)
  •  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 push for civil rights (Ongoing)


1600 21st St. NW

  • Renoir and Friends: Luncheon of the Boating Party — Catnip to the legion of impressionist fans, who are no doubt already going crazy anticipating this exhibit’s exploration into the creation of one of Renoir’s most famous paintings, as well as the artist’s diverse circle of friends who inspired it (10/7-1/7/18)
  •  Women of Influence: Elmira Bier, Minnie Byers and Marjorie Phillips — Examining the critical roles these three women have played in shaping the Phillips (Now-10/15)
  •  Moving Forward, Looking Back: A Collection Still in the Making — Revealing more of the Phillips’ history through photographs, exhibition announcements, letters and more drawn from the archives (Now-12/31)
  •  Ten Americans After Paul Klee — Exhibition sheds new light on important figures in American Abstract Expressionist and Color Field painting who adapted aspects of Klee’s art and ideology into their own (2/3/18-5/6/18)
  •  James McLaughlin Memorial Staff Show — Featured works by artists employed at the museum (Now-9/17)
  •  Highlights from the Permanent Collection (Ongoing)


1661 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

  • Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death — Exquisitely detailed dollhouse-sized diorama composites of miniature crime scenes are still used in forensic training today and helped to revolutionize the emerging field of forensic science, making Lee the rare, honored female in the male-dominated world of policing (10/20-1/28/18)
  •  Rick Araluce: The Final Stop — A large-scale installation transforming a gallery into the eerie illusion of an abandoned underground subway platform (10/20-1/28/18)
  •  Parallax Gap — The Renwick’s salon becomes a visual puzzle with this immersive, site-specific installation, a ceiling-suspended structure running the length of the Renwick’s iconic gallery, swings in the interplay between craft and architecture (Now-2/11/18)
  •  No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man — The entire Renwick building will be taken over in the first major national exhibition to focus on the annual event, bringing alive its maker culture and celebration of ephemera, but with less drugs and nudity (3/30/18-9/16/18)
  •  Connections: Contemporary Craft — Highlighting new acquisitions updating the presentation of crafts and decorative arts for the 21st century (Ongoing)


8th & F Streets NW

  • Lumia: Thomas Wilfred and the Art of Light — A groundbreaking exhibition presenting 15 spellbinding, image-projecting light sculptures created nearly a century ago, or well before technology made that an easy feat — and the difficulty to maintain them is why they were relegated to museums’ storage along with Wilfred’s recognition heretofore as a modern art pioneer (10/6-1/7/18)
  •  Kara Walker: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated) — A series of 15 prints by provocative African-American artist who appropriates and alters genteel Civil War-era images with stenciled figures and shadowy elements, suffusing them with traumatic scenarios left out of the official record (10/13-3/11/18)
  •  Tamayo: The New York Years — An exhibition of 42 artworks, many created well before Rufino Tamayo became acclaimed for lushly colored paintings portraying modern Mexican subjects and when his focus was more on urban themes influenced by early 20th century life in New York (11/3-3/18/18)
  •  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 (Closes Sept. 17)


901 New York Ave. NW

  • About Face: Reversals and Undoings — Touchstone member artists explore reversal in all its manifestations, whether turn-around, complete changes in position, attitude or point of view, or just undoing something, in works of clay, prints, paintings, sculpture, collage, drawing and photography (Now-10/1)
  •  Patricia Williams: Ordered Complexities — Whimsical and colorful works created with the intention of translating mathematical and scientific principles into paintings expressing the essence of a concept, integrating the artist’s lifelong fascination with science, math and creativity (Now-10/1)
  •  Tim Johnson: Physiognomy — A collection of small-scale portraits painted in recent months (Now-10/1)


1404 P St. NW

  • Nevermind, Azizam — A mixed-media exhibition delving visually and sensually into the uniqueness and range of Iranian-American experiences through the work of Ani Bradberry, Alexandra “Rex” Delafkaran, and Sheida Soleimani (Now-10/14)
  •  14th Annual Silent Auction & Benefit Party (11/18, AU’s Katzen Arts Center)


100 Maryland Ave. SW

  • 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)
  •  Season’s Greenings: National Parks and Historic Places — Annual holiday show immerses patrons in the sights, smells and sounds of the season and includes the display of one of the largest indoor trees decked out with ornaments from national parks (11/23-1/1/18)
  •  Orchid Spectrum — Annual orchid show in collaboration with Smithsonian Gardens (2/23/18-4/8/18)


600 North Charles St.
Baltimore, Md.

  • Arts of Asia — The Walters’ exceptional collection of Asian art is on full display in the reopening of this culturally diverse exhibition (10/1-10/1/20)
  •  After Fabergé: Jonathan Monaghan — Five, large-scale digital prints blend the dazzling detail of the original finely crafted masterworks with modern culture (11/12-5/27/18)
  •  Fabergé and the Russian Crafts Tradition: An Empire’s Legacy — Exploring the Russian crafts tradition that culminated in Fabergé, with over 70 stunning objects on display, including two Imperial Easter Eggs purchased by the museum’s founder (11/12-5/27/18)
  •  Uncertain Times: Martin Luther’s Remedies for the Soul — Approximately 20 works on view showing ways in which the 16th-century German religious reformer comforted the distressed souls of his contemporaries (Now-10/29)
  •  From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story — An extraordinary group of art and artifacts illustrates the intriguing stories behind the museum (Ongoing)


1641 Wisconsin Ave. NW

  • Naturally: Woodcuts by Cynthia Back — New reduction artworks inspired by both travel and the artist’s immediate environment, immersed in nature (Now-9/24)
  •  We The Immigrants — Member artists explore politically charged themes of mobility and transience, of feeling or being treated like an outsider, whether or not international borders were crossed (9/28-10/29)
  •  Jane Mann — An exhibition of the work of fine art photographer and digital imaging artist (11/1-25)
  •  Lila Oliver Asher (11/29-12/30)
  •  Master Printmaker — The Washington Printmakers Foundation invites an outstanding artist to exhibit (1/4/18-1/27/18)
  •  Excellence in Printmaking — Also known as the Emerging Artists Exhibit, featuring work of outstanding printmakers at local area colleges and universities (2/1/18-2/24/18)


2124 8th St. NW

  • Lending Library: Presented by Beltway Public Works — Envisioned as a people’s museum in which contemporary artworks will be available for short-term loan, this local library is currently in its launch phase, and already has 22 artists on board (Now-12/9)
  •  Bookshelves: Dark Matter — Anne-Sophie Coiffet curates an eclectic selection of books from the arts, sciences, humanities and philosophy exploring the concept of “dark matter,” all of which are available for sale (Now-9/30)
  •  Tom Green: Stream — Five watercolor paintings from the early ’70s, or before this important D.C. artist developed his signature boldly colored, graphic style; exhibit coincides with the creation of a street mural in front of WPA’s office and serving as a temporary reminder of Green’s legacy (Now-12/9)

For more Fall Arts Preview Museum & Gallery listings, visit

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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