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Events - December 2017

EVENT CATEGORIES

Art

Theater

Dance

 

Discussions

Music

 

 

ART 

Through Dec. 3

Fragonard: The Fantasy Figures

Combining art, fashion, science, and conservation, this revelatory exhibition brings together — for the first time — some 14 of the paintings known as the fantasy figures by Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806). He is considered among the most characteristic and important French painters of his era, and the fantasy figure series — several rapidly executed, brightly colored paintings of lavishly costumed individuals — are some of his most beloved works.

National Gallery of Art


Through Dec. 10

Stories of Migration – Sweden Beyond the Headlines

Migration is old news. It has helped shape countries and the world. But the current situation is unprecedented: More than 65 million people around the world have been forced to leave their homes. Migration is also an integral part of the history of Sweden; in today's population, one in six was born in another country. Since the 1930s Sweden has been characterized by more immigration than emigration, including offering refuge to people fleeing war and political unrest. This exhibition aims to add new perspectives to the story of Sweden and migration and give insights into the current situation in the country. Beyond headlines of chaos and collapse, beyond politics and public authorities, there are people who try to build a life in a new country.

House of Sweden


Through Dec. 10

Witnesses by Anna U Davis

Anna U Davis is known for her bold, colorful, graphic mixed-media work, where she explores her fascination with gender relations. This exhibit examines the notion of personality traits that are often classified as either good or bad — from curiosity, passion and jealousy to maturity, independence and insecurity — delving into where these features stem from.

House of Sweden


Through Dec. 13

Matthias Mansen: Configurations

German-born artist Matthias Mansen creates large-scale woodcuts that explore abstraction and figuration. He advances the tradition of woodblock printing by transforming pieces of scavenged wood—discarded floorboards or fragments of abandoned furniture—into printing blocks, which he progressively carves and recarves.

National Gallery of Art


Through Dec. 17

Between Two Rounds of Fire, The Exile of the Sea: Arab Modern and Contemporary Works from the Barjeel Art Foundation

This exhibit showcases a diverse selection of works, grouped around the theme of technologies in conflict. The works come from the collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation, an independent United Arab Emirates-based initiative established to manage, preserve and exhibit Arab art.

American University Museum


Through Dec. 17

I Am: An East-West Arts Initiative Organized by Caravan

"I Am" spotlights the insights and experiences of Middle Eastern women as they confront issues of culture, religion and social reality in a rapidly changing world both in the Middle East and West.

American University Museum


Through Dec. 17

Immigration in Ibero-America at FotoWeekDC

The Iberoamerican Cultural Attachés Association contributes to Fotoweek DC with this exhibition of photographers who depict how Ibero-American countries have opened themselves up to foreign people, celebrating the diversity that led to today's merged cultures. The exhibit includes "Miguel de Moreno" by Spanish photographer Javier Hirschfeld, who reflects on the contribution of immigration to Spanish society, celebrating the achievements on social rights at the same time.

Hillyer Art Space


Through Dec. 29

Before the 45th | Action/Reaction in Chicano and Latino Art

This display of 60 works examines how Southern California-based Chicano and Latino artists worked tirelessly in an effort to shed light on the economic, political and social injustices faced over the past four decades. Concentrating on various themes and ideas, the exhibition highlights the diverse approaches taken by these artists to communicate their individual and community needs.

Mexican Cultural Institute


Through Dec. 31

Canadians by Bryan Adams

in celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary, the Embassy of Canada displays a collection of photographs by Grammy-winning music legend Bryan Adams. The exhibition features 29 portraits of Canadian icons, including: Céline Dion, KD Lang, Michael J. Fox, Margaret Atwood, Robbie Robertson, The Weeknd, Wayne Gretzky, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.

Embassy of Canada


Through Jan. 1

Spectacular Gems and Jewelry from the Merriweather Post Collection

For centuries, extraordinary gemstones have been the centerpieces of stunning jewelry made to adorn royalty, aristocracy, high society and Hollywood stars. Over 50 pieces that once belonged heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, one of the greatest jewelry collectors of the 20th century, will tell the story behind some of the remarkable stones and the jewelry into which they were transformed.

Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens


Through Jan. 5

El Tendedero / The Clothesline Project

Mexico City-based artist Mónica Mayer transforms the clothesline, a traditionally feminine object, into a tool designed to engage the community and facilitate a dialogue around women's experience with violence, including topics such as sexual harassment, domestic violence, and trafficking.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through Jan. 7

Bosch to Bloemaert: Early Netherlandish Drawings from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Founded in the 19th century, Rotterdam's Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen possesses one of the world's finest collections of 15th- and 16th-century Netherlandish drawings. "Bosch to Bloemaert" offers American audiences an exceptional opportunity to see a selection of 100 master drawings from this collection. The exhibition presents a beautiful and remarkably comprehensive overview of the period, encompassing nearly all media and types of drawings of the time.

National Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 7

84th Annual Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature

Strathmore's Mansion bursts with an enormous collection of more than 750 miniature artworks for the 84th Annual Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature. This annual showcase of tiny treasures, some as small as a fingernail, features 292 artists from 11 countries, including Iran, Pakistan, Malta and Australia.

Music Center at Strathmore


Through Jan. 7

Renoir and Friends: Luncheon of the Boating Party

This special exhibition will focus on The Phillips Collection's celebrated "Luncheon of the Boating Party" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and the diverse circle of friends who inspired it. The first exhibition to focus on this singular masterwork in more than 20 years, it is comprised of more than 40 carefully chosen works — paintings, drawings, pastels, watercolors and photographs from public and private collections around the world — that reveal the story of "Luncheon of the Boating Party" and the artists and patrons who were instrumental in its creator's success.

The Phillips Collection


Through Jan. 7

Scraps: Fashion, Textiles and Creative Reuse

Textile and apparel manufacturing is one of the most polluting industries in the world. This exhibition explores the work of innovative designers taking a lead in sustainability and reducing waste in the design process.

The George Washington University Textile Museum


Through Jan. 12

Changing Landscapes: Janelle Lynch and Pedro David

Landscapes are constantly shifting, marking points across the lengthy timeline of evolutionary changes and, more recently, changes caused by human-induced technological and economic impact. Today, these landscapes inform our subjectivities, reflecting our present through the past's mirror, as evoked by photographs by Janelle Lynch and Pedro David. The notion of the "settler" and the concept of the landscape as a romantic convention are present in Lynch's photographic series made in México City, where the "settler" becomes a corpse dumped into a mass grave. Meanwhile, for the last 13 years, David has been photographing transgenic eucalyptus that are replacing natural forests throughout Latin America.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas


Through Jan. 15

Architecture of an Asylum: St. Elizabeths 1852-2017

Established by Congress in 1855 as the Government Hospital for the Insane, St. Elizabeths is widely considered a pioneering psychiatric facility. The hospital is a prime example of the "Kirkbride Plan" for mental health hospitals, which promised to help patients with a specialized architecture and landscape. This exhibition traces St. Elizabeths' evolution over time, reflecting shifting theories about how to care for the mentally ill, as well as the later reconfiguration of the campus as a federal workplace and a mixed-use urban development.

National Building Museum


Through Jan. 15

Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt

Cats' personalities have made them internet stars today. In ancient Egypt, cats were associated with divinities, as revealed in "Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt." Cat coffins and representations of the cat-headed goddess Bastet are among the extraordinary objects that reveal felines' critical role in ancient Egyptian religious, social and political life.

Freer and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery


Through Jan. 21

Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today

This landmark exhibition of abstract paintings, sculptures and works on paper by 21 black women artists places the visual vocabularies of these artists in context with one another and within the larger history of abstraction. This exhibition celebrates those under-recognized artists who have been marginalized, and argues for their continuing contribution to the history and iconography of abstraction in the United States.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through Jan. 21

Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry

This landmark exhibition examines the artistic exchanges among Johannes Vermeer and his contemporaries from 1650 to 1675, when they reached the height of their technical ability and mastery of depictions of domestic life. The exhibition brings together some 65 works by Vermeer and his fellow painters of the Dutch Golden Age, including Gerard ter Borch, Gerrit Dou, Pieter de Hooch, Gabriel Metsu, Frans van Mieris, Caspar Netscher and Jan Steen. Juxtaposing paintings related by theme, composition, and technique, the exhibition explores how these artists inspired, rivaled, surpassed and pushed each other to greater artistic achievement.

National Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 28

Edvard Munch: Color in Context

In the second half of the 19th century, advances in physics, electromagnetic radiation theory and the optical sciences provoked new thought about the physical as well as the spiritual world. Aspects of that thought are revealed in this exhibition of 21 prints that considers the choice, combinations and meaning of color in light of spiritualist principles.

National Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 28

Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

This fascinating exhibition explores the surprising intersection between craft and forensic science. Frances Glessner Lee (1878-1962) crafted her extraordinary "Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death" — exquisitely detailed miniature crime scenes — to train homicide investigators to "convict the guilty, clear the innocent, and find the truth in a nutshell." These dollhouse-sized dioramas, created in the first half of the 20th century and still used in forensic training today, were the equivalent of virtual reality in their time and helped to revolutionize the emerging field of forensic science. They also tell the story of how a woman co-opted traditionally feminine crafts to advance a male-dominated field and establish herself as one of its leading voices.

Renwick Gallery


Through Jan. 28

Posing for the Camera: Gifts from Robert B. Menschel

A selection of some 60 photographs in the National Gallery's collection made possible by Robert B. Menschel are on view in an exhibition that examines how the act of posing for a portrait changed with the invention of the medium. Featured works come from the early 1840s — just after photography was invented — through the 1990s.

National Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 29

The Box Project: Uncommon Threads

This exhibition explores contemporary fiber artworks commissioned through a challenge to international artists and features pieces by 36 acclaimed international artists, including Richard Tuttle, Cynthia Schira, Gerhardt Knodel, Helena Hernmarck and Gyöngy Laky, among others. It showcases a diverse collection of works that reflect the artists' creative and ingenious use of fiber to create new works of art.

The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum


Through Jan. 31

DIS/PLACE: Notions of Home in Latin American Photojournalism

"DIS\PLACE" is an invitation to reflect on notions of home through the lens of displacement. Topics include migration, violence, and humanity's impact on the environment as a direct consequence of displacement. The aim is to "displace" viewers and their senses as they look out at the world as well as inward toward their own perceptions of place and home.

Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center


Through Feb. 17

Painting Shakespeare

Discover the paintings collection at the Folger — its stories, its glories and Shakespeare's power to inspire visual artists. From humble oil sketches to international masterpieces, this exhibition presents kids and adults alike, with a sometimes surprising, and always eye-catching, view of the man and his works.

Folger Shakespeare Library


Through March 4

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Utopian Projects

Spanning 1985 through present day, this survey comprises more than 20 of the Kabakovs' maquettes, whimsical models, for projects realized and unrealized, including monuments, allegorical narratives, architectural structures and commissioned outdoor works. Opening nearly 30 years after the Hirshhorn hosted Ilya Kabakov's first major U.S. exhibition, these intricate creations invite the viewer into their surreal world in miniature and offer a rare glimpse into the duo's artistic process.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Through March 18

Tamayo: The New York Years

Rufino Tamayo's lushly colored paintings portraying modern Mexican subjects earned him widespread acclaim as an artist who balanced universal themes with a local sensibility. Tamayo (1899-1991) was drawn to New York City in the early 20th century at a time when unparalleled transatlantic and hemispheric cross-cultural exchange was taking place. "Tamayo: The New York Years" is the first exhibition to explore the influences between this major Mexican modernist and the American art world with 41 of his finest artworks.

Smithsonian American Art Museum


Through June 24, 2018

Jim Chuchu's Invocations

The museum is the first institution to acquire and display Kenyan multimedia artist Jim Chuchu's mesmerizing suite of video projections, in which two distinct videos loop in succession and follow the structure of initiation rituals. Surrounded by Chuchu's pulsing house beats and evocative imagery, viewers are invited to contemplate the separations and releases that shape our individual and collective identities.

National Museum of African Art


Through Nov. 12, 2018

Mark Bradford: Pickett's Charge

For his first solo exhibition in D.C., acclaimed artist Mark Bradford debuts a monumental site-specific commission inspired by Paul Philippoteaux's 1883 cyclorama depicting the Battle of Gettysburg. Covering the curved walls of the Hirshhorn's Third Level Inner Circle, "Pickett's Charge" presents 360 degrees of abstracted historical narrative.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

 

DANCE

Through Dec. 24

The Nutcracker

The Washington Ballet's critically acclaimed production of "The Nutcracker" transports audiences to a historic D.C. era and stars George Washington as the heroic Nutcracker, along with waltzing cherry blossoms, dancing sugar plums and other enchanting adaptations by Septime Webre. Tickets start at $33.

Warner Theatre

DISCUSSIONS

Sat., Dec. 2, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Scandinavian Art and Architecture: Modern Aesthetic and Traditional Heart

Scandinavians are renowned internationally for their modern aesthetic and innovations in architecture and design. At the same time, they are passionate about preserving their past. Explore the creative contributions of noted artists, architects and designers reflected in the region's beautiful capitals with art historian Karin Alexis. Tickets are $160; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center


Mon., Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m.

Denyce Graves Master Class

Washington Performing Arts presents internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves in a public master class with two of her protégés from the Peabody Conservatory. Graves – a native Washingtonian who was raised in Southwest D.C. and graduated from Duke Ellington School for the Arts – is no stranger to local audiences, having last starred in Washington National Opera's production of "Champion." Tickets are $40.

Kennedy Center Terrace Theater


Tue., Dec. 5, 6:45 p.m.

Dickens Without the Humbug

S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr SW

With his gripping plots, vivid characters and penetrating social commentary, Charles Dickens always left his readers wanting more. From his early hardships in a shoe-blacking factory through his wildly popular performances of his own works, Dickens lived a life filled with stunning triumphs and tragic reversals. Follow the life and career of Charles Dickens through the best of times and the worst of times with author Daniel Stashower while actor Scott Sedar reads a selection of the writer's most celebrated works. Tickets are $50; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center


Wed., Dec. 6, 6:45 p.m.

Hannibal's Oath: The Life and Wars of Rome's Greatest Enemy

In the spring of 218 B.C., Hannibal and his army prepared to leave New Carthage in southeastern Spain to undertake a seemingly impossible mission. His goal was to cross the Alps and surprise Rome with an attack from the north, in an attempt to break the republic's hold on Italy. In the 1,000 miles that separated the army from their destination, they faced hostile tribes, steep and exposed climbs, severe weather conditions and starvation. Although thousands of men lost their lives in this quest, their general's leadership ensured the success of their mission. Drawing on his new biography, historian John Prevas tells the story of one of the foremost military leaders of the ancient world. Tickets are $30; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center


Thu., Dec. 7, 6:45 p.m.

Indiana Jones, The Eternal Explorer: The Politics of Archaeology, Empires, and Exploration

Indiana Jones is an appealing figure: a handsome, thoughtful professor by day, swashbuckling savior of the world's archaeological treasures by night. Although Jones is fictional, many of the major themes in the film franchise that celebrates his exploits are reflected in the stories of significant archaeological expeditions and missions of exploration throughout the world, from the excavation of Pompeii in 1750 to the Cold War-era race to the moon. Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, leads the expedition into real-life and Hollywood-style history. Tickets are $30; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center


Sat., Dec. 9, 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

The Olmec Culture: Monuments, Masterpieces, and Mysteries

The Olmec culture flourished in several civic and ceremonial centers along the Gulf of Mexico more than 3,000 years ago, from 1500 to 400 B.C. Best known for their carvings of colossal stone heads, the Olmec were masters of monumental sculpture, and also produced some of the earliest evidence of urban planning and systems of numbering and glyphic writing in North America. George L. Scheper of Johns Hopkins University provides a cultural overview of these Olmec achievements. Tickets are $140; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center

 

MUSIC

Sun., Dec. 3, 2 p.m.

Pasatono Orquesta Mexicana

Enjoy the sounds of Oaxaca as performed by the Pasatono Orquesta Mexicana, which is dedicated to preserving and reinterpreting indigenous Oaxacan music on traditional instruments, combining the historic sounds of the region with contemporary music. This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition "Tamayo: The New York Years" and in partnership with the Mexican Cultural Institute

Smithsonian American Art Museum


Dec. 9 to 17

The Christmas Revels: A French-Canadian Celebration of the Winter Solstice

For its 35th annual production, journey with The Christmas Revels to Trois-Rivières, a charming town in southern Québec. The timber business is thriving and the Hudson's Bay Company is paying good money for beaver pelts. A group of young men prepares to leave home to seek profit and adventure—to be voyageurs. They paddle a huge canoe across rivers and lakes, deep into the wild Canadian woods, singing as they go. This energetic Québécois winter celebration features carols, wild dancing, and foot-stomping instrumentals, blending old French traditions with New World ingenuity. Tickets are $18 to $60.

GW Lisner Auditorium


Dec. 17 to 24

The Choral Arts Society of Washington: Christmas with Choral Arts

Choral Arts celebrates the joys of the season in a delightful program of popular holiday standards and seasonal Christmas classics. Tickets are $15 to $69.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall


Mon., Dec. 18, 7 p.m.

Christopher Schmitt, Piano
Caroline Bean-Stute, Cellist

Christopher Schmitt is a virtuoso classical concert pianist, teacher and chamber musician who studied at the Juilliard School in New York and performs regularly in ensembles at the White House and D.C. area as a member of the President's Own U.S. Marine Band. Cellist Caroline Bean-Stute is co-artistic director of the Capitol Hill-based Chiarina Chamber Players, and holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Indiana University. Tickets are $30, including holiday reception; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

International Student House

 

THEATER

Through Dec. 2

Top Girls

The Keegan Theatre presents Caryl Churchill's Obie Award-winning play "Top Girls," which reveals a world of women's experience at a pivotal moment in British history: the beginning of the Thatcher years. Tickets are $45.

Andrew Keegan Theatre


Dec. 5 to 31

The Second City's Twist Your Dickens

Experience Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol" like never before, with this holiday favorite from The Second City. The legendary comedy troupe brings its infamous improvisational skills and sketch comedy mastery to the timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge. Tickets are $49 to $75.

Kennedy Center Theater Lab


Dec. 6 to 9

Private Confessions, Part of the Bergman 100 Celebration

Ingmar Bergman's muse, celebrated director Liv Ullmann, expands Bergman's 1996 film into a stage adaptation of poignant, non-linear series of "confessions" which delve into the realms of infidelity, family relationships, loneliness, and the weighty results of keeping secrets deep within. Tickets are $19 to $49.

Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater


Dec. 12 to Jan. 7

An American in Paris

"An American in Paris" is the new Tony–winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Please call for ticket information.

Kennedy Center Opera House


Dec. 14 to 17

Washington National Opera: The Little Prince

On his tiny home planet, a young boy begins a quest across the cosmos to find new companionship. Featuring a tuneful score by Oscar winner Rachel Portman, the opera also showcases the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists and WNO Children's Chorus. Tickets are $45 to $65.

Kennedy Center Terrace Theater


Through Dec. 20

Twelfth Night

Stranded on the coast of Illyria, the quick-witted Viola assumes the disguise of a page boy for Duke Orsino and finds herself at the center of an explosive love triangle in which identity, passion and gender all threaten to come undone. Please call for ticket information.

Shakespeare Theatre Harman Hall


Through Dec. 23

Hansel and Gretel

During the bustle of holiday crowds, Gretel tries to keep her brother, Hansel, out of trouble while their unengaged babysitter leaves Gretel to fend for them both. In this wordless production, the well-beloved Grimm fairy tale embraces the fantastical through the eyes of those who see the world through a different lens. Tickets are $20.

Synetic Theater


Through Dec. 24

Nina Simone: Four Women

Celebrating the life and music of Nina Simone, one of America's most iconic singers and civil rights activists, Christina Ham's provocative musical journey makes its East Coast debut. Set in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in which four little girls lost their lives in 1963, Ham uses Simone's song "Four Women" as the framework to explore the songstress' shift from artist to artist-activist. Tickets are $40 to $90.

Arena Stage


Through Dec. 24

The Pajama Game

Winner of the 1955 Tony Award for Best Musical, "The Pajama Game" follows Sid Sorokin and Babe Williams in a battle of the sexes romance that soars with seductive dance numbers like "Steam Heat" and "Hernando's Hideaway." Tickets are $50 to $99.

Arena Stage


Through Dec. 31

A Christmas Carol

Acclaimed actor Craig Wallace returns to Ford's Theatre to play Ebenezer Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol"—a production heralded as a "rich visual and vocal treat" (TheaterMania) and "infectiously jolly" (The Washington Post). Please call for ticket information.

Ford's Theatre


Through Dec. 31

Nothing to Lose (But Our Chains)

Standup comic Felonious Munk tells the hilarious and harrowing story of how one black man went from six years in a state prison to a six-figure job in corporate America to a new life as an activist and satirist. Tickets start at $49.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company