Home The Washington Diplomat September 2015 Events – September 2015

Events – September 2015












Through Sept. 4

Justine Otto: hyder flares

Leading German contemporary figurative painter Justine Otto, who won the Phillips Collection’s second annual Emerging Artist Prize, creates representational pictures that burn themselves into the viewer’s retina, simultaneously fascinating and disturbing. Otto’s exhibition “hyder flares,” borrows its name from this cosmic phenomenon as it focuses on such peculiar constellations, incidents and connections in human interactions.



Through Sept. 7

Watch This! Revelations in Media Art

This exhibit of pioneering and contemporary artworks that trace the evolution of a continuously emerging medium celebrates artists who are engaged in a creative revolution — one shaped as much by developments in science and technology as by style or medium.

Smithsonian American Art Museum


Through Sept. 11

Miguel Salom: Ictum Olim III: Ambrotypes and Tintypes

Miquel Salom’s exhibited works resulted from decades of applied photographic research and visits to the United States to observe, firsthand, original works by photography pioneers. Selected portraits and landscapes use wet collodion, an early form of photographic emulsion.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas


Sept. 12 to Oct. 18

Jordan Eagles: Blood Mirror

The central artwork in this exhibiton is a seven-foot-tall, interactive, monolithic sculpture, made with blood donated from nine gay, bisexual and trans men in protest of the FDA’s ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men.

American University Museum Katzen Arts Center


Sept. 12 to Oct. 18

Pulse of the Future

Contemporary Chinese art captured the world’s attention in the 1980s. Now the next generation is coming of age and staking a claim for artistic precedence, as seen in this display of painting, photography and prints by six emerging Chinese artists.

American University Museum Katzen Arts Center


Sept. 12 to Oct. 18

Reflections and Contradictions: Five Decades

Mixed-media sculptor Mary Shaffer utilizes glass to explore her fascination with discarded tools “to preserve and pay tribute to activities and methods of working that have disappeared from our modern lives.”

American University Museum Katzen Arts Center


Sept. 12 to Jan. 3

Age of Lawyers: The Roots of American Law in Shakespeare’s Britain

In the 800th anniversary year of the Magna Carta, “Age of Lawyers” offers a close-up look at the rapid increase of lawyers and legal actions in Shakespeare’s Britain, from the law’s impact on daily life to major political and legal disputes — some invoking the Magna Carta — that still influence American politics and government.

Folger Shakespeare Library


Through Sept. 13

American Moments: Photographs from the Phillips Collection

In celebration of recent major gifts, the Phillips presents for the first time a major photography exhibition drawn exclusively from the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibit showcases more than 140 photographs that capture the changing landscape of America after World War I, with more than 30 renowned artists represented and many works new to the collection.

The Phillips Collection


Through Sept. 13

Chief S.O. Alonge: Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria

This retrospective showcases the work of noted Nigerian photographer Chief S.O. Alonge, the first indigenous photographer of the Royal Court of Benin, in conjunction with royal arts from the Benin kingdom. The collection of historic photographs was captured on Kodak glass-plate negatives and documents more than 50 years of the ritual, pageantry and regalia of the obas (kings), their wives and retainers.

National Museum of African Art


Through Sept. 13

The Memory of Time: Contemporary Photographs at the National Gallery of Art

In the decades since 1990, the concepts of time and memory have been frequently explored by photographers who seek not simply to reflect the world but to illuminate how photography constructs our understanding of it. This exhibition explores the work of 26 contemporary artists who investigate the complex and resonant relationship of photography to time, memory and history.

National Gallery of Art


Through Sept. 13

Organic Matters – Women to Watch 2015 / Super Natural

Historically, women artists were encouraged by society to take the natural world as their subject. Rather than narrative art, which was thought to require invention and imagination beyond women’s capabilities, subjects such as botanical drawings, still-life paintings and images of animals seemed to require merely the power of observation. Turning this archaic paradigm upside down, these featured contemporary artists actively redefine the relationship of women, nature and art by investigating the natural world — to fanciful and sometimes frightful effect.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through Sept. 13

Super Natural

Rather than merely document beauty, artists in “Super Natural” engage with nature as a space for exploration and invention. Historical painters and naturalists focused on the singularity or strangeness of plant and animal specimens, sometimes adding narrative details and imagined settings.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through Sept. 15

Art between the Lines: A Creative Dialogue on Sustainability and Interdependency

Works by Eunmee Chung and Judy Stone explore the notion of sustainability through art as both model and mirror for our modern society. Through contrasting installation, metalworking, visual and fabric arts, this dialogue between Chung, of South Korea, and Stone, of the United States, touches on a universal trend in art and other creative disciplines today: that true sustainability requires not just respect for nature, but an understanding of the interdependency of individuals, society and our environment.

Korean Cultural Center


Sept. 15 to 25

We Gave Our Best Now the Rest Is Up for the Hope Chest

Traditionally in the form of a wooden trunk or box, a hope chest contained the dowry of a young woman. The box and its contents played an important part not only in the business transaction between two families, but also served as a survival kit for the new life the newlyweds were about to enter. With this in mind, a group of European artists produced a hope chest that traveled from the Old World to the New World and back again. At each station, artists participated in shaping the content of the box and therefore the exhibition.

Embassy of Austria


Through Sept. 20

Shirin Neshat: Facing History

This major exhibition of works by Iranian-born, New York-based video artist, photographer and filmmaker Shirin Neshat is the first to place Neshat’s work in the context of the history of modern Iran, a significant influence on her career.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Sept. 22 to Oct. 24

…De Peregrina a Peregrina…

This photography exhibit created by Mónica Guerrero Mouret highlights the annual pilgrimage taken by thousands to the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The images tell the story of motivation beyond religious belief; they show a pilgrimage born from tradition that has evolved over hundreds of years and is now an identifying aspect of Mexican culture.

Mexican Cultural Institute


Through Sept. 27

Waterweavers: The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture

The confluence of the image of the river and the act of weaving is present both metaphorically and literally across contemporary practices in Colombia. Using the river as a conceptual device to explore the intersections in Colombian culture today between design, craft and art, “Waterweavers” investigates the intricate ways in which culture and nature can intertwine across disciplines.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas


Through Oct. 4

Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye

Gustave Caillebotte (1848-94) was among the most critically noted impressionist artists during the height of their activity in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Some 45 paintings from the period when Caillebotte was fully engaged with the impressionist movement will provide a focused understanding of the provocative character and complexity of his artistic contributions.

National Gallery of Art


Through Oct. 4

Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael

The first monographic exhibition on Dutch painter Wtewael will showcase his international mannerist style and remarkable technical ability through some 45 complex biblical and mythological narratives, as well as portraits and genre scenes.

National Gallery of Art


Through Oct. 4

Recent Acquisitions of Italian Renaissance Prints: Ideas Made Flesh

Prints played a pivotal role in the development and transmission of Italian Renaissance style. But because many of these 16th-century prints reproduce the designs of other artists, they have often been undervalued. This exhibition presents some two dozen, reflecting the principal styles and numerous major masters of the period.

National Gallery of Art


Through Oct. 31

Celebrating 25 Years of the MCI Silver on Silver: William Spratling, An American in Taxco

Adventurer, writer, collector, illustrator, architect, designer, entrepreneur and businessman are just a few words that have been used to describe William Spratling, a person who undoubtedly had much to do with Taxco’s transformation from Mexican small town to center of design. Granted to the Museo Franz Mayer for a 10-year loan in 2012, this exhibition shows the trajectory of Spratling’s vision for design as tool of not only aesthetics, but also one of social transformation. In four parts covering different themes, silver pieces, including jewelry and documents, seek to show Spratling as a designer committed to his context and his community.

Mexican Cultural Institute


Through Nov. 1

The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists

This dramatic multimedia exhibition reveals the ongoing global relevance of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic as part of a shared intellectual heritage and includes original commissions and renowned works of art by approximately 40 of the most dynamic contemporary artists from 19 African nations and the diaspora.

National Museum of African Art


Through Dec. 31

Ingénue to Icon: 70 Years of Fashion

The first exhibition at Hillwood to present Marjorie Post’s full range of style, “Ingénue to Icon” will examine how Post’s lifelong passion for objects that were exceptionally beautiful and impeccably constructed extended to her taste for clothing.

Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens


Through Jan. 2

Peacock Room Remix: Darren Waterston’s Filthy Lucre

“Peacock Room REMIX” centers on “Filthy Lucre,” an immersive interior by painter Darren Waterston who reinterprets James McNeill Whistler’s famed Peacock Room as a resplendent ruin, an aesthetic space that is literally overburdened by its own excesses — of materials, history, and creativity. Like “Filthy Lucre” and the original Peacock Room, this exhibition invites viewers to consider the complex relationships among art, money and the passage of time.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery


Through Jan. 3

Bold and Beautiful: Rinpa in Japanese Art

The modern term Rinpa (Rimpa) describes a remarkable group of Japanese artists who created striking images for paintings, ceramics, textiles and lacquerware.

Freer Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 3

Enigmas: The Art of Bada Shanren (1626-1705)

Born a prince of the Ming imperial house, Bada Shanren (1626–1705) lived a storied life, remaking himself as a secluded Buddhist monk and, later, as a professional painter and calligrapher. Featured in this exhibition are examples of his most daring and idiosyncratic works, demonstrating his unique visual vocabulary.

Freer Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 3

Le Onde: Waves of Italian Influence (1914-1971)

This exhibition of nearly 20 works from the museum’s collection follows Italian contributions to the transnational evolution of abstraction, through movements and tendencies such as futurism, spatialism, op art and kinetic art.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Through June 5

Perspectives: Lara Baladi

Egyptian-Lebanese artist Lara Baladi experiments with the photographic medium, investigating its history and its role in shaping perceptions of the Middle East, particularly Egypt, where she is based.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery



Sat., Sept. 5, 8 p.m.


Presented by KanKouran West African Dance Company, “Mandinka” is based on the rise and spread of the legendary Mali Empire of West Africa. Tickets are $25.

GW Lisner Auditorium


Sat., Sept. 19, 8 p.m.

Mystic India

Mystic India is an internationally acclaimed Bollywood dance spectacular based on ancient India’s transition into modern India. The show features renowned musicians, brilliant dancers, breathtaking aerialists and acrobats, and hundreds of opulent costumes. Tickets are $40 to $60.

GW Lisner Auditorium


Sept. 19 to 20

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company: Fluency in Four

The Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company performs three repertory works by Burgess — “Picasso Dances,” “Mandala” and “Confluence” — as well as the premiere of his newest work, “We choose to go to the moon,” created in collaboration with NASA, about the connection between human beings and space. Tickets are $28 to $45.

Kennedy Center Terrace Theater


Sat., Sept. 26, 8 p.m.

Tango Lovers

“Tango Lovers,” lauded by Latin ACE 2015 as “The Best Musical Show of the Year,” is one of the most dynamic, elegant, exciting and sensuous performances touring around the world, sharing the cultural essence and evolution of tango through the art of dance and music. Tickets are $38.

GW Lisner Auditorium



Thu., Sept. 10, 6:45 p.m.

Origins of the Mexican Flag

Considered one of the leading innovators of historical research, Dr. Enrique Florescano has authored several books and articles on Mexican history, focusing on pre-Hispanic culture, social and economic history, national identity and more. His lecture (in Spanish) will focus on the history and origins of the Mexican flag. Admission is free; RSVP at www.instituteofmexicodc.org.

Mexican Cultural Institute


Thu., Sept. 24, 6:45 p.m.

New Mexican Cultural Diplomacy

César Villanueva discusses his book “Una nueva diplomacia cultural para Mexico/New Mexican Cultural Diplomacy,” a compilation of texts from diplomats and cultural experts, and talks with Alejandro Estivill about international relations and cultural diplomacy as they relate to Mexico. Admission is free; RSVP at www.instituteofmexicodc.org.

Mexican Cultural Institute


Mon., Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m.

The Night’s Music: W.S. DiPiero and Rowan Ricardo Phillips

Two acclaimed poets read from their work that sings and improvises to the music of the natural and urban world as part of the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series. Tickets are $15.

Folger Shakespeare Library


Tue., Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.

Nora Pouillon Book Presentation

Nora Pouillon, founder of Restaurant Nora, America’s first certified organic restaurant, talks about her engaging memoir, “My Organic Life,” and being a pioneer in the natural foods movement who, earlier than anyone else, made it her mission to bring organic foods to the American table. Admission is free; RSVP at http://acfdc.org.

Embassy of Austria



Sept. 3 to Oct. 29

Mutual Inspirations Festival: Karel Čapek

The Mutual Inspirations Festival (MIF) is an annual initiative spearheaded by the Czech Embassy to highlight the mutual inspirations between Czech and American cultures. This year’s festival focuses on Karel Čapek, a playwright, novelist, short story writer, journalist, children’s author and essayist who wrote on such topics as nationalism, totalitarianism and consumerism. Events include an opening-night jazz concert on Sept. 3 featuring pianist Jana Otáhalová, dancing by the Fidgety Feet duo Kevin Crandell and Lily Matini, and the opening of exhibitions about brothers Karel and Josef Čapek. Other events include: a reading of “R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots)” at the Kennedy Center (Sept. 7); the films “Krakatit” (Sept. 8), “Accumulator 1” (Sept. 15) and “Capek’s Tales” (Sept. 29); a LEGO robotics workshop for kids (Sept. 19); and a lecture by art historian Otto M. Urban (Sept. 24). For full festival information, visit

Various locations


Sat., Sept. 5, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

National Book Festival

The Library of Congress celebrates the 15th anniversary of the National Book Festival, as well as the 200th anniversary of the library’s acquisition of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library, with the theme of Jefferson’s quote, “I Cannot Live Without Books.” Best-selling Latin American fiction writers from numerous countries, including Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Argentina, will be featured in programs that straddle a number of subjects, from world religions to the best of Latin America’s fiction and poetry, ending with fascinating, true stories from the Amazon jungle. For information, visit www.loc.gov/bookfest/.

Washington Convention Center



Sun., Sept. 6, 8 p.m.

Rodrigo y Gabriela and Todd Park Mohr

This nimble-fingered Mexican guitar duo presents rhythmically supercharged instrumentals, with influences ranging from heavy metal to salsa. Tickets are $35 to $65.

Wolf Trap


Sept. 9 to Oct. 18


In 1989, Joe, a young American journalist, photographs a protester facing down four tanks in Tiananmen Square. In 2012, with election season bringing U.S.-China relations into the spotlight, Joe decides to seek out the subject of his most famous image — just as an old friend from China reaches out with an agenda of his own. Tickets are $44 to $88.

The Studio Theatre


Thu., Sept. 10, 8 p.m.

The Gipsy Kings

Get ready to dance with the Grammy-winning flamenco kings behind “Bamboleo” and “Djobi Djoba” who the New York Times calls “explosive” and “brilliant.” Tickets are $38 to $50.

Wolf Trap


Fri., Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.

Lana Trotovšek, Violin

The winner of international competitions and prizes, Slovenian violinist Lana Trotovšek returns to the Embassy Series, along with pianist Anna Shelest. The Washington Post hailed last year’s performance for showcasing “her clean and refined tone and musical sense of phrasing, especially in the slow movement, marked by a radiant pianissimo sound and impeccable intonation.” Tickets are $90, including buffet and wine; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

Embassy of Slovenia


Fri., Sept. 11, 8 p.m.

Ethiopian New Year with Mahmoud Ahmed

For over 40 years Mahmoud Ahmed has deftly combined the traditional Amharic music of Ethiopia with pop and jazz, yielding some of the most adventurous, passionate, ear-opening, downright surrealistic sounds. Tickets are $35.

GW Lisner Auditorium


Mon., Sept. 28, 7 p.m.

Washington Performing Arts: Itzhak Perlman, Violin, and Emanuel Ax, Piano

With numerous awards and honors between them, these celebrated statesmen of the classical music world prove their wit and charm are ever present, performing sonatas by Mozart, Fauré, Strauss and other selections to be announced from the stage. Tickets are $55 to $135.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall


Wed., Sept. 30, 6:45 p.m.

Mexico City Woodwind Quintet

Regarded as one of the foremost chamber music groups in Mexico today, the Mexico City Woodwind Quintet is formed of members of the National Symphony Orchestra, the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra and the Mexico State Symphony Orchestra. The group’s international backgrounds lend a unique sound to their performance of contemporary compositions. Admission is free; RSVP at www.instituteofmexicodc.org.

Mexican Cultural Institute



Fri., Sept. 18, 6 p.m.

Nyumbani 22nd Annual Benefit and Auction

Mistress of ceremonies Kathleen Matthews, political columnist Mark Shields and Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) are among the Washingtonians who will be supporting Nyumbani, which provides community outreach, medical services and shelter to the rising number of HIV-infected infants and children in Kenya. Tickets are $350; for information, visit http://www.nyumbani.org.

Ritz-Carlton D.C.


Fri., Sept. 25, 7 p.m.

Beyond the Little Black Dress: A Fashion Show

The Alliance Française de Washington is renewing tradition by holding its first fashion show in 45 years — with a twist. “Beyond The Little Black Dress” reconnects AFDC’s prestigious past with the 21st century by combining tradition and modernity, focusing on the diversity of fashion beyond the clichés and highlighting women as emerging talents of both France and the U.S. Tickets are $195 (VIP) to $55 (standing room).

Dupont Circle Hotel


Tue., Sept. 29

John W. Kluge

Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor, two of the world’s most important philosophers, will be conferred the prestigious $1.5 million John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity by the Library of Congress in a Sept. 29 ceremony. “Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor are brilliant philosophers and deeply engaged public intellectuals,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “Emerging from different philosophical traditions, they converge in their ability to address contemporary problems with a penetrating understanding of individual and social formations.” Endowed by philanthropist John W. Kluge, the Kluge Prize recognizes achievement in the range of disciplines not covered by the Nobel prizes, including history, philosophy, politics, anthropology, sociology, religion, criticism in the arts and humanities, and linguistics. Ordinarily a $1 million award, in 2015 the Kluge Prize is increased to $1.5 million in recognition of the Kluge Center’s 15th anniversary. For information, visit www.loc.gov/loc/kluge/.

Library of Congress


Sept. 1 to 13

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

One of the capital’s most beloved annual traditions, the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Free For All, and one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” come together for a major milestone: Free For All’s 25th anniversary. Love, magic and wonder fill the air in Ethan McSweeny’s stunning “ghost light” production, set in the ruins of an abandoned theatre.

Sidney Harman Hall


Sept. 10 to Oct. 4


GALA kicks off its 40th anniversary with a new adaptation of “Yerma,” the dramatic tragic poem written in 1934 by renowned Spanish poet Federico García Lorca. In this world premiere by the Spanish playwright Fernando J. López, the cast has been reduced to five characters, a concentration that heightens the oppression of a loveless marriage, forbidden desires and repressive society faced by Yerma in her rural environment and underscores how even today women face the tension between motherhood and their role in society. Tickets are $38 to $42.

GALA Hispanic Theatre


Sept. 11 to Oct. 18

Destiny of Desire

On a stormy night in Bellarica, Mexico, two baby girls are born — one into a life of privilege and one into a life of poverty. When the newborns are swapped by a former beauty queen with an insatiable lust for power, the stage is set for two outrageous misfortunes to grow into one remarkable destiny (part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival). Tickets are $40 to $90.

Arena Stage


Through Sept. 13

The Importance of Being Earnest

Scena Theatre presents their 2011 hit production of Oscar Wilde’s timeless tale of class and marriage that both revels in and mocks the “double life.” Tickets are $10 to $45.

Atlas Performing Arts Center


Sept. 18 to 19

World Stages: Seuls (Lebanon/Canada)

Born in Lebanon in 1968, Wajdi Mouawad later moved to Paris and then Montreal by the age of 9. In this semi-autobiographical reflection, Mouawad tells the powerful story of a man who, as a child, moved to a new country from his home to escape civil war. Tickets are $39 to $60.

Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater


Through Sept. 19


On the eve of their deployment to a growing conflict in Southeast Asia in 1963, three young Marines set out for one final boys’ night of debauchery, partying and maybe a little trouble. But an awkward and idealistic waitress, recruited by one of them to win a cruel bet, rewrites the rules of the game and teaches them the power of compassion. Tickets are $45.

Andrew Keegan Theatre


Sept. 19 to Oct. 3

Washington National Opera: Carmen

Smoldering with sensuality and danger, this production of Bizet’s most famous opera pulses with erotic power — from Carmen’s rousing “Habanera” aria to the famous “Toreador Song” — all culminating in a spectacular finale at a bullfight. Tickets are $25 to $315.

Kennedy Center Opera House


Sept. 19 to Oct. 4


This world premiere play about England’s Queen Elizabeth I examines the life and language of Shakespeare’s queen, drawing in part from the Folger collection to create a devised theater piece that uses Elizabeth’s own words to reveal her wit, courage and extraordinary love of her people (part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival). Tickets are $35.

Folger Theatre


Through Sept. 20

The Fix

When a popular presidential candidate dies in his mistress’s bed, his ambitious wife Violet thrusts their lackluster son Cal into the spotlight. With the help of her strategic brother-in-law, Violet transforms Cal into the perfect citizen and together they create one of the most dysfunctional — and brutally entertaining — almost-first families ever. Tickets start at $40.

Signature Theatre