Metro Weekly

Museums and Galleries: Spring Arts Preview 2018

Art exhibits in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

Hill Center — Mike Mitchell: Four Seasons in the C&O Canal National

The city is absolutely awash in art — a good portion of it LGBTQ-related. The Hirshhorn boasts a provocative installation by noted LGBTQ artist Mark Bradford, while Longview Gallery presents dazzling works by Michelle Peterson-Albandoz and Michael Crossett. And we’d be surprised if there aren’t several gay artists represented in the Renwick Gallery’s unique look at the anything goes desert phenomenon, Burning Man.

The National Portrait Gallery, meanwhile, celebrates its 50th anniversary through a series of dazzling installations, including the recent addition of a breathtaking portrait of President Barack Obama by gay artist Kehinde Wiley. The Newseum, quite possibly more relevant than ever in these days of attacks on the press by an unreasonably hostile administration, is dedicating space to some of the best photographs and editorial cartoons of the year.

Meanwhile, the Hillwood continues its Springtime tradition of unveiling Fabergé eggs that put all other “Easter eggs” to shame. Finally, Strathmore takes flight with an exploration into the increasingly sophisticated art of kite-making. It’s not just for kids anymore.


319 West Broad St.
Richmond, Va.

  • The Abstract Athlete — Works by former professional athletes and veterans, organized by nonprofit focused on art’s positive effects on athletic performance and rehabilitation. Represented athletes include Vernon Davis, Jay DeMerit, Alicia Dietz, Ridley Howard, Percy King, Joe Olney, Larry Sanders, and Hillary Werth (Now-3/16)


4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW

  • Carol Brown Goldberg: Entanglement — Marked by images of dense, imagined foliage, the painter’s current works are rooted in an interplay of philosophical concepts and poetic imaginings (4/3-5/27)
  • Francisco Toledo: Toledo Múltiple — A wide range of works by Mexico’s most prolific and influential graphic artist, as well as other Mexican and foreign printmakers represented in Toledo’s collection for the Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca (4/3-5/27)
  • Jiha Moon: Double Welcome, Most Everyone’s Mad Here — Atlanta-based Korean artist explores cross-cultural perceptions in works addressing the intersection of imagery native to Korea, Japan, and China with elements of the West (4/3-5/27)
  • Michael Clark: Washington Artist — From the Alper Initiative for Washington Art (4/3-5/27)
  • Master of Fine Art First Year and Thesis Exhibitions (4/3-5/27)
  • Miya Ando — Innovative artist creates experiential art installations engaging and reminding viewers of their connection to nature and nature’s cycles (4/3-5/27)
  • Ralph Steadman: A Retrospective — A journey through the prolific career of this artist who illustrated Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by the late journalist Hunter S. Thompson, and developed wild packaging for beers from Frederick’s Flying Dog Brewery (6/16-8/12)


800 Key Highway
Baltimore, Md.

  • The Great Mystery — An 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 (Now-9/2)
  • Jim Rouse Visionary Center — A three-floor experience, with large sculptures in the 1st Floor Visionary Village, an interactive exhibition on the center’s namesake plus two creative workshop spaces in the 2nd Floor Hall of Social Visionaries, and the bird’s eye view of the museum’s campus and environs from the 3rd Floor Center for Visionary Thought and Expression (Permanent)
  • Reverend Albert Lee Wagner: Miracle at Midnight — Celebrating one of America’s most prominent visionary artists, curated from 50 masterpieces plus two of Wagner’s largest works (Ongoing)


201 Prince St.
Alexandria, Va.

  • Parallel Lives — Antonius Bui, Amy Lin, Nekisha Durrett, Muriel Hasbun, and Jeff Huntington are five artists from diverse cultures and aesthetic traditions who embrace and explore their place in the world in a show curated by Brigitte Reyes (Now-4/15)
  • Two Solos: Brian Williams/Sophie Blondeau (4/19-6/3)
  • Katie Pumphrey — A long-distance, open-water swimmer who channels her athletic pursuits into works on paper and canvas exploring the tension between movement and stillness, and themes of confrontation, reflex, territory, and instinct (6/7-7/22)


10 Art Museum Drive
Baltimore, Md.

  • Black Box: Kara Walker & Hank Willis Thomas — A critical conversation on slavery’s legacy in the juxtaposition of Salvation by Kara Walker, one of the most significant contemporary works in the museum, and And I Can’t Run by Hank Willis Thomas (Now-3/18)
  • Imagining Home — More than 30 works from across the BMA’s collection in various media explore the universal theme of home in this inaugural exhibition in the Patricia and Mark Joseph Education Center (Now-8/1/18)
  • Spencer Finch: Moon Dust — BMA’s Fox Court will be illuminated by this impressive light installation, first presented at the 2009 Venice Biennale (Now-10/2024)
  • Beyond Flight: Birds in African Art — Approximately 20 works that highlight the honored place birds hold within numerous African cultures (Now-6/17)
  • Head Back & High: Senga Nengudi, Performance Objects (1976–2015) — Intimate environments made out of familiar, inexpensive materials loaded with symbolic resonances (Now-5/27)
  • Phaan Howng: The Succession of Nature — Baltimore-based artist collaborates with Blue Water Baltimore to create an immersive environment with intense, unnatural colors inspired by toxic waste, part of the Commons Collaboration series (Now-10/7)
  • Spiral Play: Loving in the ’80s — A display of 12 three-dimensional collages in brilliant colors, some of them monumental in scale, created by experimental artist Al Loving (Now-4/15)
  • Tomás Saraceno: Entangled Orbits — Immersive, iridescent works evoking bubbles, spiderwebs, and clouds (Now-7/8)
  • Stephen Towns: Rumination and a Reckoning — First museum presentation dedicated to the stunning textile work of Baltimore-based artist (3/7-9/2)
  • Sacred Spring: Vienna Secession Posters from the Collection of LeRoy E. Hoffberger and Paula Gately Tillman Hoffberger — More than a dozen late-19th and early-20th century prints and posters celebrating the varied styles of the international Art Nouveau movement, as well as the generosity of a late Baltimore philanthropist (3/25-7/29)
  • Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley: We Are Ghosts — Two films by MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient with her collaborator and husband, co-presented by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Advanced Media Studies (4/4-8/19)
  • Odyssey: Jack Whitten Sculpture, 1963 – 2017 — A rare display of sculptures made privately by Whitten in Greece, co-organized with New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (4/22-7/29)


2704 Mount Vernon Ave.
Alexandria, Va.

  • Outdoors In — The gallery’s member artists and local students reflect on the natural world in various media for this exhibition (Now-4/1)
  • A Touch of Magic — Member artists interpret the theme of magic in art, whether depicting everyday mysteries, dreams, or miracles (4/6-29)
  • Atomic Dog — A showcase of art exploring the bond between humans and dogs (5/4-27)
  • Reinvention — Member artists were challenged to reinvent themselves by working in a medium outside their comfort zone in a nod to the just-completed major renovation of the animal hospital where this exhibition will be displayed (Now-6/10, VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital)
  • Wanderlust (6/1-24)
  • Art Camp Week Shows — Two one-day showings of art made by campers in this week-long program, offered twice (7/21, 7/28)
  • Ancestry (8/3-9/2)


Great Hall
201 East Capitol St. SE

  • Beyond Words: Book Illustration in the Age of Shakespeare — Portraits, views of daily life, maps, and more from books dating to the 15th and 18th century are as full of meaning as the text they illustrate (Now-6/3)
  • Churchill’s Shakespeare — Britain’s legendary prime minister was a lifelong admirer of the Bard, whose influence can be found in his speeches and ideas, and explored in materials from Cambridge’s Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill’s home Chartwell, and the Folger collection (10/6-1/2019)
  • A First Folio of Shakespeare — The first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, including the only source for 18 of his plays (Permanent)


511 10th St. NW

  • Theatre — The site where Lincoln was shot looks very much the way it did that fateful night, and you can get a sense of it all by buying a ticket to the latest live show on stage. For a view of the President’s box, the National Park Service gives tours during the day
  • Museum — Lincoln’s life and presidency, as well as that of assassin John Wilkes Booth, are explored in exhibits that also contain artifacts related to the assassination
  • The Petersen House — The boarding house across the street from Ford’s Theatre, where Lincoln died surrounded by friends, colleagues, and family, is currently undergoing renovation but reopens in June
  • Aftermath Exhibits — See Lincoln’s funeral train and witness a nation in mourning, learn about the 12-day manhunt for Booth and his eventual capture in Virginia as well as the fate of his co-conspirators, and see evidence of Lincoln’s lasting impact and inspiration, in the final of four parts comprising the full Ford’s Theatre Museum experience (Permanent)


1050 Independence Ave. SW

  • The Prince and the Shah: Royal Portraits from Qajar Iran (Now-8/5)
  • Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice Across Asia — An exploration of Asia’s rich Buddhist heritage through more than 200 artworks, spanning two millennia and representing diverse schools that arose from the Buddha’s teachings (Now-11/2020)
  • Secrets of the Lacquer Buddha — The only 6th- and 7th-century life-size Buddha sculptures known to exist — one from the Walters Art Museum, one from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one from the Freer — are exhibited together (Now-6/10)
  • Resound: Ancient Bells of China — Composers Hugh Livingston, Norman Lowrey, and Doug Van Nort were commissioned to create soundscapes using the recorded tones of a 2,500-year-old bell set on display (Now-mid-2020)
  • Subodh Gupta: Terminal — A monumental installation composed of towers of brass containers connected by an intricate web of thread, recalling architectural features found on religious structures such as churches, temples, and mosques (Now-2018)
  • To Dye For: Ikats from Central Asia — Over a decade ago, the late fashion designer Oscar de la Renta helped popularize these brilliant and brightly colored fabrics made of threads tie-dyed before being woven (3/24-7/29)
  • American Art: A Perfect Harmony (Ongoing)
  • Feast Your Eyes: A Taste for Luxury in Ancient Iran — Portable luxury objects fashioned from precious metals and decorated with royal imagery (Ongoing)
  • Arts of the Islamic World: Engaging the Senses (Ongoing)
  • Chinese Art: Looking Out, Looking In (Ongoing)
  • Setting the Bar (Ongoing)
  • Chinese Art: Center of the World (Ongoing)
  • Chinese Art: Promise of Paradise (Ongoing)
  • Art and Industry: China’s Ancient Houma Foundry(Ongoing)
  • Afterlife: Ancient Chinese Jades (Ongoing)
  • Xu Bing: Monkeys Grasp for the Moon (Ongoing)
  • Ancient and Alive: Japan’s Native Gods (Ongoing)
  • Japanese Art: The Power of Words in an Age of Crisis (Ongoing)
  • Imperfectly Beautiful: Inventing Japanese Ceramic Style (Ongoing)
  • In the Shadow of an Apocalypse (Ongoing)
  • The Beginnings of Buddhism in Japan (Ongoing)
  • Rediscovering Korea’s Past (Ongoing)
  • South Asian and Himalayan Art: Body Image (Ongoing)
  • South Asian and Himalayan Art: Gods, Companions, and Devotees (Ongoing)
  • The Glazed Elephant: Ceramic Traditions in Cambodia (Ongoing)
  • Power in Southeast Asia (Ongoing)


701 21st St. NW

  • Binding the Clouds: The Art of Central Asian Ikat — A focus on vividly colored textiles produced with the sophisticated dyeing technique known as abrband, drawn from the Textile Museum’s exceptional ikat collection (3/10-7/9)
  • Breaking News: Alexander Hamilton — Highlighting important life events and accomplishments of founding father Alexander Hamilton, who played a role in bringing the U.S. capital to D.C. (Opens 3/31)
  • Greetings from Washington — Postcards relating to D.C., from their golden age at the turn of the 20th century through the vintage glamour of mid-century graphics and beyond (Opens 3/31)
  • Vanishing Traditions: Textiles and Treasures from Southwest China — Dazzling festival costumes and accessories new to the museum’s collections explore traditions from minority cultures in southwest China now endangered by modernization (Now-7/9)
  • Textiles 101 — An interactive display allowing museumgoers to enter the mind of an artist and explore the basic elements — fiber, structure, and color — that shape textile design (Ongoing)
  • A Collector’s Vision: Treasures 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.

  • Viewfinders — Eight solo exhibitions featuring photographers: Karen CohenSurreality
  • Jane MannLayers II
  • Bruce McNeil
  • Mike MitchellFour Seasons in the C&O Canal National Historical Park
  • Rindy OBrien
  • Larry O’ReillyContemporary Still Lifes
  • Monica ServaitesDownside Up
  • Richard Paul WeiblingerUnique Visions (Now-4/29)


4155 Linnean Ave. NW

  • The Artistic Table — Contemporary tastemakers Timothy Corrigan, Barry Dixon, Charlotte Moss, Alex Papachristidis, P. Gaye Tapp, Hutton Wilkinson, and Josh Hildreth worked with Hillwood curators to create table displays inspired by founder Marjorie Merriweather Post’s exceptional flair for entertaining to explore the concept of artistically set tables, past and present
  • Fabergé Rediscovered — Unveiling new discoveries relating to Hillwood’s collection of about 90 Fabergé pieces, including two imperial Easter eggs, and other famed works (6/9-1/2019)


9 Hillyer Court NW

  • Anne Smith: To Bend/To Fold — Architectural and enigmatic, the linear structures of the D.C. artist’s drawings are challenging, a world in which structures exist precariously, at the edges of balance, tension, and symmetry (Now-4/1)
  • Sarah Jamison: Ubiquitous — A variety of recognizable or notorious images and phrases drawn from the Internet are reassembled to create a homogenous piece, then carefully rendered in colored pencil drawings the exact size of an iPhone screen, juxtaposing the traditional fine art media against the pop culture imagery (Now-4/1)
  • Jeff Hensley: Indexical/Aura — Individual units of gilded bars and burnished graphite are installed on gallery walls in a way that interacts with the artificial light to make a mark on the walls (Now-4/1)
  • The Last Swiss Holocaust Survivors (4/6-29)
  • Revealed — An exhibition juried by Nicole Dowd (4/6-29)
  • Tom Olson (4/6-29)
  • Emilio Cavallini (5/4-27)
  • Carolyn Fucile (5/4-27)
  • Georgia Saxelby (6/1-7/1)
  • Gayle Friedman (6/1-7/1)
  • Olivia Tripp Morrow (6/1-7/1)
  • Braxton Congrove (7/6-29)
  • Veronica Szalus (7/6-29)
  • Mills Brown (7/6-29)
  • Damon Arhos (8/3-9/2)
  • Alexandra Delafkaran (8/3-9/2)
  • Tito Amodei (8/3-9/2)


700 Independence Ave. SW

  • Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s — A display of nearly 150 works examining the origins and rise of a new generation of artists in 1980s New York who blurred the lines between art, entertainment, and commerce, a shift that continues to define contemporary art (Now-5/13)
  • The Message: New Media Works — A journey through five contemporary video installations that use music, film, and pop culture to reveal profound truths about life in the 21st century, also the first chance for D.C. to discover artists Camille Henrot, C.T. Jasper, Joanna Malinowska, Frances Stark, Hito Steyerl, and Arthur Jafa (Now-9/30)
  • Tony Lewis: Anthology 2014-2016 — Original black-and-white “collage-poems” by a Chicago-based artist who used the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes as his inspiration (Now-5/28)
  • Georg Baselitz — More than 100 works highlighting every phase of one of Germany’s greatest living artists on the occasion of his 80th birthday (6/21-9/16)
  • 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 (Now-Summer 2019)
  • Mark Bradford: Pickett’s Charge — A timely, commissioned “cyclorama” of eight large, site-specific collages inspired by the same-named Philippoteaux masterpiece depicting the loss of the Confederate Army at the Battle of Gettysburg (Now-11/12)
  • Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Utopian Projects — Survey of acclaimed Russian artists includes more than 20 of the Kabakovs’ maquettes (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-4/29)
  • 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 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


Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First St. SE

  • Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I
    — Examining the upheaval of the war as Americans confronted it both at home and abroad (Now-1/2019, Southwest Gallery)
  • Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists — Bringing to light remarkable but little-known contributions made by North American women to the art forms of illustration and cartooning, drawn from the Library’s rich collections (Now-10/20, Graphic Arts Galleries)
  • 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, North Gallery)
  • 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, Bob Hope Gallery of American Entertainment)
  • 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, Graphic Arts)


1234 9th St. NW

  • Michelle Peterson-Albandoz: New Work — Chicago-based lesbian artist brings her large, hanging-wood sculptures made from reclaimed wood, often found in dumpsters and back alleys, to Long View, where she’s a popular draw (Now-4/8)
  • Eve Stockton/Takefumi Hori: Heavy Metal (4/19-5/20)
  • Michael Crossett — Graffiti-inspired works by local gay artist that juxtapose photography and found images with relevant and commercial symbols and icons, all showing how the neighborhoods of D.C. continue to transform (5/24-7/1)


5301 Tuckerman Lane
North Bethesda

  • Up in the Air — Exploring the artistry of kites in their abundant color and sculptural design, with a view to how modern-day kitemakers use state-of-the-art materials, complex construction, and intricate designs to elevate kites into fine aerial art (3/10-4/29)
  • Still Lives: Jennifer Allevato — Floral still lifes, tablescapes, and interiors, inspired by post-impressionism, with a focus on color and line over realism (3/10-4/29, Invitational Gallery)
  • Washington Waxworks (5/5-6/10)
  • The Unexpected Smile: Dario Zucchi (5/5-6/10)
  • Architext: Jeffrey Everett (5/5-6/10)
  • Washington Calligraphers Guild (6/16-7/29)
  • Visions (6/16-7/29)
  • Buried Wild: Adam Griffiths (6/16-7/29)
  • Jennifer Kahn Barlow — Some of D.C.’s most delicious desserts and dining spots immortalized in a series of tantalizing oil paintings (Ongoing, Comcast Lounge)


Independence Ave at 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 American History Museum (Now-11/11)
  • America by Air — Showing how the federal government has shaped the industry, how improvements in technology have revolutionized air travel, and how the flying experience has changed (Now-mid-2018)
  • 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

  • Community Policing in the Nation’s Capital: The Pilot District Project, 1968-1973 — Organized as part of a citywide commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination and shining a light on a local experiment in community policing, a program with good intentions (Opens 3/31)
  • Evicted — A groundbreaking exhibition exploring the causes and impacts of eviction through an immersive experience with unique design elements and striking graphics (4/14-5/2019)
  • Secret Cities: The Architecture and Planning of the Manhattan Project — Examining the innovative design and construction of three communities built to support the development of the atomic bomb, tracing their precedents in the Bauhaus and other early modern schools of architectural thought (5/3-3/2019)
  • Summer Block Party 2018 (TBA)
  • 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. The exhibition’s centerpiece is a full-scale, flexible dwelling (Now-9/16)
  • 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 (Now-4/1)
  • Cool & Collected: Recent Acquisitions (Now-4/1)
  • 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 Street and Constitution Avenue NW

  • Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings — Experimental, elegiac, and hauntingly beautiful photographs exploring the overarching themes of existence, a broad body of work united by the shared context of the Virginia artist’s origins in the American South (Now-5/28)
  • Cézanne Portraits — The first exhibition devoted to the famed post-impressionist’s portraits, sixty on loan from collections around the world (3/25-7/1)
  • Sharing Images: Renaissance Prints Into Maiolica and Bronze — Highlighting the impact of Renaissance prints on glazed Italian ceramics and bronze plaquettes as seen through 90 objects by major artists including Andrea Mantegna, Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Parmigianino, and Albrecht Dürer (4/1-8/5)
  • Heavenly Earth: Images of Saint Francis at La Verna (Now-7/8)
  • Outliers and American Vanguard Art — A display of 250 works created last century from 80 schooled and unschooled “folk” or “primitive” artists, arguing for a more diverse and inclusive representation in cultural institutions and cultural history (Now-5/13)
  • Michel Sittow: Estonian Painter at the Courts of Renaissance Europe (Now-5/13)
  • Jackson Pollock: Mural — Originally commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim for her New York City townhouse, the early painting is Pollock’s largest work at nearly 20 feet long (Now-10/28)
  • In The Tower: Anne Truitt — One of the leading figures associated with minimalism, the late Maryland-raised D.C. artist is the subject of a survey of works in sculpture, painting, and on paper from 1961 to 2002 (Now-4/1)
  • Saul Steinberg — A special installation of 18 drawings, two photographs and an assortment of small sculptures by the late artist, especially revered for his incisive New Yorker covers (Now-5/18)
  • Recent Acquisitions: Made in California — An eclectic exhibition of seven works covering such movements as Light and Space (Norman Zammitt), neo-Dada (Noah Purifoy), abstract classicism (Frederick Hammersley), abstract expressionism (Frank Lobdell), and Bay Area figuration (Richard Diebenkorn) (Now-5/18)
  • Carrie Mae Weems: Kitchen Table Series — A series of 20 carefully staged photographs depicting the artist herself sitting at a kitchen table under a lamp, offering powerful meditations on domesticity and relationships (Now-5/18)


1145 17th St. NW

  • Tomb of Christ: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre Experience — Be transported to Jerusalem for an immersive 3D 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 (Now-8/15)
  • Day to Night: In the Field With Stephen Wilkes — Dramatic images meticulously crafted from more than 1,500 photographs taken from a fixed vantage point over the course of 15 to 30 hours, from sunrise to sunset, beautifully capturing the passing of time and bird migration (Now-4/29)
  • Titanic: The Untold Story — Exploring the link between the 1985 discovery of the infamous ship — by oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-at-Large Robert Ballard — and a top secret Cold War mission, in an exhibition in partnership with the National Archives and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library (5/30-12/31)
  • 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 have made it possible (Now-12/31)


14th St. & Constitution Ave. NW

  • Same-day, timed-entry passes are available every day at 6:30 a.m., first-clicked, first-served, and a limited number of walk-up passes are available every day starting at 1 p.m. Advance timed-entry passes are also available, booked online months in advance. The museum’s collection features 37,000 objects grouped into sections ranging from specific region (American South, American West) to broad cultural topics (Civil Rights, Clothing & Dress, Music). Further heightening demand is Carla Hall’s 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 (Permanent)


1400 Constitution Ave. NW

  • T Is For Television — A focus on the the history of making children’s television both educational and entertaining, with objects from The Mickey Mouse Club, Captain Kangaroo, Mister Rogers, Sesame Street, and Bill Nye the Science Guy (Now-7/4)
  • 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-4/29)
  • 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)
  • 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 decree that resulted in internment camps for which the U.S. Congress and President Reagan later apologized and offered restitution (Now-12/8)
  • Giving in America — Philanthropy has built many of the nation’s most important and enduring cultural institutions, from museums to libraries to hospitals, and this exhibit offers breakdowns on the who, the what, the where, and the wherefore of charitable giving (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)
  • 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 (Ongoing)
  • 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)
  • 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 (Ongoing, Smithsonian Libraries Galleries)


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 — The 22nd annual exhibition presents 60 fine art prints accompanied by video, all courtesy of the Windland Smith Rice International Awards (Now-Sept.)
  • The Last American Dinosaurs: Discovering a Lost World — As it develops a new National Fossil Hall, to be unveiled next year, this exhibition is one place for the museum to display its ancient bones collection (Through 2018)
  • The Hope Diamond (Permanent)
  • Mud Masons — 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 Street and Independence Avenue SW

  • 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 (Now-2022)
  • 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-6/2020)
  • 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-9/2020)
  • 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

  • Hard to Define: Artists’ Books from the Collection — View selected artists’ books that are, by turns, magical, strange, awe-inspiring, confusing, or humorous (Now-3/23, Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center)
  • Women House — A sequel to Womanhouse, Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro’s famous project developed in 1972, recasting conventional ideas about the home through provocative photographs, videos, sculptures, and room-like installations built with materials ranging from felt to rubber bands (Now-5/28)
  • Women to Watch 2018: Heavy Metal
    — The fifth installment of NMWA’s triennial exhibition series showcases contemporary artists working in metal to create a wide variety of objects, including sculpture, jewelry, and conceptual forms (6/28-9/16)
  • Hung Liu In Print — Exploring the relationship between the Chinese-American artist’s multi-layered paintings and her works on paper (Now-7/8)


8th and F Streets NW

  • A series of provocative exhibitions celebrate the golden anniversary of this Smithsonian museum and its role in defining national “significance” in portraiture. The 50th year kicked off with the unveiling of provocative commissions of the Obamas by two African-American artists: Kehinde Wiley’s rendering of President Barack Obama, added to the recently reinstalled America’s Presidents (Permanent), and Amy Sherald’s take on First Lady Michelle Obama, in the rotating Recent Acquisitions (Now-11/4)
  • Also on display: 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-1/2019)
  • The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers — A moving exhibition about American laborers as seen across genres and centuries of art, and told with accompanying social history (Now-9/3)
  • UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light: Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar — Revealing how people of color have been missing in historical portraiture and how their contributions to the nation’s past have been rendered equally invisible through a focus on two contemporary artists using vastly different pictorial styles (3/23-1/2019)
  • Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now — Revealing the complexities of this relatively unstudied artform’s rich historical roots and the forceful relevance of silhouettes today with the inclusion of work by four contemporary women artists: Kara Walker, Camille Utterback, Kristi Malakoff, and Kumi Yamashita (5/11-3/2019)
  • Daguerreotypes: Five Decades of Collecting — Showcasing one-of-a-kind portraits captured using the first practical form of photography, including iconic figures such as Dorothea Dix, P.T. Barnum, and Seneca Nation leader Blacksnake (6/15-6/2019)
  • One Year: 1968, an American Odyssey — 30 portraits highlight the seminal moments and key influencers in the year of the museum’s public debut, a time when the Vietnam War reached a turning point, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law, Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated, and the Apollo 8 spacecraft became the first manned orbit of the Moon (6/29-5/2019)
  • Celebrate: Leonard Bernstein’s 100th Birthday — On the day before the towering American musical figure would have turned 100, the museum will prominently display a portrait of the composer in its “Celebrate” space (8/24-9/23)
  • 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 as an early pioneer of cross dressing and of embracing bisexuality without apology (Now-4/15)
  • 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

  • Pictures of the Year: 75 Years of the World’s Best Photography — Celebrating one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious photojournalism competitions, founded in 1944 at the University of Missouri (4/6-1/2019)
  • 1968: Civil Rights at 50 — Exploring through various media, including the original film Justice for All, the tumultuous events that shaped the civil rights movement in 1968, when so much happened in the world, from wins and losses to protests by Olympic medal winners echoing those by NFL players today (Now-1/2019)
  • The 2017 Pulitzer Prize-Winning Editorial Cartoons of Jim Morin — The Miami Herald cartoonist won a Pulitzer for his take on the 2016 presidential campaign and other issues of the year, including race, gun violence, and fake news (Now-5/13)
  • 9/11 Gallery Sponsored by Comcast (Permanent)
  • ABC News: 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 (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 push for civil rights (Ongoing)


1600 21st St. NW

  • Inspired Teaching Demonstration School 2017-2018: Community Exhibition — The Art Links to Learning: Museum-in-Residence program culminates in a Young Artists Exhibition showcasing student art from our partner school (Now-4/29)
  • 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 (Now-5/6)
  • Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia — Spotlighting the work of nine leading women artists from Down Under that asks us to consider the unity and diversity of our world (6/2-9/9)
  • Women of Influence II: Elmira Bier, Minnie Byers, and Marjorie Phillips — Examining the critical roles these three women have played in shaping the Phillips (Now-12/31)
  • Moving Forward, Looking Back: A Collection Still in the Making — Selections from the Collection’s archives, revealing the museum’s rich history in photographs, exhibition announcements, letters, and more (Now-12/31)


Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW

  • No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man — The entire Renwick building is currently closed to make way for 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 (3/30-1/2019)


8th and F Sts. NW

  • 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 (Now-3/18)
  • Do Ho Suh: Almost Home — Artist transforms the museum’s galleries through immersive, ethereal recreations of homes where he has lived around the world using architectural fabric sculptures, which visitors can enter and experience from the inside (3/16-8/5)
  • Diane Arbus: A Box of 10 Photographs — Tracing the history of a portfolio of photographs from 1969 to 1973 that established the foundation for the artist’s posthumous career (4/6-9/30)
  • Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen — Blurring the lines between art, science, and investigative journalism through construction of unfamiliar and at times unsettling ways to see and interpret the world around us (6/21-1/2019)


901 New York Ave. NW

  • The Long and the Short of It — A group show in which member artists focus on shape, whether it be long or short, large or small, to paint, photograph, make collage, form clay, or hand pull their prints into harmonious creations (Now-4/1)
  • She Runs Wild by Makda Kibour — A colorful series of works on canvas representing Kibour’s emotional journey through her abstract art towards peacefulness and fulfillment (Now-4/1)
  • Marie Antoinette by Meg Schaap — An installation of an intimate portrait of France’s iconic queen, swallowed up by her environment, metamorphosing, rebelling, and breaking free through “wallpaper”, customs, and norms of her time period (Now-4/1)


1404 P St. NW

  • Queer Tropics — Artworks examining the notion of the tropics in the Global South as sites of leisure, sensuality, and play, by a variety of artists, not all of them LGBTQ (3/10-4/21)
  • Collector’s View 2018: Private Collections of Contemporary Visual Art — An annual spring series of special receptions offering a look into private collections of a select and diverse group of D.C.’s contemporary art collectors (Details TBA)


100 Maryland Ave. SW

  • Orchid Spectrum — Thousands of amazing blooms arranged in captivating displays as part of this annual orchid show in collaboration with Smithsonian Gardens (Now-4/8)
  • Wall Flowers: Botanical Murals — Large-scale art by local artists who specialize in public murals that beautify our cities through depictions of plants using bold colors and monumental scale (Now-10/15)
  • Botanical Art Worldwide: America’s Flora — A juried exhibition of approximately 45 original contemporary artworks of native plants, staged in the U.S. Botanic Garden’s gallery space (May-Oct.)


600 North Charles St.
Baltimore, Md.

  • Crowning Glory: Art of the Americas — Through 20 objects, spanning more than 2,500 years and including intricate ceramics, bold figures, and finely crafted vessels, this exhibition considers how the cultures of the Americas have expressed power, spirituality, and identity by decorating and venerating the head (Now-10/7)
  • After Fabergé: Jonathan Monaghan — Five large-scale digital prints blend the dazzling detail of the original finely crafted masterworks with modern culture (Now-6/24)
  • 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 (Now-6/24)
  • Hackerman House: One West Mount Vernon Place — The Walters has revitalized one of Baltimore’s most distinctive buildings, preserving its many architectural and interior features, including a grand spiral staircase, Tiffany stained-glass skylight, intricate molded ceilings and carved wooden bookcases, and Baccarat-style chandeliers — enhanced with the addition of paintings, sculptures, books, and ceramics from the Walters’ collection, plus installations featuring new works from community art projects and contemporary artists, as well as the addition of a coffee bar with views of the city in the conservatory (Opens June 16)
  • Arts of Asia — The Walters’ exceptional collection of Asian art is on full display in the reopening of this culturally diverse exhibition (Now-9/2020)
  • 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

  • Bob Burgess: In Color — A White House Staff Photographer from 1979 to 1981, who had the honor of Time Magazine choosing one of his images as Picture of the Year, displays a collection of photographs seen “while traveling and chasing light along the way” (Now-3/25)
  • Sally Canzoneri: Moving Pictures & Standing Books — Photographer, maker of books, creator of three-dimensional experiments in paper, an artist working in many directions (3/29-4/29)
  • Danny Schweers: Those Who See Slowly — Through works created using camera shutters, artist shows how the world might look to someone who sees 20 times slower than most people — a beautiful though strange world where forms and colors overlap and blur (5/31-7/1)
  • Curt Belshe: 21st Century Caprichos — Winner of the 2017 National Small Works competition (7/5-29)
  • 2018 National Small Works Exhibition (8/2-26)
  • Printmakers From Rome — A D.C. Arts Sister City exhibit (8/30-9/30)


2124 8th St. NW

  • Paper Cuts/Live — Artist and podcaster Christopher Kardambikis has curated a selection of independent ‘zines from across the Mid-Atlantic for the organization’s bookshelves, and will conduct monthly live, in-gallery interviews with various publishers (Now-7/15)
  • Auction Gala 2018 — An evening of cocktails, dinner, dessert, and a DJ-fueled dance party — as well as a silent auction of more than 200 artworks (4/21, Uline Arena, 1140 3rd St. NE, 4th Fl.)

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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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