Home The Washington Diplomat May 2011 Events – May 2011

Events – May 2011



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Mexico Rides in to Host Preakness

May 21, 2011

The Embassy of Mexico will serve as the honorary host of the 2011 International Pavilion at the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel in horse racing’s famed Triple Crown that will be held at the historic Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., on May 21.

Following the success of the inaugural International Pavilion, hosted by the Spanish Embassy and Ambassador Jorge Dezcallar, the 2011 International Pavilion will invite dignitaries from the diplomatic and international business communities to explore the cultural variety and culinary specialities of Mexico, this year’s featured nation.

“Mexico is honored to host the 2011 International Pavilion at the Preakness Stakes Race. The Preakness represents a great opportunity to showcase Mexico’s traditions, rich past and contemporary cutting-edge culture, as well as to acknowledge the hard work and contributions of thousands of Mexicans involved in horse racing and the backstretch throughout the United States,” said Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan, who noted: “I find it only fitting given that it was just in last year’s Preakness that Mexican-born Martín García rode ‘Lookin’ at Lucky’ to take the second jewel of the Triple Crown.”

The International Pavilion is an invitation-only hospitality destination catering to ambassadors, heads of international organizations and prominent business leaders. Tom Chuckas, president of the Maryland Jockey Club, pointed out that in just one year, “The International Pavilion has become the premier destination at Pimlico on Preakness Day, and we are delighted to partner with the Embassy of Mexico and Ambassador Sarukhan in bringing the international community to the annual running of the Preakness.”

For more information, visit www.preakness.com.

— Anna Gawel



 May 5 to June 3
Photographer Adam Golfer, the Jewish grandson of Holocaust survivors, offers a personal documentary that examines the connection between the German and Jewish people more than 60 years after the fall of the Third Reich.

Sat., May 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
TATRA Auto Show
The Czech company TATRA ranks among the oldest automobile companies in the world, revolutionizing car design in the 1920s with its signature chassis design, still used today. A display of veteran and modern TATRA vehicles, including heavy-duty off-road trucks, is complemented by seminar sessions throughout the day. For information, visit
Czech Embassy

May 8 to Nov. 27
Italian Master Drawings from the Wolfgang Ratjen Collection: 1525–1835
The splendors of Italian draftsmanship from the late Renaissance to the height of the neoclassical movement are showcased in an exhibition of 65 superb drawings assembled by the European private collector Wolfgang Ratjen.
National Gallery of Art

Through May 14
Beyond Home Remedy: Women, Medicine, and Science
In this fascinating look at historic medicine concocted by women in Shakespeare’s England, this exhibition highlights women at all levels of society — from the Countess of Kent to Mrs. Anne Coates — who were known to practice medicine.
Folger Shakespeare Library

Through May 15
Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964-1977
Though long celebrated throughout Europe, the influential postwar German-born painter Blinky Palermo has mostly escaped America’s notice even though he continually expanded the definition of painting throughout his career. This exhibition marks the first comprehensive survey of his work in the United States.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through May 15
BRAVOS: Groundbreaking Spanish Design
With artists such as Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali, Spain was already renowned for its art in the 20th century. But after the conversion to democracy, Spain also moved to the forefront of contemporary product and furniture design, as seen in the 21 young avant-garde designers featured in this show. Read Full Story
American Univeristy Katzen Arts Center

Through May 15
David Smith Invents
David Smith (1906-65), one of the country’s most celebrated sculptors, was the first American sculptor to make welded steel sculpture, infusing this industrial material with a fluidity and imaginative creativity that is at once beautiful and muscular. The Phillips showcases pivotal moments in Smith’s illustrious career, revealing the evolution of his personal aesthetic.
The Phillips Collection

Through May 15
Philip Guston, Roma
From the films of Federico Fellini to the vestiges of ancient Rome and the works of Italian masters, Philip Guston (1913-80) drew inspiration throughout his career from Italian art and culture. This exhibition of 39 paintings is the first to examine work Guston completed as an artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome in the early 1970s. (Part of “La Dolce DC,” a citywide series of events celebrating Italy) Read Full Story
The Phillips Collection

May 16 to July 22
Contemporary Jamaican Artists
A selection of contemporary Jamaican artists were invited by the World Bank to exhibit their work in the Caribbean segment of “About Change,” the hemispheric art survey organized by the World Bank Art Program in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States, and the Caribbean Community Secretariat.
Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center

May 17 to Aug. 31
Stefan Zweig – An Austrian from Europe
In 1992 the city of Salzburg honored well-known writer and political observer Stefan Zweig with an exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of his death — a retrospective that now comes to Washington with more than 120 photographs and numerous reproductions and other documents on his life. Admission is free but registration is required and can be made at www.acfdc.org/events-registration.
Embassy of Austria

Through May 22
Eye Wonder: Photography from the Bank of America Collection
By selecting offbeat subjects, shooting intense close-ups, or manipulating focus and color, the artists featured in “Eye Wonder” have created dreamy and often haunting photographic images from 1865 to today, sharing a universal understanding that photographs offer an illusion of reality that is as subjective a means of expression as other visual art forms.
National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through May 22
NEXT at the Corcoran: BFA Class of 2011
The Corcoran presents this dynamic, interactive and innovative exhibition featuring the thesis work of the senior students in the bachelor of fine arts program at the Corcoran College of Art + Design.
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through May 29
A Photographic Journey of the Ambassador’s Daughter: Moscow, 2937-38
While life in 1930s Moscow was a mystery to the outside world, special diplomatic access was granted to Emlen Knight Davies, daughter of U.S. Ambassador Joseph E. Davies, whose large photographic prints — 30 of which are seen here — offer a rare insider’s view of day-to-day life in the Soviet Union before the Cold War.
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens  Read Full Story

Through May 30
Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals
Venice inspired a school of competitive painters whose achievements are among the most brilliant in 18th-century art. This exhibition celebrates the rich variety of these Venetian views, known as vedute, through some 20 masterworks by Canaletto and more than 30 by his rivals. (Part of “La Dolce DC,” a citywide series of events celebrating Italy)
National Gallery of Art   Read Full Story

Through June 5
Gauguin: Maker of Myth
Paul Gauguin’s sumptuous, colorful images of Brittany and the islands of the South Seas are among nearly 120 works in the first
major look at the artist’s oeuvre in the United States since the blockbuster 1988 National Gallery of Art retrospective “The Art of Paul Gauguin.”
National Gallery of Art  Read Full Story

Through June 5
In Small Things Remembered: The Early Years of U.S.-Afghan Relations
More than 100 reproductions of photographs and documents culled from private and public archives around the United States and Afghanistan — created for the State Department and U.S. Embassy in Kabul, the exhibit — offer an in-depth chronicle of the relationship between the two countries beginning with initial contacts in the early 20th century and continuing through the late 1970s.
Meridian International Center  Read Full Story

Through June 18
Beyond the Labyrinth: Latin American Art and the FEMSA Collection
This wide-ranging display features 50 works by some of the most renowned Latin American artists of the past century, including Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo, Roberto Matta and Fernando Botero, from an internationally renowned collection that spans cubism, surrealism, landscape, abstractionism and contemporary art.
Mexican Cultural Institute

Through June 24
This exhibit showcases the work of 12 established artists, six from Baltimore and six from Washington, D.C., linked by the I-95 corridor, flipping the conventional artist-curator relationship on its side with intriguing results.
Organization of American States
Art Museum of the Americas

Through July 17
The Orchid in Chinese Painting
Coinciding with the National Museum of Natural History’s annual orchid show, the Sackler presents 20 works related to orchids in Chinese painting, ranging in date from the 15th to the 19th century.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through July 24
Gabriel Metsu 1629–1667
One of the most important Dutch genre painters of the mid-17th century, Gabriel Metsu captured ordinary moments of life with a freshness and spontaneity that was matched by his ability to depict materials with an unerring truth to nature.
National Gallery of Art

Through July 24
Word, Shout, Song: Lorenzo Dow Turner Connecting Community through Language
Lorenzo Dow Turner’s foundational work in the 1930s established that people of African heritage, despite slavery, had retained and passed on their cultural identity through words, music and story wherever they landed. Features of the exhibition include rare audio recordings, photographs and artifacts from Turner’s linguistic explorations into the African Diaspora.
Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum

Through July 30
Tom Wesselmann Draws
This marks the most comprehensive exhibition of drawings by Tom Wesselmann, a brilliant colorist and innovator who in the 1960s was one of the key leaders in the pop art movement alongside Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.
The Kreeger Museum

Through July 31
Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan
Majestic sixth-century Chinese Buddhist sculpture is combined with 3D imaging technology in this exploration of one of the most important groups of Buddhist devotional sites in early medieval China: the Buddhist cave temples of Xiangtangshan carved into the mountains of northern China — home to a magnificent array of sculptures, from monumental Buddhas and divine attendant figures to crouching monsters framed by floral motifs.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through Aug. 13
The Last Full Measure: Civil War Photos from the Liljenquist Family Collection
Portrait photographs of the young men who fought and died in the American Civil War serve as a memorial to those who gave their lives during the devastating conflict, displaying the faces of 360 Union soldiers — one for every 1,000 who died — and 52 Confederate soldiers, one for every 5,000.
Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson Building

Through Oct. 2
In the Tower: Nam June Paik
A new exhibition featuring 20 works by groundbreaking contemporary artist Nam June Paik (1923–2006) is the third in a series of shows installed in the Tower Gallery that centers on developments in art since the midcentury.
National Gallery of Art

Through Dec. 4
Artists in Dialogue 2: Sandile Zulu and Henrique Oliveira
The second in a series of exhibitions in which two artists are invited to create new works — each inspired by, and in response to the other — this installment features Sandile Zulu, who lives in Johannesburg, and Henrique Oliveira, who lives in Sao Paolo, and their site-specific works composed of unlikely materials such as weathered wood and fire.
National Museum of African Art

Through December 2011
African Mosaic
A towering, striking sculpture of Haitian leader Toussaint Louverture by contemporary Senegalese artist Ousmane Sow is the centerpiece of this exhibition of important acquisitions over the last decade, including more than 100 traditional and contemporary works, some never before on display.
National Museum of African Art


May 18 to 22
The Washington Ballet’s smoldering adaptation of “Carmen,” set to Georges Bizet’s score, brings to life the story of a feisty gypsy who values her freedom more than her love for any man. Tickets are $29 to $87.
Sidney Harman Hall

May 31 to June 5
Ballet Nacional de Cuba
The Ballet Nacional de Cuba, founded by Alicia Alonso in 1948, presents “The Magic of Dance,” a compilation of ballet highlights spanning the classical anthology from “Giselle” to “Swan Lake” (May 31-June 1), as well as their acclaimed version of “Don Quixote” (June 2-5). Tickets are $25 to $99.
Kennedy Center Opera House


Thu., May 3, 7:30 p.m.
Sexual Violence against Jewish Women during the Holocaust
Using testimonies, Nazi documents, memoirs, and literary and film interpretations, author Rochelle Saidel broadens our comprehension of rape and other forms of sexual violence during the Holocaust, revealing the sexual violence committed in ghettos and in hiding. Tickets are $11.
Washington DCJCC

Wed., May 4, 6:30 p.m.
Laura Restrepo: The Lack of Memory in Latin America That Causes History to Repeat Itself
Colombian author Laura Restrepo discusses her latest book, “No Place for Heroes,” which follows a mother-son relationship against the historical backdrop of Argentina’s Dirty War, an epoch marked by military rule, a fertile underground resistance and the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of people.
InterAmerican Development Bank
Enrique V. Iglesias Auditorium

Fri., May 6, 6:30 p.m.
French writer Pierre Assouline discusses his famous literary blog, “La République des livres,” published in the website of Le Monde, and explores how the Internet and blogging have changed today’s journalism literature. Tickets are $15.
Alliance Française de Washington

Sat., May 7, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Archaeology of Ritual Landscapes in Mongolia
As archaeologists dig deeper into the land of Genghis Khan, they are uncovering thousands of years of achievements as noteworthy as those of the country’s formidable founder. Tickets are $120; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.
S. Dillon Ripley Center

Thu., May 12, 12 p.m.
Women Against Tyranny
Davi Walders talks about his new book of poetry that details women from a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds who were part of the resistance movement in occupied Europe during World War II.
Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson Building

Sat., May 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Power and Politics in African Art
Experts from the National Museum of African Art show how compelling works of African art have served to legitimize power, assert authority, and conduct diplomacy. Tickets are $120; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.
Location on ticket

Thu., May 19, 6:45 p.m.
The War of 1812: America’s Forgotten Conflict
The War of 1812 represents a seminal moment in American independence yet few know why America and Great Britain fought a second war just 30 years after the Revolutionary War. Whit Ridgway traces the course of the war, examining the American invasion of Canada, the British attack on Washington, D.C., and the decisive American victory at New Orleans. Tickets are $40; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.
Location on ticket

Mon., May 23, 12 p.m.
History in the Mystery
What do Sir Walter Raleigh, Harry Houdini, Sherlock Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Jefferson and a current-day vintner from Virginia have in common? They are characters who show up in historical mysteries, the topic of this discussion by several noted authors.
Library of Congress
James Madison Building

Tue., May 24, 6:45 p.m.
Japan’s Ukiyo-e Prints: Exploring the Pleasures of Urban Living
Curator Robert Mintz discusses the bold designs, rich colors and exotic imagery that first drew people from the Western world to embrace the Japanese tradition of secular woodblock prints known as ukiyo-e, or images of the “floating world.” Tickets are $40; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.
Location on ticket


Fri., May 6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
Sat., May 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Flower Mart 2011
The Embassy of Austria host this year’s Flower Mart, showcasing the country’s culture with traditional folk music by the duo Liab and Schneid, a Waltz performance by Alpine dancers Carol and Herb Traxler and culinary demonstrations by Austrian master chef Willi Jonach.
Washington National Cathedral

Through May 21
Passport DC
Cultural Tourism DC presents the fourth installment of Passport DC, its popular annual showcase of international culture in Washington that features “Short Cut to Europe: EU Embassies Open House” on May 7; “Around the World Embassy Tour” on May 14; the Fiesta Asia Street Fair on May 21; and the Meridian International Children’s Festival on May 21. For information, visit www.passportdc.org.
Various locations  Read Full Story

Sat., May 21
Preakness Stakes
The Embassy of Mexico hosts the International Pavilion at the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel in horse racing’s famed Triple Crown, welcoming dignitaries from the diplomatic and international business communities to explore the cultural and culinary specialties of Mexico while watching the race. For information, visit www.preakness.com.
Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Md.


Thu., May 5, 5:30 p.m.
Refugees International 32nd Anniversary Dinner
Refugees International will honor former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Patrick Leahy at the organization’s 32nd anniversary dinner that also features a special tribute to the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, with actor and longtime supporter Sam Waterston serving as master of ceremonies. Tickets start at $400; for information, visit http://refugeesinternational.org/anniversary-dinner.
Andrew Mellon Auditorium

Sat., May 7, 7 p.m.
Opera Ball
Celebrating the rich cultural heritage of China and honoring Plácido Domingo, the Washington National Opera’s highly anticipated annual Opera Ball begins with intimate dinners hosted by embassies throughout the city, followed by entertainment, dancing and desserts at the Chinese Embassy. Tickets start at $1,000; for information, call (202) 295-2449 or email specialevents@dc-opera.org.
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China

Sun., May 15, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Arts for the Aging 21st Annual Mixed Doubles Tennis Round Robin
Supporting its mission to engage older adults in the arts to enhance their lives and health, Arts for the Aging announces its 21st Anniversary Mixed Doubles Tennis Round Robin, proceeds from which help to sustain more than 500 outreach programs for seniors, especially those living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, throughout the Washington area. Buffet reception follows the daylong tournament. For ticket information, call (301) 718-4990.
Swedish Ambassador’s Residence


Fri., May 6, 7:30 p.m.
A Venti Ensemble – Around the Pianoforte
The members of A Venti ensemble share a passion for reviving 18th- and 19th0century wind repertoire and have become known for their artistic vision and compositions based on the latest musical research. Tickets are $25.
La Maison Française

Sat., May 7, 7:30 p.m.
Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, Cello
Praised by the New York Times as “a charismatic cellist,” Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir — joined here by pianist Sam Armstrong — has appeared as recitalist and chamber musician across the U.S., Germany, Poland, Italy, France and her native Iceland. Tickets are $100, including reception; for information, call (202) 625-2361 or visit www.embassyseries.org.
Icelandic Ambassador’s Residence

Mon., May 9, 7:30 p.m.
Arabic Jazz
Beirut-born Ibrahim Maalouf — who was raised in Paris after fleeing the war-torn Lebanese capital with his family — adapts Arabic musical traditions to the unique quarter-tone trumpet invented by his father, Ibrahim Maalouf, reveling in the influences of Middle Eastern and occidental culture. Tickets are $20.
La Maison Française

Sat., May 14, 3 p.m.
Eurovision Song Contest Party 2011
The Austrian Cultural Forum in Washington and European Union National Institutes for Culture present a live screening of the finale of the Eurovision Song Contest, which brings together 43 countries for a competition that’s been broadcast live around the world since 1956. Tickets are $5 and reservations can be made through (202) 289-1200 ext. 173 or rsvp@washington.goethe.org.

Sun., May 15, 4 p.m.
Russian Riches
Conductor J. Reilly Lewis leads the Cathedral Choral Society in the return of its popular “Russian Riches” program featuring works by Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, Sergey Taneyev and Alexander Gretchaninov, under the patronage of Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Tickets start at $25; for information, visit www.cathedralchoralsociety.org.
Washington National Cathedral

Sat., May 21, 6:30 p.m.
The Opera Camerata of Washington introduces its 21st season with a redacted version of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Rigoletto” commemorating the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification and preceded by cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and silent auction. Please call (202) 386-6008 for ticket information.
Embassy of Italy

Sun., May 22, 5 p.m.
Northern Lights: Choral Illuminations from Scandinavia and Beyond
The Choral Arts Society of Washington journeys through choral gems from the Nordic and Baltic masters, including a world premiere from Finnish composer Olli Kortekangas. Tickets are $15 to $65.
Kennedy Center Concert Hall

Mon., May 23, 8 p.m.
Ravi Shankar, Sitar
Credited with introducing India’s intricate classical music to Western audiences, “the godfather of world music” celebrates his 90th birthday with this special concert. Call (202) 785-9727 for ticket availability.
Kennedy Center Concert Hall


May 6 to 28
Iphigénie en Tauride
In his final performances as Washington National Opera’s general director, Plácido Domingo sings one last time, alongside the great soprano Patricia Racette, in Christoph Willibald Gluck’s classic tale of ancient Greece. Tickets are $25 to $300.
Kennedy Center Opera House

May 7 to June 19
All of life’s might-have-beens take center stage as two couple rehash past times and favorite songs amid the crumbling magnificence of their old theater in this winner of seven Tony Awards. Tickets start at $45.
Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater

May 13 to 27
Don Pasquale
Washington National Opera concludes its 55th season with Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale,” a masterpiece of opera buffa, with side-splitting scenes of mistaken identity, disguise and a sham marriage. Tickets are $25 to $300.
Kennedy Center Opera House

May 17 to July 3
Old Times
Memory and reality collide in British playwright Harold Pinter’s “Old Times,” as three friends recall their relationship from 20 years prior in a highly charged exploration of whether we can truly ever know another person, or even ourselves. Tickets start at $37.
The Shakespeare Theatre

Through May 21
Liberty Smith
This whimsical take on American history follows an imaginary founding father, Liberty Smith, on an ambitious quest to free the Colonies in hopes of winning a young girl’s heart. Tickets are $15 to $55.
Ford’s Theatre

Through May 22
Three friends debate the merits of a costly avant-garde painting, slowly shifting from the theoretical and artistic to the very private and personal, as their close friendship is put to the ultimate test in Yasmine Reza’s scathing dark comedy. Tickets are $50 to $76.
Signature Theatre  Read Full Story

May 25 to July 3
Venus in Fur
David Ives’s crackling exploration of desire and control pits actress against playwright in a seductive game of cat and mouse. Tickets are $44 to $65.
The Studio Theatre

May 28 and 29
DC Microfiction
Alliance Française de Washington presents this cutting-edge project featuring dramatic readings by local actors of 10 short stories in French and English at 10 unique D.C. venues in two neighborhoods — Anacostia and the U Street Corridor — offering a creative theatrical patchwork of humanity. For information, visit www.francedc.org.
Various locations

Through June 5
In war-torn Congo, Mama Nadi keeps the peace between customers on both sides of the civil war as she protects and profits from the women under her charge in this widely acclaimed play that tells an uncommonly human story with humor and song. Please call for ticket information.
Arena Stage

Through June 12
Side by Side by Sondheim
This award-winning musical revue celebrates the early works of America’s leading composer with timeless Sondheim songs from some of Broadway’s most memorable musicals including “West Side Story” and “Pacific Overtures.” Tickets are $55 to $81.
Signature Theatre


Fri., May 6, 12 p.m.
Embassy Golf Tournament
The Washington Diplomat presents the 7th Annual Embassy Golf Tournament — this year under the diplomatic patronage of Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer — a popular day of golf and networking that includes a lunchtime cookout and post-tournament dinner reception with awards and prizes. For ticket information, visit www.washdiplomat.com.
Cross Creek Golf Club, Md.