Home The Washington Diplomat May 2014 Events – May 2014

Events – May 2014











May 2 to May 31

A Latvian Voice in Glass

The fascinating glasswork of Latvian artist Artis Nimanis plays with the multifaceted nature of glass — its plasticity, graphics, contrast, optics, reflection and mirroring. An award-winning glass designer and creator of the glass brand an&angel (Angel Glass Design Ltd), Nimanis uses minimalism and strict geometry with the latest technology to create striking objects that blend form, function and fun. The exhibit, part of “Riga 2014 – European Capital of Culture,” is open on Fridays and Saturday.

Embassy of Latvia Art Space

May 2 to 30

Paper: Korean to American

Two artists explore the diversity of artistic expression possible through Korean traditional paper, known as Hanji. Lee Jongkuk uses humorous and witty folk subjects like birds and wild animals on Hanji made from Korean Mulberry tree fibers, while professor Lee Yongtaek works with modern, sensuous colors to show Hanji’s infinite contemporary artistry.

Korean Cultural Center

May 3 to Aug. 17

An American in London: Whistler and the Thames

American artist James McNeill Whistler arrived in London in 1859 and discovered in its neighborhoods and inhabitants an inexhaustible source of aesthetic inspiration. His images of the city created over the next two decades represent one of his most successful assaults on the contemporary art establishment.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through May 4

In Focus: Ara Güler’s Anatolia

Ara Güler, the “Eye of Istanbul,” is famous for his iconic snapshots of the city in the 1950s and ’60s, but with an archive of more than 800,000 photographs, Güler’s body of work contains far more than these emblematic images — as seen in this exhibition of never-before-shown works by the legendary photographer.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

May 8 to 24

Critters and Doodles (Alicángaras y Mamarrachos)

Marta L. Gutierrez’s playful drawings, paintings and characters, whose suggestive names tell us stories, invite audiences to experience the ordinary as extraordinary in a whimsical alternative universe.

Embassy of Colombia

May 9 to Aug. 1

American States in Yuan Xikun’s Eyes: Preservation and Transformation

In this collaboration between China and OAS member countries, Yuan Xikun uses cross-disciplinary art and modern context to energize trans-Pacific dialogue.

Organization of American States Sculpture Garden

May 11 to Oct. 5


Although Edgar Degas’s influence upon Mary Cassatt has long been acknowledged, the extent to which Cassatt shaped Degas’s artistic production and prepared the way for his warm reception by American audiences is fully examined in this exhibition for the first time.

National Gallery of Art

May 12 to Nov. 14

The First Woman Graphic Novelist: Helena Bochořáková-Dittrichová

Helena Bochořáková-Dittrichová (1894–1980) was a Czech graphic artist whose 1929 novel “Zmého dětství (From My Childhood)” is widely acknowledged to be the first wordless novel created by a woman.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through May 16

Abstraction, Abstracción, Abstração

Paintings by 16 of Brazil’s most well-known 20th-century abstract artists — eight women and eight men — were done purely for aesthetic reasons using practiced painting or printmaking skills, creating visually interesting and thought-provoking works that search for a deeper understanding of light, color, textures and technical processes.

Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center

Through May 17

Man at the Crossroads: Diego Rivera’s Mural at Rockefeller Center

This exposition centers around the mural that Mexican artist Diego Rivera painted in New York City, reconstructing its history with unedited material, including reproduced letters, telegrams, contracts, sketches, and documents, following Rivera’s commission, subsequent tension and conflict, and finally, the mural’s destruction.

Mexican Cultural Institute

Through May 22

Unanswered Prayers

The photographs of Anna Paola Pizzocaro, a renowned New York-based artist from Milan, carry traces of her collaborations with Luc Besson and David La Chappelle and tell the story of a dream-like trip between reality and imagination, as oceanic images combined with wildlife and human figures in urban settings become one.

Embassy of Italy

Through May 23

Retrato en Voz Alta

Portraits of contemporary Mexican artists by photographer Allan Fis includes subjects such as revered Mexican visual artists Pedro Friedeberg and José Luis Cuevas in a resounding visual essay on those who have dedicated their lives to art.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas

Through May 26

Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950

The first in-depth exploration of the theme of destruction in international contemporary visual culture, this groundbreaking exhibition includes works by a diverse range of international artists working in painting, sculpture, photography, film, installation and performance.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through May 30

Latitude Malbec: A Journey through Rouge Senses

Argentinean artist Miguel Perez Lem combines several mediums with images from the Andes to recreate the immense beauty of the mountain range through deep reds, evoking the various hues of the distinctive Malbec wine that is produced in that particular region of Argentina.

Embassy of Argentina

Through June 1

Double Mirror

Paintings, drawings, photography, reliefs, video projection and other installations by 30 Korean and Korean-American artists convey the complexity and richness of being a creative wanderer in the mainstream art world, while also exploring the challenges of being a minority in the United States.

American University Katzen Arts Center

Through June 6


Six Australian contemporary artists working out of New York City and London were selected based on an empirical set of rules. In an act of sequestering the artists, each has adopted a system of constraint to structure their experiments, elucidating the vast complexities of lived experience with a remarkable economy of means.

Embassy of Australia Art Gallery

Through June 8

Garry Winogrand

A renowned photographer of New York City and American life from the 1950s through the early 1980s, Garry Winogrand worked with dazzling energy and a voracious appetite. In the first retrospective of his work in 25 years, some 180 photographs in the exhibition and more than 350 in the accompanying catalogue will reveal for the first time the full breadth of Winogrand’s art.

National Gallery of Art

Through June 8, 2014

Perspectives: Rina Banerjee

Born in India and based in New York City, artist Rina Banerjee draws on her background as a scientist and her experience as an immigrant in her richly textured works that complicate the role of objects as representations of cultures and invite viewers to share her fascination in materials.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through June 15

Gravity’s Edge

One of a series of exhibitions drawn from the collection of the Hirshhorn in celebration of the museum’s 40th anniversary, “Gravity’s Edge” offers an expanded view of Color Field painting, which spanned from 1959 to 1978.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through June 15

Rineke Dijkstra: The Krazyhouse

“The Krazyhouse” is a four-channel video installation by Rineke Dijkstra created in 2009 at a popular dance club in Liverpool that presents a group of five young people in their teens and early 20s dancing and singing.

Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through June 15

Shakespeare’s the Thing

Marking the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, this exhibition presents a miscellany of treasures in the Folger collection from Shakespeare’s 1623 First Folio to modern fine art prints, revealing the Bard’s influence on performance, adaptation, scholarship, printing, fine art and even in mild obsession.

Folger Shakespeare Library

Through June 21

Light Touch

The Cultural Service of the Embassy of France, in partnership with Maryland Art Place (MAP), features the work of five artists who explore aspects of the physical world through the lens of light as both a medium and a resource of value to our natural environment.

BWI Airport

Through June 29

Modern German Prints and Drawings from the Kainen Collection

Ruth Kainen’s love of German expressionism, first displayed at the gallery in the 1985 exhibition “German Expressionist Prints from the Collection of Ruth and Jacob Kainen,” will be celebrated with 123 works recently donated to the gallery through her bequest, as well as with a few of her earlier gifts.

National Gallery of Art

Through July 7

Territories and Subjectivities: Contemporary Art from Argentina

This exhibition featuring 33 innovative artists presents a vigorous panorama of fresh trends from various regions of the country, examining the very notion of territory not as an inherent condition of the world that we share, but as something that humans define for themselves through subjective means.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas

Through July 13

Dancing the Dream

From the late 19th century to today, dance has captured this nation’s culture in motion, as seen in photos that showcase generations of performers, choreographers and impresarios.

National Portrait Gallery

Through July 27

Chigusa and the Art of Tea

“Chigusa” tells the story of a 700-year-old ordinary tea jar that rose to become one of the most famous and revered objects in the Japanese “art of tea” — so much so that it was granted a name, luxurious accessories and a devoted following.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through July 27

Kiyochika: Master of the Night

On Sept. 3, 1868, the city called Edo ceased to exist. Renamed Tokyo by Japan’s new rulers, the city became the primary experiment in a national drive toward modernization. Kobayashi Kiyochika, a self-trained artist, set out to record his views of Tokyo in an ambitious and auspicious series of 100 prints.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through Aug. 17

An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle

Jess Collins and his partner, the poet Robert Duncan, merged their personal and artistic lives by exploring their mutual interest in cultural mythologies, transformative narrative and the appropriation of images.

American University Katzen Arts Center

Through Aug. 17

Visions from the Forests: The Art of Liberia and Sierra Leone

The exhibition features some 70 artworks from the collection of William Siegmann (1943–2011) — a former curator of African art at the Brooklyn Museum who lived and worked in Liberia for more than two decades — that survey the traditional arts of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

National Museum of African Art

Through Aug. 24

Africa ReViewed: The Photographic Legacy of Eliot Elisofon

“Africa ReViewed” showcases the African photography of celebrated Life magazine photographer Eliot Elisofon and explores the intricate relationships between his photographic archives and art collection at the National Museum of African Art. Elisofon’s images had a huge impact in framing America’s perceptions of Africa and its diverse cultures during the 20th century.

National Museum of African Art

Through Aug. 31

Made in the USA: American Masters from The Phillips Collection, 1850–1970

Following an acclaimed four-year world tour, the Phillips’s renowned collection of American masterworks returns to the museum to tell the story of American art from the late 19th-century to the mid-20th century, when it became a significant global force after World War II.

The Phillips Collection

Through Sept. 2

Peruvian Gold: Ancient Treasures Unearthed

This exhibition journeys through civilizations from 1250 B.C. to 1450, learning through the ceremonial gold, silver, ceramics and textiles created by the complex Andean civilizations in ancient Peru that rival anything made by the ancient Egyptians.

National Geographic Museum

Through Sept. 7

Small Guide to Homeownership: Photography by Alejandro Cartagena of Mexico

This selection from Alejandro Cartagena’s “Mexicana Suburbia” series considers the interdependence of humans and landscape in the face of urban expansion.

Art Museum of the Americas

Through Sept. 14

Bountiful Waters: Aquatic Life in Japanese Art

This exhibition features a selection of prints, paintings, illustrated books and ceramics that depict the Japanese appreciation for the beauty and variety of fish and other species.

Freer Gallery of Art

Through Sept. 14

Meret Oppenheim: Tender Friendships

More than 20 artworks and archival papers by Swiss surrealist Meret Oppenheim (1913-85) explore friendship as a source of support and inspiration, as seen through two 18th-century poets, Bettina von Brentano and Karoline von Günderode.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Through Sept. 21

Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence

A community of women living and working together in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, has developed a new form of bead art — using black fabric as a canvas and different colored Czech glass beads as the medium of expression — to empower local women.

The Anacostia Community Museum


Through May 3

Urban Corps 2014: A Transatlantic Urban Dance Festival

The Alliance Française’s annual transatlantic urban dance festival comes back to D.C. for its third year with powerful performances from urban dancers, musicians and speakers whose distinct backgrounds in arts such as miming, acrobatics, DJ, video and American urban dance present an unrivaled vantage point on metropolitan culture and identity. For information, visit www.francedc.org.

Various locations

May 20 to 25

Bolshoi Ballet: Giselle

Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet returns with “unparalleled intensity and brilliance” (Washington Post) to the Opera House to dance “Giselle,” one of the most romantic and visually striking works in the classical canon. Tickets are $34 to $165.

Kennedy Center Opera House


Wed., May 7, 7 p.m.

Beneath the Lion’s Gaze

Ethiopian-American writer and human rights activist Maaza Mengiste discusses her debut novel, “Beneath the Lion’s Gaze,” the story of a family’s struggle for freedom in 1974 on the eve of the Ethiopian revolution and the larger plight of sub-Sahara immigrants arriving in Europe. Admission is first come first served.

University of the District of Columbia
Theater of the Arts

Wed., May 7, 6:45 p.m.

Revueltas and Mexican Identity

As part of the PostClassical Ensemble’s Mexican Revolution programming, Roberto Kolb of the National University of Mexico, today’s leading Revueltas authority, discusses the legacy of Silvestre Revueltas Sánchez, a Mexican violinist, conductor and composer of classical music. Admission is free; reservations can be made by emailing rsvp@instituteofmexicodc.org.

Mexican Cultural Institute

Thu., May 8, 7:30 p.m.

Modernism in 1914

To mark the centenary of World War I, Steven Beller discusses how the violence of the First World War kick-started many of the changes that created the modern world we live in today.

Embassy of Austria

Wed., May 21, 4 p.m.

Tarfia Faizullah

Bangladeshi-American poet Tarfia Faizullah discusses her first collection of poetry, “Seam,” which explores the history of the Birangona, Bangladeshi women raped by Pakistani soldiers during the Liberation War of 1971, and the ethics of interviewing.

Library of Congress
James Madison Building


Fri., May 2, 6:30 p.m.

Roger Nakazawa Art Reception

Join alumni from Princeton University, Johns Hopkins and other universities for an evening of wine and hors d’oeuvres that features the art of physiognomy (face reading), a silent auction and the work of six artists. Tickets are $35; 30 percent of all art sales will be donated to Charlies Place, a homeless service center in D.C. For information, visit http://mcbarnette.com/events.html.

Embassy of Austria

Through May 3

Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting & Auction

Heart’s Delight, widely recognized as a premier destination event where master winemakers, culinary greats and distinguished guests gather to play and bid in the nation’s capital, features four days of exceptional food and wine with unique touches woven throughout, including a series of ambassador-hosted dinners and a Vintners Dinner at Mellon Auditorium. Over the past 14 years, Heart’s Delight has raised more than $12 million for the American Heart Association. For information, visit http://heartsdelightwineauction.org.

Various locations

Sat., May 10, 6:30 p.m.

WPAS Annual Gala and Auction

A highlight of the spring gala season, the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) Gala and Auction raises funds to support the organization’s main stage and education programs. This year’s gala is hosted by South African Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool and features Vusi Mahlasela. Known as “The Voice” of South Africa, Mahlasela’s songs, themed around the struggle for freedom, forgiveness and reconciliation, inspired many in the South African anti-apartheid movement. Tickets start at $1,600; for information, call (202) 293-9325 or Helen Aberger at (202) 533-1891.

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

Fri., May 16, 6:30 p.m.

Viennese Opera Ball

Enjoy a delightful evening of Austrian music as you indulge in the cuisine, culture, art and wine of Vienna hosted by the International Club of DC and Lyrica Artists, including a classical music and opera concert performance featuring rising stars of the operatic stage. Tickets are $65; for information, visit http://acfdc.org.

Embassy of Austria


Mon., May 5, 7 p.m.

Georgetown University and a coalition of partners from around the world will present a historic musical celebration of the canonizations of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII in the spirit of Pope Francis. Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero will attend together with Cardinal Donald Wuer and the ambassadors of Poland and Argentina. To register, visit www.iicwashington.esteri.it.

DAR Constitution Hall

Wed., May 7, 7:30 p.m.

Aima Labra-Makk and Florian Kitt

To mark the centenary of the start of World War I in 1914, pianist Aima Labra-Makk and violoncello Florian Kitt play a selection of music that was written just before and after the war, along with more recent works. Admission is free but registration is required and can be made at http://labrakitt.eventbrite.com.

Embassy of Austria

Sat., May 10, 2:30 p.m.

Eurovision Song Contest

Join the Embassy of Denmark to celebrate the grand finale of the World’s largest music contest, featuring 37 countries and 600 million viewers — all broadcast live from Copenhagen, the host city of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Tickets are $15; for information, visit www.EurovisionUSLive.eventbrite.com.

Embassy of Denmark

Thu., May 15, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., May 16, 7:30 p.m.

Operetta Evening

Hungarian soprano Krisztina David teams up with Austrian tenor Michael Heim in a thrilling array of arias and duets from beloved operettas in this two-night event hosted by the Embassy Series. Tickets are $65, including reception; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

Embassy of Austria

Tue., May 20, 7:30 p.m.

The Arabella String Quartet

At their debut concert in Boston two years ago, the Arabella Quartet received a glowing review from the Boston Musical Intelligencer, which said, “The group played like they had been together for years … with freedom, drive and risk-taking that were quite astonishing in a debut performance.” Tickets are $150, including buffet; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

European Union Residence

Thu., May 22, 7:30 p.m.

Chamber Music of Ravel and Debussy

Pianist Ann Schein — whom the Washington Post says “reaches right into the heart of whatever she is playing and creates music so powerful you cannot tear yourself away” — joins violinist Earl Carlyss and cellist Darret Adkins in a program of Debussy and Ravel. Tickets are $65, including reception; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

Embassy of France


May 3 to 18

Washington National Opera: The Magic Flute

A love-struck prince sets out on a fantastic adventure to rescue the Queen of the Night’s daughter in Mozart’s final opera. Tickets are $25 to $305.

Kennedy Center Opera House

Through May 4

Camp David

Nestled in Catoctin Mountain Park lies the clandestine retreat known as Camp David, where for 13 tumultuous days, President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn host Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in an attempt to create the impossible: peace in the Middle East. Please call for ticket information.

Arena Stage

Through May 4


Anime-obsessed Sebastian and emo-Wiccan Claryssa survive high school with a mix of imagination and belligerence, but then a horrific event sends Sebastian on an apocalyptic mission, changing their friendship forever. Tickets are $30 to $35.

Studio Theatre

May 7 to 18

The Václav Havel Project

Alliance for New Music-Theatre presents “The Václav Havel Project,” a double bill that pairs the irreverent “Unveiling,” one of the Czech playwright’s most popular plays, with the world premiere of “Vaněk Unleashed,” a hilarious companion piece of original music-theatre by D.C.’s Maurice Saylor and Susan Galbraith. Post-performance discussions at all performances will allow audience members to share their interpretations of Václav Havel and these works. The production will also be accompanied by an exhibit of photographs by Jan Kašpar, a family friend of Havel’s. Tickets are $30; for information, visit www.newmusictheatre.org.

Artisphere Black Box Theatre

May 8 to June 8

Three Men in a Boat (To say nothing of the dog)

Still fresh and witty after more than a century, Jerome K. Jerome’s delightful travelogue tells the story of three young men suffering from a severe case of “overwork” who take a boating holiday through the English countryside, getting into one satirically hilarious predicament after another. Tickets start at $35.

Synetic Theater

Through May 11

Tender Napalm

A pair of young lovers creates a fantastical, often violent world through an interweaving dialogue of increasing perplexity. At the heart of their fantasies lies an unimaginable tragedy that both bonds and breaks the two. Please call for ticket information. 

Signature Theatre

May 14 to June 22


John breaks up with his long-term boyfriend. Two weeks later, he’s grateful to be accepted back — and haunted by a passionate and unshakable encounter with a woman that detonates a love triangle of attraction, ambivalence and commitment. Please call for ticket information.

Studio Theatre 

Through May 18

Living Out

Ana, a Salvadoran nanny and a mother of two, and Nancy, a lawyer challenged by fulfilling both personal and professional goals, are two working mothers who make difficult choices so they can provide a better life for their children. Please call for ticket information.

GALA Hispanic Theatre

Through May 18

Tango Turco (Turkish Tango)

In this comedy by Teatro de la Luna, two lovers and tango dancers from Argentina must escape after committing an uncertain and painful act, eventually teaming up with a Lebanese guitarist. Tickets are $25 or $35.

Gunston Arts Center – Theater Two

Through May 25

Fiasco Theater’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona

New York’s inventive Fiasco Theater has established its reputation for bringing Shakespeare’s most whimsical and timeless tales to the stage. This dizzying romantic adventure is a comedy filled with bandits, mistaken identity and also the “sourest-natured” dog Crab. Tickets are $30 to $72.

Folger Shakespeare Library

Through June 1

The Threepenny Opera

The haves clash with the have-nots while MacHeath, the ultimate sneering antihero, perches in the middle of the storm in this futuristic dystopia set in London’s gritty underworld. Please call for ticket information. 

Signature Theatre

Through June 7

Henry IV, Part 1

A young prince must decide between tavern roughhousing and the burden of his father’s legacy in the coming-of-age story of heroism, corruption and war, directed by Shakespeare Theatre Artistic Director Michael Kahn and starring Stacy Keach. Tickets start at $20.

Shakespeare Theatre Harman Hall

Through June 8

Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller

Stuffed with nearly 40 popular hits from the golden age of rock, rhythm and blues, this longest-running musical revue in Broadway history will prove that Smokey Joe’s Café is the place to be. Please call for ticket information.

Arena Stage