Home The Washington Diplomat August 2016 Events – August 2016

Events – August 2016









Through Aug. 1

POP of Kolor

In this electric mashup of American pop art with Korean traditional art, Kwang Nyun Song and Kungjoo Park re-envision this iconic American art style with unique techniques and motifs to create an irresistible Korean twist on a signature genre. Park’s “The Fantastic Play” expresses the complexity of human beings, who are each filled with different sides to their personality, simultaneously capturing the beautiful, precious side that we often want to reveal, as well as the immature, superficial nature we hide in our hearts. Meanwhile, Song inserts peony blossoms or butterflies — a central motif of Korean traditional folk paintings — into Korean embroidery techniques and infuses portraits of symbolic figures with the concepts of American pop art.

Korean Cultural Center


Through Aug. 6

Masterworks from the Hirshhorn Collection

Joseph Hirshhorn, whose 1966 gift to the nation of nearly 6,000 works led to the creation of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, was a passionate and knowledgeable collector. Since its opening in 1974, the Hirshhorn has carried on its founder’s legacy through an active and ambitious program of acquisitions. Its highly regarded collection charts the development of modern and contemporary art from the late 19th century to the present, across the world, and across media.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Aug. 6 to Nov. 6

Will & Jane

Merchandising, parodies and spinoffs through the centuries have put William Shakespeare and Jane Austen on a first-name basis with the world. Explore the stories of “Will” and “Jane” and the nature of literary celebrity. How does today’s Cult of Jane resemble the first wave of Bardolatry 200 years ago?

Folger Shakespeare Library


Through Aug. 7

(Art)Xiomas – CUBAAHORA: The Next Generation

This contemporary Cuban art exhibit, organized with SPAIN arts & culture, is also part of a larger cooperative effort to celebrate contemporary Cuban art and the centennial of the Art Museum of the Americas’s founding director, José Gómez Sicre. The featured artists favor fresh aesthetics while recognizing historical contexts, whose discourses are more autobiographical than politically contextualized. Exhibition participants shy away neither from committing themselves to projects with cultural institutions nor to working independently. Thus they penetrate and overcome barriers that for too long have characterized the timeline of Cuban cultural cooperation.

Art Museum of the Americas


Through Aug. 14

Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints: Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil

During the slave trade, 10 times more Africans were brought in bondage into Brazil than into the United States, and Northeast Brazil has the largest population of those of African descent outside Africa. This exhibit explores how the ancient cultures of Africa blended with indigenous and colonial Portuguese traditions to form the vibrant and complex cultural mosaic of modern Brazil.

American University Museum

Katzen Arts Center


Through Aug. 14

Contemporary North Korean Art: The Evolution of Socialist Realism

Does art exist in North Korea? For many, this has been an open question. This exhibit, the first of its kind in the United States, seeks to broaden understanding of North Korean art beyond stereotypes of propaganda and kitsch to show sophisticated and nuanced expressive achievements. It investigates previously unrevealed evidence of North Korean artistic experimentation, and the nation’s particular evolution of socialist realism within its own culturally homogeneous context. Coinciding with the exhibition of North Korean art, the show “Examining Life Through Social Realities” documents and examines life and the social realities of people living on the Korean peninsula through the realist paintings of 10 South Korean contemporary artists.

American University Museum

Katzen Arts Center


Through Aug. 14

The Looking Glass: Artist Immigrants of Washington

The Alper Initiative for Washington Art presents this exhibit featuring the work of 10 artists who left Latin America for many different reasons over the last 60 years — primarily for safety, freedom and opportunity — and made their homes, and their artistic careers and contributions, in the Washington region.

American University Museum

Katzen Arts Center


Aug. 18 to Oct. 9

Muchedumbre: Photography by Jorge Brantmayer (Chile)

“Muchedumbre” is a photographic project that investigates Chile’s post-dictatorship era, its transition to democracy, its economic boom and Chile’s current state of paradox. As the Chilean society begins to question an economic system centered on open markets and a growing disparity in wealth, more citizens are demanding a more equitable and just nation. This exhibit documents that process beginning in 2006 through 2015, and chronicles different public demonstrations including marches for free education, gender equality and sexual diversity, as well as protests against environmental degradation, among others.

Art Museum of the Americas


Aug. 18 to Jan. 7

#Opera Before Instagram: Portraits, 1890-1955

An exhibition opening next month at the Library of Congress will showcase photographs of early opera stars from a collection assembled by the late authority on opera Charles Jahant, in a format that will explore how Jahant might have used an Instagram account had he lived today.

Library of Congress

James Madison Building


Through Aug. 26

Inside Tracks

This photographic exhibition documents the extraordinary journey of Robyn Davidson, a 27-year-old Australian woman who set off to cross the desolate outback, accompanied only by four camels and a dog. Rick Smolan, the American photographer assigned by National Geographic to document her journey, had his own adventure tracking Robyn down in the desert. The outback of Australia, seen through Robyn’s eyes and Rick’s camera, is an ancient, awesome landscape swept by rain, heat and dust.

Embassy of Australia


Through Aug. 28

Mats Ek – A Dance Rebel on the Move for 40 Years

Theatrical and wild, with a robust, physical humor and a highly personal movement style — those are some landmarks of Swedish choreographer and director Mats Ek. Since his debut in 1976, his works have stirred and captivated audiences and his reworking’s of ballet classics such as “Giselle” and “Swan Lake” have become classics themselves. This exhibition showcases the insight and sensitivity with which photographer Lesley Leslie-Spinks has captured Mats’s highly personal and precisely delineated world.

House of Sweden


Through Aug. 31

Escape Routes

Currently, 60 million people worldwide are fleeing civil wars, persecution and poverty. Immigration and travel restrictions at the borders of wealthy European countries or on the U.S.-Mexican border, for instance, cannot stop the flow of refugees searching for a better life. In “Escape Routes,” a project by the group REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT, digital drawings and pictures made from lace depict migration movements and their causes. The stylized narratives focus on the topic of mutual interdependence in a globalized world undergoing rapid transition.

Goethe-Institut Washington


Through Sept. 4

Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora

In this juried and invitational exhibition, 44 artists share personal and universal stories of migration — from historic events that scattered communities across continents to today’s accounts of migrants and refugees adapting to a new homeland. The artists explore: historic events that scattered people and cultures across continents; today’s accounts of migrants from Syria, Latin America and Africa adapting to new homes; and personal experiences of family members. The exhibition will feature works by artists such as fashion designer Hussein Chalayan, Mexican-American fiber artist Consuelo Jiménez Underwood, French-Togolese artist William Adjété Wilson and American artists Faith Ringgold and Penny Mateer.

The George Washington University Museum

Textile Museum

Through Sept. 5


Designed by James Corner Field Operations, the installation opens as part of the annual “Summer Block Party” series. “ICEBERGS” is built from re-usable construction materials, such as scaffolding and polycarbonate paneling, a material commonly used in building greenhouses. The 20-inch-high “water line” allows panoramic views from high above the ocean surface and down below among the towering bergs.

National Building Museum


Through Sept. 9

Bonsai: Celebrating 40 Years of the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

This summer the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC), in partnership with the U.S. National Arboretum and the National Bonsai Foundation, celebrates the 40th anniversary of Japan’s gift of 53 bonsai trees to the United States. These bonsai trees are housed in the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, which is on the U.S. National Arboretum grounds. To mark the occasion, the Japanese Embassy is hosting a magnificently detailed bonsai photography by Stephen Voss. An accomplished photographer with work published in National Geographic, New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Politico, Voss will be presenting his new show “In Training,” which intimately and respectfully captures the quiet mystique and humble, rugged beauty of the bonsai art form.

Japan Information and Culture Center


Through Sept. 11

William Merritt Chase: A Modern Master

William Merritt Chase (1849-1916), a renowned figure in the international art circles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was a brilliant observer of contemporary life, an innovative painter and an influential teacher. Presented on the centennial of his death, this retrospective — the first in over three decades — will explore the interrelationships in Chase’s work across subject and media, from portraits and figurative paintings, to urban park scenes, domestic interiors, still lifes and landscapes.

The Phillips Collection


Through Sept. 16

Murals from a Great Canadian Train

In 1953, Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) purchased 173 brand-new stainless steel rail cars from the Budd Company of Philadelphia. With the glass ceiling design in its Vista Dome cars, “The Canadian” became the quintessential cross-country train experience. To highlight the natural beauty along the route and to promote tourism, CPR decided that Canada’s national and provincial parks should be the inspiration for the interior design of “The Canadian” rail cars. In 1954, the Royal Canadian Academy was asked to coordinate the selection of leading Canadian artists to paint murals for each of the 18 Vista Dome cars. The murals are of parks from every province and three are by members of Canada’s famed “Group of Seven” artists: A.Y. Jackson, A.J. Casson and Edwin Holgate. The Embassy of the Canada is delighted to showcase these murals and the everlasting beauty of Canada’s national and provincial parks.

Embassy of Canada Art Gallery


Through Sept. 17

The GM de Mexico Collection of Drawings and Graphic Art

General Motors de Mexico and the Embassy of Mexico present this exhibit of 100 works on paper that highlight the evolution of Mexico’s artistic narrative during the 20th century through renowned Mexican and foreign-born artists, including Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco, Dr. Atl, Elizabeth Catlett, Pablo O’Higgins, Leonora Carrington, Roger Von Gunten and others. “The GM de Mexico Collection of Drawings and Graphic Art” was created in the late 1960s and provides a vast exploration of 20th-century Mexican art. Shown abroad for the first time since 1969, this exhibition is divided into five thematic segments that illuminate the evolution of Mexican art from muralism to modernity.

Mexican Cultural Institute


Through Sept. 18

In Celebration of Paul Mellon

Paul Mellon was one of America’s greatest art collectors and remains one of the gallery’s leading benefactors. Timed to coincide with the gallery’s 75th anniversary, a special exhibition features 80 of the finest pastels, watercolors, drawings, prints, and illustrated books selected from his donations.

National Gallery of Art


Through Sept. 18

Karel Appel: A Gesture of Color

Karel Appel (1921-2006) is perhaps the most renowned Dutch artist of the latter half of the 20th century and one of founding members of the avant-garde COBRA group. Marking the 10th anniversary of the artist’s death, this survey of 22 paintings and sculptures provides a fresh look at an oeuvre that goes beyond the 1950s, spanning more than 60 years.

The Phillips Collection


Through Sept. 18

Symbolic Cities: The World of Ahmed Mater

Born in 1979 in southern Saudi Arabia and trained as a medical doctor, Ahmed Mater has been a practicing artist since the early 1990s, creating works that offer an unparalleled perspective on contemporary Saudi Arabia. Now based in Jeddah, Mater has focused primarily on photography and video since 2010. From abandoned desert cities to the extraordinary transformation of Mecca, “Symbolic Cities” presents his visual and aural journeys observing economic and urban change in Saudi Arabia.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery


Through Oct. 2

Alison Saar in Print

Alison Saar uses dynamic printmaking techniques to explore themes of feminine, racial and cultural identity. The artist’s hand-wrought woodcuts combine strong color and bold forms, while her central figures hold evocative objects — snakes, knives, fry pans, plants or bottles — that allude to a range of myth, lore and legend.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through Oct. 2

Hubert Robert, 1733-1808

One of the most prominent artists of his era, Hubert Robert loved and depicted ruined structures of all types, whether real or imagined, and not just those of ancient Rome (he lived in Italy for eleven years). He also drew inspiration from scenes he encountered in his native France, including urban renewal projects, Gallo-Roman antiquities and natural disasters. At the core of his success was his brilliance as a master of the architectural capriccio, in which random monuments from different locales were artfully brought together to create new, completely imaginary landscapes.

National Gallery of Art


Through Dec. 31

Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920-1945

The style that came to be known as art deco, which flourished from the 1920s to 1940s, was a vivid reflection of the modern era and the vitality of the machine age. Between the wars, as normalcy returned to politics, jazz music blossomed and the flapper redefined the modern woman, art deco left its mark on every form of visual art. This exhibit explores how the Japanese interpreted the style and transformed it through their own rich art and craft traditions.

Hillwood Museum, Estate and Gardens


Through Jan. 2

Intersections: Photographs and Videos from the National Gallery of Art and Corcoran Gallery of Art

Nearly 700 photographs from Eadweard Muybridge’s groundbreaking publication “Animal Locomotion,” acquired by the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1887, became the foundation for the institution’s early interest in photography. The Key Set of more than 1,600 works by Alfred Stieglitz, donated by Georgia O’Keeffe and the Alfred Stieglitz Estate, launched the photography collection at the National Gallery of Art in 1949. Inspired by these two seminal artists, Muybridge and Stieglitz, the exhibition brings together highlights of the recently merged collections of the Corcoran and the National Gallery of Art by a range of artists from the 1840s to today.

National Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 2

Recent Acquisitions of Dutch and Flemish Drawings

“Recent Acquisitions of Dutch and Flemish Drawings” encompasses landscapes, seascapes, portraits, still lifes and history subjects that demonstrate the originality of Dutch and Flemish draftsmanship and its stylistic evolution.

National Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 2

Senses of Time: Video and Film-Based Works of Africa

This exhibition features six internationally recognized African artists and examines how time is experienced and produced by the body. Bodies stand, climb, dance and dissolve in seven works of video and film art by Sammy Baloji, Theo Eshetu, Moataz Nasr, Berni Searle, Yinka Shonibare and Sue Williamson, all of whom repeat, resist and reverse the expectation that time must move relentlessly forward.

National Museum of African Art


Through Jan. 29

Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan

Decades of civil unrest nearly destroyed Afghanistan’s vital artistic heritage. Over the past decade, Turquoise Mountain, an organization founded in 2006 at the request of the prince of Wales and the president of Afghanistan, has transformed the Murad Khani district of Old Kabul from slum conditions into a vibrant cultural and economic center.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery



Tue., Aug. 2, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Inside the World of Diplomacy

Members of the U.S. Foreign Service are the face of America in countries around the globe. From ambassadors to embassy staffers, their posts are demanding, important and often difficult ones. How does someone enter the world of diplomacy — and what do they find there? Take a rare opportunity to get answers from men and women whose careers are spent in diplomatic Washington as you go inside the American Foreign Service Association and the U.S. State Department. For ticket information, call (202) 633-3030 or visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

American Foreign Service Association


Tue., Aug. 2, 6:45 p.m.

The Devil’s Diary: Recovering a Nazi Henchman’s Chilling Account of the Third Reich

Before it mysteriously vanished almost seven decades ago, the private diary of Alfred Rosenberg, Adolf Hitler’s “chief philosopher” and a key member of his inner circle, provided a rare firsthand account of the Nazi rise to power and the genesis of the Holocaust. The diary was discovered hidden in a Bavarian castle at war’s end, and its more than 400 handwritten pages provided a harrowing glimpse into the mind of a man whose ideas set the stage for the Final Solution. Tickets are $30; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center


Mon., Aug. 8, 6:45 p.m.

Cocktails with Ian Fleming and James Bond: Favorite Sips of Stylish Spies

Why did James Bond routinely order his martinis “shaken, not stirred”? Find out when you raise a toast to the creator of the iconic British spy, the debonair Ian Fleming. Cocktail experts Simon Ford and Philip Greene share tales of stylish adventure (both real-life and literary) as you sip some of the favorite drinks of both Fleming and his most famous character. Tickets are $50; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

National Museum of the American Indian


Tue., Aug. 9, 6:45 p.m.

Off the Beaten Path in Classical Greece

In a country as ancient and frequently visited as Greece, you might think all the must-see spots are always swarmed with tourists, but you’d be wrong. Move destinations like the Acropolis and Crete to less prominent spots on your itinerary and instead discover delights like Cape Sounion, where Greek mythology says Aegeus, king of Athens, leapt from a cliff to his death and gave his name to the Aegean Sea. Tickets are $30; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center


Fri., Aug. 12, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

All Things Italian

Indulge your appetite for things Italian, feasting on great paintings, sculpture, architecture, gardens, food, and song. Kathleen Bashian, a certified master guide, leads a tour that celebrates the heritage and cultural influence of Italy as reflected throughout Washington. Highlights include a behind-the-scenes visit to the American History Museum’s Dibner Library to explore early books on Italian architecture and science; a specially arranged tour of Italian highlights of the National Gallery of Art’s permanent collection; and a visit to the Embassy of Italy. Tickets are $150; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

Departs from Mayflower Hotel


Wed., Aug. 17, 6:45 p.m.

Gelato and Sorbetto: A Cool History

It’s summer. Join food historian Francine Segan as she digs into some delicious gelato, starting with the fascinating history of Italian ices and sorbets, and ending with a taste of some of the scrumptious frozen desserts that made even Alexander the Great’s mouth water. Tickets are $40; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

S. Dillon Ripley Center



Thu., Aug. 11, 8 p.m.

The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma

Made up of performers and composers from more than 20 countries, the Silk Road Ensemble was formed by Yo-Yo Ma in 2000. Since then, audiences and critics in over 30 countries throughout Asia, Europe, and North America have embraced these artists passionate about cross-cultural understanding and innovation. Tickets are $30.

Wolf Trap



Aug. 2 to Sept. 11

Jelly’s Last Jam

Take your seat at the legendary Jungle Inn nightclub for the electrifying, multiple Tony-winning musical that tells the story of jazz through one of its most notorious entertainers: Jelly Roll Morton. Journey from the back alleys of New Orleans to the dance halls of Chicago to the stages of New York with “he who drinks from the vine of syncopation” in a sizzling memoir of pride, lust and a past denied. Please call for ticket information.

Signature Theatre


Fri., Aug. 5, 8:15 p.m.

La Boheme

One of the world’s most beloved operas. Puccini’s masterpiece is an unforgettable tale of love, youth, and tragic loss in 1918 Montmartre, Paris. Wolf Trap Opera presents a fully staged and costumed production of Puccini’s classic opera, in a one-night production featuring full orchestra, chorus, and custom video projections. Tickets are $25 to $75.

Wolf Trap


Aug. 6 to 27

The Lonesome West

In this brutally funny dark comedy set in the tiny Irish backwater of Leenane, two warring brothers live to torment each other, baiting and brawling over every petty grievance, from would-be girlfriends to cheap potato chips. Only Father Welsh, the local parish priest, will try to save them before their sibling rivalry explodes into a hilarious and brutal finish. Tickets are $45.

Andrew Keegan Theatre


Through Aug. 9

Twelfth Night

Set in the roaring 20s, Synetic’s “Twelfth Night” tells the tale of fraternal twins, Viola and Sebastian, separated in a strange new land. Having survived a shipwreck and believing her brother Sebastian has been lost, Viola falls hopelessly in love with Duke Orsino and disguises herself as a man to enter his services. Tickets start at $35.

Synetic Theater


Aug. 16 to 28

The Tempest

Kicking off its 30th Anniversary Season, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) present “The Tempest” as its 2016 “Free For All” event. In this glittering production by internationally acclaimed director Ethan McSweeny, Prospero’s magical island explodes with life, hosting sprites, goddesses and fools that hold court and delight all ages.

Shakespeare Theatre Harman Hall


Through Aug. 20

The Phantom of the Opera

Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” comes to D.C. as part of a brand-new North American tour, with critics raving that this breathtaking production is “bigger and better than ever before.” Tickets are $25 to $149.

Kennedy Center Opera House