Metro Weekly

Museums and Galleries: Spring Arts Preview 2019

Art exhibits in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

The Wall by Grisela San-Martin, part of The Warmth of Other Suns: Stories of Global Displacement, at the Phillips Collection

Among this season’s many exhibitions in D.C., none are bigger than the Newseum’s Rise Up retrospective of LGBTQ rights and developments in the 50 years since Stonewall. Beyond that, those in the LGBTQ community are relatively spoiled for choice this Spring, from the forthcoming display of LGBTQ-related items at the Smithsonian’s American History museum, to the artistic explorations of gender on display in the group show Transcendence at the International Arts & Artists’ contemporary arts center once known as Hillyer Art Space.

Naturally, there will be flowers in bloom at the U.S. Botanic Gardens as well as in the Kogod Courtyard in the Old Patent Office Building, where the annual Smithsonian orchid show is currently on display. And as a complement to the natural beauty to come in the Tidal Basin, the immersive interactive gallery ArTecHouse in Southwest presents a showcase of cherry blossom-inspired digital art.
Also set to bloom this season: The Apple Store in downtown’s historic Carnegie Library, coupled with the DC History Center on the venue’s renovated second floor.


800 Key Highway
Baltimore, Md.

  • Parenting: An Art Without A Manual — 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 (Now-9/1)
  • 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

  • In Peak Bloom: Seasonal Celebration — Five interactive and immersive digital art installations inspired by cherry blossoms, all from women artists or women-led collectives, including Akousmaflore, an interactive plant installation by Scenecosme, and an augmented reality Japanese Garden by Design Foundry, plus an AR Cocktail Bar in the Mezzanine (3/20-5/27)


201 Prince St.
Alexandria, Va.

  • Lyrical Flight/Barbara Januszkiewicz — Luminous and elegant paintings that evolved out of and evoke the artist’s earlier work in watercolor (4/18-6/2)
  • Notes of Color/Washington Sculptors Group — A show juried by Mollie Berger Salah, curatorial assistant at the National Gallery of Art, exploring the materials of both the painter and the sculptor as inspired by the unique multimedia (6/6-7/21)
  • Checks & Balances/Alexandra N. Sherman — Charming collages on vintage cancelled checks (Now-4/14)
  • Water Works/Lisa Tubach, Suzanne Yurdin, Rhonda Smith — Paintings and large prints exploring varied interpretations of water and aquatic environments (Now-4/14)


10 Art Museum Dr.
Baltimore, Md.

  • Front Room: The Mary and Paul Roberts Collection — A display of 35 exceptional works on paper from many significant late-20th century American artists, reflecting the collecting couple’s interest in works with exquisitely rendered geometries as well as expressive, exuberant compositions (4/3-6/30)
  • Expressions of Nature: Early 20th Century Landscapes — Exploring how a selection of European and American artists from the museum’s collection depicted nature a century ago (Now-9/22)
  • Baltimore City Public Schools Student Art Exhibition: FYI…For Your Inspiration 2019 & Art Is For Everyone — A citywide student exhibition presenting artwork by 400 students at 90 public schools now in its 12th year (4/3-7)
  • Time Frames: Contemporary East Asian Photography (Now-3/24)
  • Monsters & Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s — Nearly 90 masterworks exploring timely themes of war, violence, and exile from Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, and André Masson (Now-5/26)
  • Ebony G. Patterson: …for little whispers — Immersive installation memorializes children killed in violent crimes (Now-4/7)
  • Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg/Delights of an Undirected Mind — Psychologically charged stop-motion animation films and fantastical large-scale installations by Berlin-based Swedish artists intended to spark our deepest fears and desires (Now-5/26)
  • Subverting Beauty: African Anti-Aesthetics — Approximately two dozen works from artists during the colonial period in sub-Saharan Africa who turned against beauty to express the meaning and vitality of their day-to-day existence (Now-11/17)
  • Henry Moore and the Pre-Columbian Past (Now-11/17)
  • DIS/A Good Crisis — A BMA-commissioned video series from New York-based collective on the wide-reaching impact of the 2008 financial crisis (Now-11/17)
  • Spencer Finch: Moon Dust — BMA’s Fox Court is illuminated by this impressive light installation, first presented at the 2009 Venice Biennale (Now-10/2024)


Goldman Art Gallery
6125 Montrose Rd.

  • L’dor V’dor: Celebrating the Women of our Community (Now-4/4)
  • A Lifetime of Perspective: Art by Older Adults (5/19-6/17)


1776 D St. NW.

  • A Piece of Her Mind: Culture and Technology in American Quilts — An exhibition of quilts made by middle-class women from 100 and 200 years ago reflecting their makers’ interest in creatively engaging with the world (Now-12/31)
  • 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)


The Historic Carnegie Library
801 K St. NW, 2nd Floor

After months of delays, the historic Carnegie Library across the street from the Washington Convention Center is finally set to reopen following extensive renovation this spring — as early as next month. In partnership with the Global Flagship Apple Store, the Library will also house the nonprofit Historical Society of Washington, D.C., including its Kiplinger Research Library plus a museum with several new galleries. The Big Picture: Panoramic Images of Washington, D.C. — The opening exhibition draws from a collection of over 3,600 black-and-white panoramic images that captured milestones in D.C. history but that very few people have previously seen; several of the 50 images on display will be “blown up so large that you’ll feel like you’re a part of them” (Opening Spring)


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

  • For The Artist — Featuring works in various media that the gallery’s member artists have always wanted to create, challenged by curators Jeff Lodge and Jenny Nicholson to reach into that wish list and create the special piece they’ve dreamed of doing (Now-3/31)
  • (No) Comfort Zone — Exhibit reflecting people, places, and things that are in and out of the artists’ comfort zone (4/5-4/28)
  • Re-Connecting Threads — A Gallery Without Walls program in which member artists’ artwork is on display at the Veterinary Clinics of America Alexandria Animal Hospital (Now-6/2, 2660 Duke St.)
  • Sacred Feminine — Honoring the essence of female energy in all its forms (5/3-6/2)
  • Art in Meditation-the Chakras — Area artists interpret the chakras, or seven energy centers of the body, and associated meanings, juried by artist Jeff Erickson (6/7-30)
  • Art Camp Week 1 & 2 Shows — Two one-day exhibits as the culminating event of art week (7/20, 7/27)
  • Fresh Meat — Featuring the work of new gallery members (8/2-9/1)


201 East Capitol St. SE

  • First Chefs: Fame and Foodways from Britain to the Americas — The named and unnamed heroes of British and American farms, plantations, kitchens, and markets over the past several centuries, as told through historic manuscripts, books, and artifacts (Now-3/31)
  • A Monument to Shakespeare: The Architecture of the Folger Shakespeare Library — Highlighting how Henry Clay Folger and his wife Emily Folger set out to create their shrine to the Bard as a gift to the American people (4/13-1/05/2020)
  • 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

  • Empresses of China’s Forbidden City, 1644-1912 — A compelling tale of opulence and influence in the lives of Qing dynasty empresses in a first-ever, in-depth exhibition of royal portraits, paintings depicting court life, religious seals and symbols, plus costumes, jewelry, tableware, and furniture (3/30-6/23)
  • The Way of the Kami — Highlighting the rich artistic culture of Shinto, one of Japan’s main belief systems (5/11-11/11)
  • Whistler in Watercolor — Museum founder Charles Lang Freer amassed the world’s largest collection of watercolors by James McNeill Whistler, 50 examples of which are part of the collection (5/18-10/6)
  • The Peacock Room in Blue and White — The Whistler-designed room is filled with blue-and-white Chinese porcelain in the Kangxi style (Opens 5/18)
  • Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice Across Asia — Step into a Tibetan Buddhist shrine, visit a Sri Lankan stupa, see the exploits of an eighth 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)


701 21st St. NW

  • Beaded Prayers Project — An interactive exhibition, initiated by artist Sonya Clark, inviting visitors to contribute their own beaded “prayer packets” to a community-driven art installation celebrating diversity and unity (Opens 6/6)
  • Best Laid Plans: Designs for a Capital City — Examining unrealized designs for the Washington Monument, Memorial Bridge, and other structures around D.C. through historical prints and paintings from the collection (Opens 6/15)
  • Songs of the Civil War — A showcase of historical sheet music that provided the soundtrack to a nation divided by war (Opens 6/15)
  • Woven Interiors: Furnishing Early Medieval Egypt — Bringing together rarely displayed artworks from the 4th to the 12th centuries, revealing how textiles infused warmth and beauty into Egypt’s interior spaces (Open 8/31)
  • 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)


4155 Linnean Ave. NW

  • Mid-Century Master: The Photography of Alfred Eisenstaedt — Nearly 50 photographs and ephemera from the Life Magazine artist known for capturing larger-than-life personalities, including Hillwood founder Marjorie Merriweather Post (6/8-1/12/20)
  • 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 (Now-6/19)


9 Hillyer Court NW

  • Transcendence — A show juried by Antonius-Tín Bui of artists who blur the boundaries of genres, mediums, and visualities, with works that challenge the traditional binaries and patriarchal notions of gender in the Western world; represented artists include Marion Colomer, Hillary Rochon, and Sarah Stefana Smith from D.C., Ash Cheshire and John Thomas Paradiso from Maryland, and Your Rouge Photography from Virginia (Now-3/31)
  • Michael Gavish: Crystal Architecture — Originally a chemist studying crystals under a microscope, now an artist creating large, handmade prints of cityscapes in the manner of crystals, exhibiting prints deconstructing her new hometown of D.C. (Now-3/31)
  • Spencer Dormitzer: PONDER… er ING or, I AM THE ASTEROID (Now-3/31)
  • Halcyon Arts Lab / Cohort 2 — A group show featuring the Halcyon Arts Lab Fellows (4/5-28)
  • Heidi Zenisek (4/5-28)
  • Bryanna Millis (4/5-28)
  • Pietro Ruffo (5/3-6/30)
  • Eric Uhlir (5/3-26)
  • Marcel Artes Deolazo (5/3-6/2)
  • Tyra Mitchell (June)
  • Common Humanity (June)
  • Jana Brike (7/5-28)
  • Madeline A. Stratton (7/5-28)
  • Nancy Sausser (7/5-28)
  • Flesh + Bone III — 3rd Biannual Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Figurative Works (8/2-9/1)
  • Christopher Kojzar (8/2-9/1)
  • Emily Fussner (8/2-9/1)
  • Zofie King (9/6-29)


700 Independence Ave. SW

  • Enrico David: Gradations of Slow Release — Italian-born, London-based artist working in a variety of media to develop a dynamic and unique vision of the human form and the ever-shifting sense of being, as showcased in this exhibition feature 20 years of output (4/16-9/2)
  • Rirkrit Tiravanija: Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Green? — An exhibition of real-time and food-based contemporary Thai artist transforming the Hirshhorn’s galleries into a communal dining space where visitors will be served curry and invited to share a meal together, complemented by a large-scale mural be drawn on the walls during the run of the show referencing protests against Thai government policies (5/17-7/24)
  • Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse — In its largest interactive technology exhibition to date, the museum’s entire Second Level is 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 (Now-4/28)
  • Charline von Heyl: Snake Eyes — More than 30 large-scale paintings revealing the artist’s considerable influence in the field of contemporary art (Now-4/21)
  • 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 (Closes August)
  • 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-2021)


Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First St. SE

  • Here to Stay: The Legacy of George and Ira Gershwin — A permanent tribute to the brothers who provided a musical background to the glamour and sophistication of a century ago, as exhibited through a wealth of materials providing insight into their careers and personalities (Ongoing, Gershwin Gallery, Ground Floor)
  • Mapping a Growing Nation: From Independence to Statehood — Displaying one of only seven known copies of Abel Buell’s 18th-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)


1234 9th St. NW

  • ReFresh IX — Featuring new work by gallery favorites Sondra N. Arkin, Eve Stockton, Cheryl Wassenaar, Lola, Kaori Takamura, Michael Crossett, Georgia Nassikas & Ryan McCoy (Now-4/7)
  • Michelle Peterson-Albandoz — Chicago-based lesbian artist returns to Long View with more large, hanging-wood sculptures made from reclaimed wood, often found in dumpsters and back alleys (4/11-5/26)
  • Sarah Gee Miller — Canadian artist presents her first solo show in D.C. (5/30-7/14)
  • Lola — West Coast mixed-media artist brings slick resin works to the Mid-Atlantic (7/18-9/1)


10701 Rockville Pike
North Bethesda, Md.

  • Flora/Fauna: Works on Paper — Members of the Botanical Society of Washington and the local chapter of the Colored Pencil Society of America return with works contemplating the appeal and fleeting qualities of plants and animals (Now-3/31)
  • Surfacing: Eddy Aldana, Julia Clouser, Kim Llerena & Veronica Melendez — Four regional photographers whose works explore our perception of planes and depth in the two-dimensional image (Now-3/31)
  • Ladan Ebrahimian’s Garden of Wonder — Artful gardens reference both the stylized floral designs found in traditional Persian textiles or mosaics and the scientific renderings in traditional European botanical specimen drawings (Now-3/31)
  • Kaleidoscope: Spectrum — Kaleidoscope artists from around the world explore the enchantment of prismatic pieces, presented in partnership with the Brewster Kaleidoscope Society (4/6-5/26)
  • From The Artist’s Hand: Lis Zadravec — Colored pencil portraits capturing both the human expressions of the artist’s subjects as well as their momentary spirit, rendering texture and light with precision while maintaining a whisper of the pencil stroke (4/6-5/26)
  • 32nd Biennial Exhibition of the Creative Crafts Council — A showcase of the finest craft from Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., including handmade jewelry, ceramics, textiles, and woodwork (6/1-7/31)
  • Perspective: Henry Wo — A disciple of the Lingnan school of painting, Henry Wo Yue-Kee combines ancient ideas with modern spirit to depict animals, birds, and flowers in ink (6/1-7/31)


401 F St. NW

  • Animals, Collected — Imagined as a cabinet of curiosities, a selection of architectural objects depicting animals, both real and mythological, as decorative elements drawn from the museum’s permanent collection but many never before displayed (4/20-Spring 2020)
  • The Lawn — In partnership with the LAB at Rockwell Group, this year’s sixth annual Summer Block Party will be an immersive installation taking up the entirety of the Great Hall, offering interactive experiences for all ages; further details TBA (7/4-9/2)
  • Hoops: Community Portraits by Bill Bamberger — A rich and diverse selection of private and community basketball courts around the country and the globe, as seen in 75 large-format prints (Now-1/5/20)
  • 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 (Now-10/14)
  • 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-7/28)
  • House & Home — Surveying houses both familiar and surprising, through past and present — including one of a same-sex couple — and challenging ideas about what it means to live at home in America (Ongoing)


3rd St. & Constitution Ave. NW

  • Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice — A major exhibition of the Venetian master in honor of the 500th anniversary of his birth (3/24-7/7)
  • Drawing in Tintoretto’s Venice — The first exhibition to focus specifically on the artist’s work as a draftsman, providing new ideas about his evolution, the dating and function of the so-called sculpture drawings, and his place in the Venetian tradition (3/24-6/9)
  • Venetian Prints in the Time of Tintoretto — Some 40 prints from the second half of the 16th century, ranging from exquisite Parmigianino etchings to the spectacular woodcuts of Scolari (3/24-6/9)
  • The American Pre-Raphaelites: Radical Realists — In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of John Ruskin, the most influential art critic of the Victorian era, a presentation of more than 90 paintings, watercolors, and drawings created by artists profoundly influenced by Ruskin’s call for a revolutionary change in the practice of art (4/14-7/21)
  • Oliver Lee Jackson: Recent Paintings — Some 25 paintings created over the past 15 years by American artist whose complex body of work weaves together visual influences ranging from the Renaissance to modernism, with principles of rhythm and improvisation drawn from his study of African cultures and American jazz (4/14-9/15)
  • The Life of Animals in Japanese Art — Covering 16 centuries of art across a wide variety of media, organized into thematic sections exploring the various roles animals have played in the art of Japan (5/5-7/28)
  • By The Light of the Silvery Moon: A Century of Lunar Photographs from the 1850s to Apollo 11 — An exhibition of some 50 works including a selection of photographs from the unmanned Ranger, Surveyor, and Lunar Orbiter missions that led up to Apollo 11 50 years ago (7/14-1/5/20)


1145 17th St. NW

  • Queens of Egypt — Showcasing some of ancient Egypt’s lesser-known leaders as well as the hidden role of women in all aspects of Egyptian society (Now-9/2)
  • 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 (Permanent)


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. Once you snag a 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 (Closes June)


1400 Constitution Ave. NW

  • Artifact Wall: In The Spirit of Stonewall — The Smithsonian museum focused on the nation’s rich and diverse history will display objects from its LGBTQ collections in the long, central glass-fronted cases, or Artifact Walls, to mark the 50th anniversary of the milestone that launched the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement (Opens 6/28)
  • Artifact Wall: My Computing Devices — Another central glass-fronted display will display a range of mechanical and electronic objects from the museum’s collections, along with a selfie station complete with a mirror to capture and reflect on one’s personal computing experience (Opens Summer)
  • Everyday Luxury: Silk Quilts from the National Collection — A rare showing from the museum’s collection of late-19th century “parlor throws,” textiles made to be seen, not used, that tell a little-known story about American industry, art, fads, and marketing (Opens 7/30)
  • 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 (Closes 7/9)
  • Super Heroes — A special showcase inspired by the protagonists of comic books and video games, including George Reeves’ Superman costume from the original ’50s-era TV show as well as Halle Berry’s Storm costume from the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past (Closes 9/2)
  • Ruby Slippers and American Culture Displays — The museum’s year-old wing opens with eight installations including Dorothy’s slippers from The Wizard of Oz are among the artifacts on display in the museum’s year-old culture-focused wing along with 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 (Ongoing)
  • 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 are also on display in the American Culture wing as five innovations in recorded sound that changed how we consume music and movies (Ongoing)


10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW

  • David H. Koch Hall of Fossils: Deep Time — The epic story of how Earth’s distant past is connected to the present and informs the future as seen in a new, 31,000-square-foot space; a major thrust of the exhibition, named in honor of a large donation by the notorious conservative political donor, explores how human actions are driving Earth’s rapidly changing climate, prompting visitors to think about their own impact on the planet (Opening June 8)
  • Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend — Showcasing exciting new scientific discoveries about these animals in the context of a changing arctic climate (Now-Later 2019)
  • Nature’s Best Photography — The 23rd annual exhibition presents 60 fine art prints accompanied by video, all courtesy of the Windland Smith Rice International Awards (Now-Sept.)
  • 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-2021)
  • Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World (Now-2021)
  • The Last American Dinosaurs: Discovering a Lost World (Now-Later 2019)
  • David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins — An exploration of human evolution through stories of extinction and survival (Ongoing)
  • Eternal Life in Ancient Egypt — Ceramics, tools, and jewelry found in ancient tombs along with four mummies from over 2,000 years ago uncovered through modern science and technology (Ongoing)
  • Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals (Ongoing)


4th St. & Independence Ave. SW

  • Section 14: The Other Palm Springs, California — Exposing a land battle at the core of the conflict between Western expansion and Indigenous peoples, in a one-square-mile tract in today’s gay desert mecca (Now-1/20)
  • The REDress Project — In commemoration of Women’s History Month, an outdoor art installation by Jaime Black of empty red dresses centered on the issue of missing or murdered indigenous women (Now-3/31)
  • The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire (Now-6/1/20)
  • Nation to Nation: Treaties between the United States and American Indian Nations (Now-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-2021)
  • 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)
  • 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

  • Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling — Monumental sculptures made from wood and other organic materials, including leather, silk, and hair, that evoke the grandeur and power of nature; the German artist’s first solo exhibition in D.C., organized by Philadelphia’s Fabric Workshop and Museum (3/22-7/28)
  • More is More: Multiples — Three-dimensional art objects produced in series of identical editions by Cindy Sherman, Mickalene Thomas, Barbara Kruger, Helen Marten, and Jiha Moon, among others, inviting inquiry into the temptation of retail and the allure of fine art (5/3-9/15)
  • 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 (Now-9/20/20)
  • Ambreen Butt: Mark My Words — Pakistani-American artist who injects the traditional Persian miniature painting genre with contemporary female protagonists and political subject matter, as seen in this focused exhibition of works on paper (Now-4/14)
  • Full Bleed: A Decade of Photobooks and Photo Zines by Women (Now-3/29)


8th & F Streets NW

  • Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence — Revealing the women and organizations often overlooked in the complex narrative of women’s suffrage in the U.S. (3/29-1/5/20)
  • In Mid-Sentence — A selection of photographs from the museum’s collection depicting moments of communication, whether intimate confessions, public speeches, exchanged jokes, political confrontations, lectures, and more (5/3-3/29/20)
  • Women of Progress: Early Camera Portraits (6/14-5/31/20)
  • One Life: Marian Anderson — Examining the ways in which artists, concert promoters, and others wielded Anderson’s iconic likeness as a powerful symbol in the pursuit of civil rights (6/28-5/17/20)
  • Orchids: Amazing Adaptations — Hundreds of orchids of stunning variety fill the Kogod Courtyard in the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture in a joint collaboration with the Smithsonian Gardens and the U.S. Botanic Garden (Now-4/28)
  • Portraits of the World: Yun Suknam’s Korea — Pioneering feminist artist uses portraiture to gain insights into the lives of women, past and present (Now-11/17)
  • Recent Acquisitions — An exhibition of historic and contemporary works newly acquired by the museum as it enters its sixth decade (Now-11/3)
  • 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 (Now-8/18)
  • 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)
  • 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 (Now-6/2)
  • 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-3/17)


555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

  • Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement — Exploring what happened at New York’s Stonewall Inn a half-century ago and how it sparked the civil rights fight of our time, told through artifacts, images, and historic print publications (Now-12/31)
  • Seriously Funny: From the Desk of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart — Exploring the impact the satirical news program had on American politics and the press through four presidential campaigns, two wars, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks (Opens 6/21)
  • 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 (Closes in May)


1600 21st St. NW

  • Maggie Michael/Arthur Dove: Depth of Field: One-on-One — D.C. artist Michael responds to works by Dove from the permanent collection (Now-5/5)
  • Jeanine Michna-Bales: Photographs of the Underground Railroad — Selections from a series of photographs of sites used by those seeking freedom from the institution of slavery (Now-5/12)
  • Zilia Sánchez: Soy Isla (I Am an Island) — The first museum retrospective of this queer Cuban artist, featuring more than 60 works spanning 70 years in her career (Now-5/19)
  • 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-6/2)
  • Intersections: Ranjani Shettar: Earth Songs for a Night Sky — Sculptor and installation artist creates works in wood in dialogue with the book Sounds by Wassily Kandinsky (5/16-8/25)
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: Stories of Global Displacement — Historical and contemporary works by approximately 100 artists posing urgent questions around the experiences and perceptions of migration and the current refugee crisis (6/22-9/22)
  • Moving Forward, Looking Back: A Collection Still in the Making — Revealing aspects of the Phillips’ history through photographs, exhibition announcements, letters and more drawn from the archives (Now-12/31)


1661 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

  • 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 (Now-5/5)
  • Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery — Gallery’s dynamic ongoing permanent collection returns to view, featuring more than 80 objects celebrating craft as a discipline and an approach to living differently in the modern world (Opens 3/29)
  • Reforestation of the Imagination — Elegant glass and sculpture artist Ginny Ruffner has added Augmented Reality technology to her latest series of works to create an interactive experience via digital app (6/28-1/5/20)
  • Michael Sherrill Retrospective — Delicately rendered clay, glass, and metal sculptures incorporating new media and technologies to help viewers see the natural world anew (6/28-1/5/20)


8th & F Streets NW

  • Worlds: The Art of Bill Taylor — A showcase of the drawn and painted imagery from one of America’s most celebrated self-taught artists (Now-4/7)
  • Orchids: Amazing Adaptations — The annual Smithsonian orchid show, this year in the Kogod Courtyard nestled in between this museum and the National Portrait Gallery (Now-4/28)
  • Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975 (3/15-8/18)
  • Tiffany Chung: Vietnam, Past Is Prologue — Probing the legacies of the Vietnam War and its aftermath through maps, videos, and paintings highlighting the voices and stories of former Vietnamese refugees (3/15-9/2)
  • American Myth & Memory: David Levinthal Photographs — Images of everything from toy cowboys to Barbie dolls to baseball players as a way of examining the myths and stereotypes of our pastimes and enduring heroes and the stories we tell about ourselves (6/7-10/14)
  • Between
  • Galleries for Folk and Self-Taught Art — The museum’s collection includes pieces by untrained and vernacular artists drawing on tradition, such as quilts, or revealing a more personal vision (Indefinitely)


901 New York Ave. NW

  • Pattern + Texture II By Pete McCutchen — Photographs of mesmerizing patterns found in rock, ice, sand, even mud, transforming natural scenery into abstract alternate realities (Now-3/31)
  • Daylights Reflections. From Sunrise to Sunset by Harvey Kupferberg — Portraying the influence of the sun’s rays on the landscape as it rises and falls on in the sky; a portfolio of pictures taken over 30 years in various locations in the U.S. and Europe (Now-3/31)
  • Where We Came from & Where We Are Going — Works by Eliseo Casiano, Dhanashree Gadiyar, Gelare Khoshgozaran, Keisha Scarville, and Karina Aguilera Skvirsky in a show curated by Kimi Kitada (Now-4/20)


100 Maryland Ave. SW

  • Gardening Across America — Spotlighting the diversity and beauty of the more than 600 public gardens in the U.S., with a focus on 20 different gardens (5/24-10/1)
  • Celebrating New American Gardens — Toasting public gardens created or renovated within the last five years in the U.S. (Now-10/15)
  • It’s Hip to Be Square: The Mint Family — Members of the mint family, including coleus, sage, and rosemary, are usually aromatic, have square stems, and opposite leaves (Now-11/23)


Special Exhibits Wing
3501 New York Ave. NE

  • Sakura Orihon: Diary of a Cherry Blossom Journey — Landscape architect Ron Henderson kept detailed notes of his pilgrimages to visit famous old cherry trees in and on the horticultural practices extending the lives of the trees, via folding sketchbooks, or orihon, that celebrates cherry blossom culture in Japan (Now-4/7)
  • Ikebana International Exhibit — Japanese flower arrangements, known as ikebana, in a variety of schools and styles, will be on display, with a change-out of the exhibits halfway through the run (4/12-22)
  • Spring Azalea Tours — A guided tour along wooded hillside trails featuring blooming azaleas by Barbara Bullock, longtime curator of the renowned Arboretum Azalea Collections, as she also shares the origins and culture of these popular shrubs and gives expert growing advice (4/19, 4/24, 4/26, 4/29, 5/12, USNA Visitor Center)
  • FONA Garden Fair & Plant Sale — Annual fair and sale sponsored by the Friends of the National Arboretum, with proceeds supporting the institution (4/27-28, USNA Visitor Center)
  • Bonsai Bling: Azalea Bonsai in Bloom — A showcase of the most spectacular examples of late-blooming Satsuki azaleas, miniature in form, but covered with full-sized flowers (5/25-6/2)
  • PBA Bonsai Festival — The Potomac Bonsai Association co-sponsors a show of PBA member trees and vendors selling bonsai, pre-bonsai, pots, accents, and supplies (5/2-5)
  • 9th Annual World Bonsai Day (5/11)
  • Viewing Stone Exhibit: Spirit of Literati — Objects originally collected and appreciated by scholars of China and Japan, including desk objects, tea utensils, root art, suiseki, and scholar’s rocks from the personal collections of members of the Potomac Viewing Stone Group (7/1-9/29)


1641 Wisconsin Ave. NW

  • R E L I E F: Prints by Cynthia Back — An exploration of the reduction relief process, also known as a suicide print, inspired by the colorful buildings nestled in the Andes, in Central America, and along the English Channel (Now-3/31)
  • Natural Connection: Prints by Nina Muys & Julie Niskanen Skolozynski — Works by two artists who share a deep wonderment about the natural world, expressing it in different ways (4/3-28)
  • Rosemary Cooley (May)
  • Helga Thomson & Norman Strike (June)
  • 2019 National Small Works Competition — Juror’s selection (July)
  • Marco Hernandez — A solo exhibit from the 2018 National Small Works Competition (August)


2124 8th St. NW

  • Vaulte X-XII (Now-3/23)
  • Hedonist Buddhist — An exhibition, a curated bookstore, and a series of interactive performances provoking dialogue around the commercialization and co-option of Eastern spirituality and the way this consumptive lifestyle has impacted marginalized populations in D.C., all curated by Joseph Orzal and the intersectional artist collective NoMüNoMü (4/13-6/23)
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