Metro Weekly

Museums & Galleries: Fall Arts Preview 2018

Highlights from the best and brightest museums and galleries in the D.C. area this fall

Sean Scully: Landline

Photography from Japan, kilims from Turkey, Fabergé from Russia, and art and ephemera from the American desert are among the many far-flung highlights at area museums and galleries this fall. There are also insightful exhibitions commemorating World War I, the Trail of Tears, and the influence of Shakespeare on world politics.

Yet it is the intersection of art and culture with technology that is one predominant theme across the board. This season sees intriguing, immersive, tech-driven art installations on offer not only at expected venues, chief among them the category forerunner ArTecHouse, but also august institutions such as the Hirshhorn. Meanwhile, another Smithsonian institution, the American History museum, showcases five technological innovations that, taken together, dramatically changed our life with and experience of art and culture.


319 West Broad St.
Richmond, Va.

  • Yo Bruce: Gerald Donato + Bruce Wilhelm — Drawings, sketches, and works on paper by Donato, one of the gallery’s founding artists, as well his student Wilhelm, in a nod to the 40th anniversary of this artist-run contemporary gallery, which will be celebrated in a party on Thursday, Sept. 27 (Now-10/20)
  • InLight Richmond 2018 – A two-night public exhibition of light-based art installations and performance (11/16-17, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 North Boulevard)


800 Key Highway
Baltimore, Md.

  • Parenting: An Art Without A Manual — The latest theme examined in a year-long exhibition at this quirkiest of museums is that of “what might be humanity’s most essential performance art.” Works by 36 artists, created out of every conceivable medium, express, in some way, their personal experience of parenting or being parented — be it good, bad, horrific, or sublime — alongside revelations from the latest scientific research, global wisdom, and fun. (Opens 10/6-9/1/19)
  • 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)


1238 Maryland Ave. SW

  • Fractal Worlds by Julius Horsthuis — A visual journey through mind-bending sci-fi worlds and infinite 3D geometric patterns, incorporating both projection and virtual reality elements, and developed by Dutch visual effects designer whose work has been featured in the films Manchester By The Sea and Koning van Katoren (Now-9/30)
  • New Nature by Marpi — Inspired by multiplayer online gaming systems, digital artist Mateusz “Marpi” Marcinowski has developed an immersive audio-visual experience featuring a colorful digital menagerie of nature-inspired creatures and plant life that react in real-time to users’ gestures and actions (10/12-1/13)


201 Prince St.
Alexandria, Va.

  • The 2018 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 (Now-11/11)
  • Elizabeth Casquiero: Re:Vision — Through the use of retro comic books and lifestyle ads, visual artist reflects the push-and-pull of immigration and what it means to progress while abiding by tradition (11/15-1/6/19)


1776 D St. NW.

  • Lately Arrived: Recent Additions to the Collection — Viewing American history through its decorative arts is the overall focus of this museum featuring several permanent exhibitions and others with rotating displays, such as this collection of 60 objects, organized by some of the characteristics that make them worth collecting (Now-12/30)
  • Period Rooms — The most extensive portion of the museum, these 31 individual rooms tell the story of the American domestic interior, from the 1690s through the 1930s. Reflecting how people furnished their houses, the rooms illustrate a wide range of cultures and regional differences (Permanent)


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

  • Atomic Dog and Consequential Cat — Artwork from Del Ray Artisans members featuring cats and/or dogs (Now-9/30, VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital)
  • Eat, Drink, and Be Merry — A display of both three-dimensional and functional ceramic vessels used for food and the table as well two- or three-dimensional non-ceramic art that depicts or represents dining (Now-9/30)
  • Bringing Words to Life — Pairing a line from an artist’s favorite song, poem, book, or speech with the artist’s visual interpretation (9/30-1/27/19, VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital)
  • Symmetry — Fine art photography showcasing artists’ visions of symmetry (10/5-28)
  • Connecting Threads — A display of artwork featuring fiber and textiles as a major component in construction and/or as a part of the subject matter, conveying some sort of message, emotion, or meaning beyond the literal definition of the materials (11/2-25)
  • Holiday Market 2018 — The 23rd annual market offers pottery, photography, jewelry, cloth, paper crafts, and glass made by local artists (Weekends 11/30-12/16)


201 East Capitol St. SE

  • Form & Function: The Genius of the Book — Discovering a history beyond what’s printed on the page, one focused on the way the pages were printed and bound together, looking at the structure, craftsmanship, and beauty of the oft-overlooked marvel of the book, one of the world’s greatest technologies (Now-9/23)
  • 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 (10/6-1/6)
  • A First Folio of Shakespeare — The first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, including the only source for 18 of his plays (Permanent)


1050 Independence Ave. SW

  • 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 (Now-11/29/20)
  • Japan Modern: Photography from the Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck Collection — A selection of works by groundbreaking 20th-century photographers capturing everything from evocative landscapes to the gritty realities of postwar Japan, with a focus on Japanese artists’ search for a sense of place in a rapidly changing country (9/29-1/21/19)
  • 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 (Ongoing)
  • 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 (Now-3/2/19)


701 21st St. NW

  • A Nomad’s Art: Kilims of Anatolia — Stunning examples of abstract art, kilims, woven by women to adorn tents and camel caravans, are also enduring records of life in Turkey’s nomadic communities (Now-12/23)
  • Faig Ahmed: Nonvisual Language — Intimate exhibition introduces new works and installations by acclaimed Azerbaijani artist, who has taken inspiration from Peruvian textiles to create breathtaking woven carpets throwing conventional patterns into chaos (10/6-12/23)
  • Eye of the Bird: Visions and Views of D.C.’s Past — Examining the evolution of D.C. through two newly commissioned panoramic landscape paintings by local artist Peter Waddell and related works — one showing Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s grand city plan, the other capturing the city’s development by 1825, the year of L’Enfant’s death (10/17-12/23)
  • 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 (Ongoing)
  • Treasures from the Albert H. Small Collection — Recent acquisitions and rare treasures on rotating display from the museum’s repository of maps, prints, rare letters, photographs, and drawings documenting the history of D.C. (Ongoing)


Old Naval Hospital
921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.

  • Regional Juried Exhibition — Over 100 artists working in an array of mediums were selected for this annual exhibition (Now-9/22)
  • Alec Dubro: Hearts in Atlantis (9/27-1/7)
  • Aziza Claudia Gibson-Hunter: Playing to Win (9/27-1/7)
  • Cecilia Armellin: Wink on Asia (9/27-1/7)
  • Cedric Baker: Soul Searching…Transitions in Soul (9/27-1/7)
  • JoEllen Murphy: The Vibrant Landscape (9/27-1/7)
  • Sally Canzoneri: Then-And Now (9/27-1/7)
  • 2018 Pottery on the Hill Show and Sale — An exhibition of works in clay by 17 of the nation’s top ceramic artists, including Richard Aerni, Michael Hunt and Naomi Dalglish of Bandana Pottery, Birdie Boone, Robert Briscoe, Kenyon Hansen, Michael Kline, Mark Shapiro, and Sam Taylor (11/2-4)


4155 Linnean Ave. NW

  • Fabergé Rediscovered — Unveiling new discoveries relating to Hillwood’s collection of about 90 Fabergé pieces, including two imperial Easter eggs, and other famed works (Now-1/13)
  • Perfume & Seduction — Fine examples of perfume bottles, gold boxes, porcelain objects, and other 18th-century luxury items used in the bathing and dressing ritual la toilette, a part of court society introduced by King Louis XIV (2/16/19-6/19/19)


700 Independence Ave. SW

  • Sean Scully: Landline — Never-before-seen artworks from a recent renowned series shows this influential multi-media artist, known for hard-edged minimalism, moving to a more expressive style (Now-2/3)
  • Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse — In its largest interactive technology exhibition to date, the museum’s entire Second Level will be filled with immersive environments using heart-rate sensors to create kinetic and audiovisual experiences from visitors’ own biometric data, as developed by this Mexican-Canadian artist (11/1-4/28)
  • Charline von Heyl: Snake Eyes (11/8-1/27)
  • 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-Spring 2020)
  • Mark Bradford: Pickett’s Charge — Gay artist’s 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 (Now-11/12)


9 Hillyer Court NW

  • Micro-Monuments II: Underground — Focusing a contemporary lens on notions such as the cosmos, nature, and deep time, via the work of 15 local and eight German artists, presented in partnership with the Washington Sculptors Group (Now-10/28)
  • Uprooted — An all-media exhibition featuring 14 artists from across the U.S. with works examining the concept of home and the after-effects of leaving one’s home behind (Now-9/30)
  • Jenna North: The Joan Dare Gallery (Now-9/30)
  • Andrea Limauro (10/5-28)
  • Richard Smolinski (10/5-28)
  • Kaitlin Jencso (11/2-12/16)


Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First St. SE

  • Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I — Drawing on the most comprehensive collection of multi-format WWI holdings in the nation to show the upheaval of the war as Americans confronted it, both at home and abroad, and its effects (Now-1/21, 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)


1234 9th St. NW

  • Gian Garofalo (Now-9/16)
  • Paula Crawford (9/27-10/21)
  • Laura Beran (10/25-11/25)
  • Lori Katz (11/29-12/31)


5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, Md.

  • Dia de Muertos: Cultural Perspectives — Latin-American artists living in the U.S. give their perspectives on the holiday to remember their loved ones, which is celebrated in different ways in different cultures, all richer than the American stereotype of it as a macabre Mexican Halloween (Now-11/4)
  • Emily Uchytil: Passing Through — Larger-than-life paintings of living creatures, from insects to mammals (Now-11/4)
  • Montgomery County Plein Air Artists (11/17-1/6)
  • The 85th Annual Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature — Intricately detailed works of art, painstakingly produced in miniature (11/17-1/6)
  • Nick Eisele: Oil + Light (11/17-1/6)
  • Night: The 28th Annual Strathmore Juried Exhibition (1/12/19-2/17/19)


401 F St. NW

  • Flickering Treasures: Rediscovering Baltimore’s Forgotten Movie Theaters — A survey of Baltimore’s movie-going past from 1896 to the present, using oral histories, architectural fragments, theater ephemera, and of course photography — particularly vivid, contemporary shots from Baltimore Sun staff photographer Amy Davis — to illuminate themes of memory, loss, and preservation (11/17-10/14/19)
  • 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 (Now-1/15)
  • Evicted — A groundbreaking exhibition exploring the causes and impacts of eviction through an immersive experience with unique design elements and striking graphics (Now-5/19)
  • 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 (Now-3/3)


3rd St. & Constitution Ave. NW

  • Rachel Whiteread — A first comprehensive survey of work by this British sculptor, co-organized with Tate Britain, featuring roughly 100 objects from a 30-year career including drawings, photographs, architecture-scaled sculptures, archival materials, documentary materials on public projects, and several new works (9/16-1/13)
  • In The Library: Rachel Whiteread’s ‘Ghost’ (9/17-1/11) ^ Sense of Humor — Drawing from the museum’s collection to showcase the incredibly rich though easily overlooked tradition of prints and drawings used for humorous effect, from Renaissance caricatures to biting English satires to 20th-century comics (Now-1/6)
  • Dawoud Bey: The Birmingham Project (Now-3/24)
  • 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)


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-1/6)
  • 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 (Now-1/1)


14th St. & Constitution Ave. NW

Through the rest of this month, the museum is allowing entry on a first-come, first-served basis via a special Walk-Up Weekdays promotion. After September and on weekends, the museum reverts to its original policy, with same-day, timed-entry passes available at the crack of dawn online and through a limited number of walk-up passes starting at 1 p.m, and advance timed entry passes 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 12 permanent exhibitions focused on specific regions — American South, American West — and broad topics — Civil Rights, Clothing & Dress, Music. The museum also features the 400-seat Sweet Home Cafe and a menu, guided by celebrity chef Carla Hall, showcasing traditional African-American cuisine broken into four regions: the Northern States, the Agricultural South, the Creole Coast, and the West Range. Finally, there’s Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture — A special exhibition showing, through original artifacts from Harpo Studios and Winfrey’s own personal collection, the talk show’s influence on American society, particularly in the areas of race, gender, and the mass media (Now-6/2019)


1400 Constitution Ave. NW

  • Ruby Slippers and American Culture Displays — The museum’s new American Culture-themed wing opens with eight installations including Dorothy’s slippers from The Wizard of Oz as well as jazz and classical instruments, a video game wall, New York Yankee Stadium ticket booth, and a stained-glass window from the Victor Company’s New Jersey headquarters featuring “Nipper,” the iconic dog listening to his master’s recorded voice (Opens 10/19)
  • America’s Listening — Thomas Edison’s phonograph, Alexander Graham Bell’s graphophone, Emile Berliner’s gramophone, Ray Dolby’s noise reduction system, and Apple’s iPod will also be on display in the new wing as five innovations in recorded sound that changed how we consume music and movies (Opens 10/19)
  • Super Heroes — The museum’s annual holiday celebration this year will include a special display inspired by the protagonists of comic books and video games (Opens 11/15)
  • The American Revolution: A World War — The 1781 victory at Yorktown and the Franco-American partnership made the fight for U.S. independence possible, something depicted in Louis-Nicolas van Blarenberghe’s paintings The Siege of Yorktown and The Surrender of Yorktown, united along with Charles Willson Peale’s early 1780s portrait of George Washington for the first time in a national museum since their display together in the 1700s (Now-7/9)
  • 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-3/5)
  • 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)


10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW

  • Outbreaks: Epidemics in a Connected World — An exhibition about the important field of epidemiology and human health, marking the centennial of the Great Influenza and spotlighting the heightened threat pandemic diseases pose today in an increasingly interconnected, increasingly mobile, increasingly urbanized and industrialized global world (Now-2021)
  • Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend — Showcasing exciting new scientific discoveries about these animals in the context of a changing arctic climate (Now-2019)


4th St. & Independence Ave. SW

  • Trail of Tears: A Story of Cherokee Removal — Dispelling misconceptions about Indian removal and providing a realistic look at the devastating cost of greed and oppression from the Cherokee perspective (Now-1/2019)
  • 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)


1250 New York Ave. NW

New York Avenue Sculpture Project: Betsabeé Romero — Mexico City-based artist’s Totemic structures made out of tires embellished with intricate carvings, metallic paint, and interior lights form the next chapter in the museum’s evolving public art program (9/28-9/20/2020)

  • Rodarte — Sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy become the first designers to be recognized with a solo exhibition at the museum, showcasing their luxury label’s conceptual blend of high couture, modern femininity, craftsmanship, and California influences (11/10-2/10)
  • Ambreen Butt: Mark My Words — Pakistani-American artist who injects her style of Persian miniature painting with contemporary political subject matter, as seen in this focused exhibition of works on paper (12/7-4/14)


8th & F Streets NW

The museum generated a bang early in this 50th year with the unveiling of provocative commissions of the Obamas by Kehinde Wiley, whose rendering of President Barack Obama is in the recently reinstalled permanent exhibition America’s Presidents, and Amy Sherald, whose take on First Lady Michelle Obama is in the ongoing exhibition 20th Century Americans

  • Other golden anniversary-related displays include: 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 (Now-1/6)
  • 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 (Now-3/10)
  • 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 completed the first manned orbit of the Moon (Now-5/19)
  • Eye to I: Self-Portraits from 1900 to Today — Drawing primarily from the museum’s vast collection of works to explore changes in how American artists portray themselves (11/4-8/18/19)


555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

  • The 2018 Pulitzer Prize-Winning Editorial Cartoons of Michael Sloan and Jake Halpern — The heartbreaking yet hopeful saga of two families who fled civil war in Syria was depicted in a 20-part New York Times graphic narrative that earned this illustrator/writer team the Pulitzer Prize and will soon be turned into a book (Now-5/2019)
  • 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 (Now-1/20)
  • 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-1/2)


1600 21st St. NW

  • Nordic Impressions: Art from Åland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, 1821–2018 — A major survey of Nordic art spanning nearly 200 years and featuring works by 53 artists (10/13-1/13)
  • Intersections: Richard Tuttle: It Seems Like It’s Going To Be — Combining Tuttle’s 41-verse poem with 41 works created for each verse, juxtaposed with works on paper from the museum’s collection (Now-12/30) ^ Women of Influence (Part II) Elmira Bier, Minnie Byers, and Marjorie Phillips — Examining the critical roles these three women have played in shaping the Phillips (Now-12/30)
  • 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)


1661 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

  • No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man — An immersive celebration of the art, maker culture, and ephemera of the annual desert gathering has shrunk from canvassing the entire Renwick building when it opened last March to its current exhibition of half the space (Now-1/21)
  • Disrupting Craft: Renwick Invitational 2018 — Tanya Aguiñiga, Sharif Bey, Dustin Farnsworth, and Stephanie Syjuco are four artists who challenge conventions by imbuing craft with a renewed sense of emotional purpose, inclusiveness, and activism (11/9-5/5)


8th & F Streets NW

  • Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Taylor — A showcase of the drawn and painted imagery from one of America’s most celebrated self-taught artists (9/28-3/17)
  • Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen — Artist blurs the lines between art, science, and investigative journalism to construct unfamiliar and at times unsettling works showing the world around us (Now-1/6)
  • Diane Arbus: A Box of 10 Photographs (Now-1/27)


1404 P St. NW

  • What We Leave Behind: In The Name of Art — A group exhibition, organized by artist Maps Glover, speaking to what it means to live and create as an artist and featuring work by Yacine Fall, Larry Ray Travis, Khaki Malik, Jamal Gray, Sifu Sun & Hipster Woods (9/15-10/20)
  • 15th Annual Silent Auction & Benefit Party (11/17, Corcoran School of the Arts & Design)


100 Maryland Ave. SW

  • Wall Flowers: Botanical Murals — Large-scale art by local artists who specialize in public murals that beautify our cities, depicting plans using bold colors and monumental scale (Now-10/15)
  • Botanical Art Worldwide: America’s Flora — A juried exhibition of American native plant botanical works in collaboration with the American Society of Botanical Artists (Now-10/15)
  • Season’s Greetings: All Aboard — This year’s annual holiday show features model trains journeying along miniature tracks to plant-based re-creations of historic railroad stations across the U.S., as well a showcase of heirloom and newly developed poinsettia varieties (11/22-1/1)
    For more Fall Arts Preview Museum & Gallery listings, visit
Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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