Home The Washington Diplomat February 2017 Events – February 2017

Events – February 2017









Through Feb. 2

Silent Room

This installation by Dutch artist Simon Heijdens is a space devoid of sound or color. As such, it offers an immersive experience of silence and peace, a rare and unmediated moment of reflection in the sensory overload of the outside environment. Visitors enter the 40-foot-long room alone, excluded from any visual or audible manifestation other than themselves. Eventually, as ears and senses adapt to the silence, the visitor becomes the sound. What does this state of silence do to one’s body and mind? Is it indeed peaceful, or rather unbalancing? For registration information, please email was-rsvp@minbuza.nl.

Royal Netherlands Embassy


Feb. 3 to 24

Suspicious Growths: Works by Tai Hwa Goh

Tai Hwa Goh’s works start from an interpretation of personal experiences, a desire to capture the fine details and rhythm that make up one’s accumulated memories, and the natural flow of energy. Goh’s pieces use traditional printing methods on thin Korean Hanji paper, which is piled, folded and bound by hand to create forms that evoke elements of nature such as stems, cells, seeds and organs of the human body. Together these become a living organism that appears to proliferate and divide as viewers experience a totally transformed art space, before being reborn into an installation with architectural elements.

Korean Cultural Center


Feb. 3 to March 18

Decolonizing Alaska

This exhibit explores how 31 native and non-native Alaskan artists are grappling with issues related to climate change and responding to socio-political conditions in the state. It will highlight themes related to Alaska’s history with the colonization of native lands, how Alaska is sustaining its heritage and how Alaskans are responding to climate change. Among the works are Linda Infante Lyons’ “St. Katherine of Karluk,” which replaces symbolic elements of a Russian Orthodox icon with those of the native Alutiiq people of Kodiak, Alaska, an area greatly affected by Russian colonization.

The George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design


Feb. 4 to April 30

500 Years of Treasures from Oxford

Founded 500 years ago in 1517, the library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, is a repository of extraordinary treasures, few of which have ever been seen by the public. To mark the 500th anniversary, a selection of 50 manuscripts and early printed books, ranging in date from the 10th to the 17th centuries, is being brought to America for the first time.

Folger Shakespeare Library


Feb. 4 to April 30

Toulouse-Lautrec Illustrates the Belle Époque

Through his lithographs and posters, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec captured the heart of Parisian nightlife in dynamic cabaret and café-concert scenes inspired by the city’s burgeoning entertainment district. This special exhibition presents, for the first time in the United States, one of the foremost collections of the artist’s prints and posters. Nearly 100 examples of incomparable quality and color celebrate daily life and the premier performers of the belle époque — Aristide Bruant, Marcelle Lender, Cha-U-Kao and others — cleverly caricatured through Toulouse-Lautrec’s perceptive skills of observation and transformation.

The Phillips Collection


Feb. 5 to June 4

Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence

Luca della Robbia, a master sculptor in marble and bronze, invented a glazing technique for terracotta sculpture that positioned him as one of the most innovative artists of the 15th century. Today, the sculptures created by Luca and his family workshop retain their brilliant opaque whites, deep cerulean blues, and botanical greens, purples and yellows over modeling that makes them powerful and engaging examples of Italian Renaissance art.

National Gallery of Art


Through Feb. 7

No Boundaries: Aboriginal Australian Contemporary Abstract Painting

“No Boundaries” showcases the work of nine Aboriginal artists from remote northwest Australia, revered as community leaders and the custodians of ceremonial knowledge. They took up painting late in their lives, but quickly established themselves at the forefront of Australian contemporary art. The paintings of these nine men cannot be understood outside of the rich cultural traditions that inform them. At the same time, these artists are innovators of the highest order.

Embassy of Australia Art Gallery


Through Feb. 12

Notes from the Desert: Photographs by Gauri Gill

Since the late 1990s, Gauri Gill (born 1970) has been photographing marginalized communities in western Rajasthan, India. Featuring 57 of her prints, this exhibition showcases Gill’s work in the remote desert region and draws on her extensive archive.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery


Through Feb. 17

Different Dimensions – One Artlove

Painting as a medium of freedom and concentration shows itself from its variable and curious side in this exhibition that presents four different takes on painting by artists from D.C., Baltimore, Vienna and Salzburg. From figuration to abstraction, this show proves once again that art transcends its boundaries, connecting beauty, craftsmanship and conceptual ideas.

Embassy of Austria


Feb. 17 to May 14

Border Crossing: Jami Porter Lara

While visiting a remote area along the U.S.–Mexico border, Albuquerque-based artist Jami Porter Lara found the remains of ancient pottery as well as plastic bottles discarded by migrants moving through the region. Intrigued by this juxtaposition, she began to reconceptualize the plastic bottle.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Feb. 17 to May 14

New Ground: The Southwest of Maria Martinez and Laura Gilpin

Contemporaries and friends, potter Maria Martinez (ca. 1887–1980) and photographer Laura Gilpin (1891–1979) brought the American Southwest into focus as a culturally rich region that fostered artistic expression. Martinez’s bold adaptation of an ancient black-on-black pottery design technique reflected Pueblo artistic traditions and also appealed to the modernist sensibility. Gilpin was one of the first women to capture the landscape and peoples of the American West on film.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Feb. 18 to June 11

Friends and Fashion: An American Diplomat in 1820s Russia

Focusing on 45 portraits from an album assembled by the family of politician and statesman Henry Middleton, this exhibition paints a captivating picture of diplomatic life in early 19th-century St. Petersburg. The intimate portraits, along with selected objects, images and publications, offer an exploration into a number of themes, including Middleton’s posting in St. Petersburg and the historical events surrounding his time there, the family’s social life in Russia, the artistic traditions of the period, and the elaborate fashions and hairstyles of the day.

Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens


Through Feb. 20

The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts

In recognition of one of the world’s extraordinary collections of Qur’ans, the Freer|Sackler is hosting a landmark exhibition, the first of its kind in the United States, featuring some 50 of the most sumptuous manuscripts from Herat to Istanbul. Celebrated for their superb calligraphy and lavish illumination, these manuscripts — which range in date from the early 8th to the 17th century — are critical to the history of the arts of the book. They were once the prized possessions of Ottoman sultans and the ruling elite, who donated their Qur’ans to various institutions to express their personal piety and secure political power.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery


Through Feb. 25

Joan Miró, from the Collection of the Kreeger Museum

Joan Miró was the consummate professional artist, a perfectionist who insisted he was a “self-taught amateur” to secure for himself permission to transgress traditional techniques, especially in pursuit of printmaking as a medium for his breathtaking expressions of devotion for Catalan culture. The Kreeger’s complete collection of works by Miró, including “The Mallorca Suite,” is on view in this intimate exhibition.

The Kreeger Museum


Through Feb. 26

Evolving Elections; Comparing the 1916 and 2016 Presidential Campaigns

“Evolving Elections” attempts to make sense of presidential politics then and now, exploring the political campaign season of 100 years ago vs. the current election. The modern day complaints about primary fights, the importance of party unity, a bitterly divided party, the grueling length of campaigns and outsiders seeking nomination would have been familiar to the voter during the contentious election of 1916. More contentious than 2016? You decide.

Woodrow Wilson House


Feb. 26 to Aug. 6

The Urban Scene: 1920-1950

American artists of the early 20th century sought to interpret the beauty, power, and anxiety of the modern age in diverse ways. Through depictions of bustling city crowds and breathtaking metropolitan vistas, 25 black-and-white prints in this exhibition explore the spectacle of urban modernity.

National Gallery of Art


Through March 5

Gender Equality: We’ve come a long way – haven’t we?

Sweden’s achievements in gender equality are hailed as inspiring examples. Focusing on four sub-goals of gender equality set up by the Swedish government — equal division of power and influence; economic equality; equal distribution of unpaid housework and provision of care; and men’s violence against women — this exhibition aims to inspire and reflect as well as discuss the changes that have been made and to initiate the changes still needed.

House of Sweden


Through March 5

Spirit of the Wild: Through the Eyes of Mattias Klum

All life on earth is interconnected. Cities, societies and nations depend on healthy natural ecosystems to survive and prosper. Mattias Klum, one of the most important natural history photographer of our time, shares the stories of his journeys; from deep in the Artic to wild places like the Borneo rainforest, to the savannahs of Tanzania and the life under the sea.

House of Sweden


Through March 5

Sweden’s Freedom of the Press Unfolded

The freedom to express oneself in speech and writing is one of the basic human rights according to the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights from 1948. Sweden’s Freedom of the Press Act was passed almost 200 years earlier, in 1766. This unique timeline exhibition reveals how Sweden’s freedom of the press came about and focuses on some of the advances and setbacks that have shaped it.

House of Sweden


Through March 5

Viktigt by Ingegerd Raman

With love of craftsmanship and simplicity at the heart of it all, Viktigt pieces do their job in silence. Ingegerd Råman, the House of Sweden’s own designer, explores the craftsmanship behind her IKEA collection of glass, ceramic, bamboo and natural fibers.

House of Sweden


Through March 5

Woodland Sweden

Nature is prevalent everywhere in Sweden and there is a long tradition of using nature’s raw materials in the country’s built environment. Wooden architecture and design, in fact, are becoming a new Swedish export item. This exhibition shows the rapid development of Swedish innovative contemporary architecture and examines different aspects of construction work with wood.

House of Sweden


Through March 12

Mehring / Wellspring: The Early Color Field Paintings of Howard Mehring

This survey samples reflects on the work of Howard Mehring, a native Washingtonian who became a leading figure in the loosely defined Washington Color School movement, a form of Abstraction particular to D.C.

American University Museum


Through April 23

Jacob Lawrence: The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture

Featuring a series of 15 rarely seen silkscreen prints created by American artist Jacob Lawrence between 1986 and 1997, this exhibition portrays the life of Toussaint L’Ouverture (1742-1803), the former slave turned leader of Haiti’s independence movement.

The Phillips Collection


Through May 13


This contemporary video exhibit curated by Othón Castañeda features nine short films with borders as their main concept. The works were among a number of films submitted by international artists to the Bienal de las Fronteras, an artistic initiative that offers a platform to emerging artists of diverse backgrounds. This selection questions the boundaries of the biennial itself, including participating artists that establish an alternative view of the border, this time “from the inside out.”

Mexican Cultural Institute


Through June 2

From the Desk of Simone de Beauvoir

Consider the influence and intellect of feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir in an interpretation of her Paris studio alcove. This installation invites visitors to reflect on Beauvoir’s impact, not only in her time and not only as a feminist, but in our own time and in the areas of literature, philosophy and popular culture.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through March 5

Photography Reinvented: The Collection of Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker

The collection of Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker brings together works of critically important artists who have changed the course of photography through their experimentation and conceptual scope. Especially rich in holdings of work by photographers of the famed Düsseldorf School, among them Struth, Candida Höfer, Andreas Gursky and Thomas Ruff, the collection also includes examples by photographers exploring the nature of the medium itself, such as Demand, Cindy Sherman and Vik Muniz.

National Gallery of Art


Through March 5

Stuart Davis: In Full Swing

As one of the most important American modernists, Stuart Davis (1892–1964) blurred distinctions between text and image, high and low art, and abstraction and figuration, crafting a distinct style that continues to influence art being made today.

National Gallery of Art


Through March 26

The Great Swindle: Works by Santiago Montoya

Colombian artist Santiago Montoya uses paper currency as the base for his work, re-contextualizing one of our most basic and intimate relationships: the relationship with money. Comprised of works that Montoya has made over the last 10 years, “The Great Swindle” represents a sustained examination of the complicated, fluid relationships we have with financial systems, as well as a journey through the artist’s forays into the materiality of paper bills — raising questions and taking positions on our place within the financial system.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas


Through Aug. 6, 2017

José Gómez-Sicre’s Eye

A half-century ago, Cuban-born curator José Gómez-Sicre took the reins of the OAS’s art program, thrusting himself into the rapidly expanding Latin American art world and bringing young, emerging talent to the OAS’s budding exhibition space. Impassioned by the arts, Gómez-Sicre planted the seeds of what is today considered among world’s finest collections of modern and contemporary Latin American and Caribbean art. The OAS will be celebrating the centennial of Gómez-Sicre’s birth throughout 2016, honoring his contribution to the legacy of the hemisphere’s art.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas



Through Feb. 5

Mariinsky Ballet: Alexei Ratmansky’s ‘The Little Humpbacked Horse’

For its annual engagement, the legendary Mariinsky brings Alexei Ratmansky’s charming contemporary take on the classic Russian fairy tale in a D.C. premiere showcasing plenty of personality, humor and creativity with a score by Rodion Shchedrin. Tickets are $49 to $150.

Kennedy Center Opera House



Fri., Feb. 3, 9 to 10:30 a.m.

The Enduring Significance of Charter 77

The Czech Republic’s successful transition from communism to democracy would have been impossible without the committed activists who provided a consistent and courageous voice in favor of political and intellectual freedom and civic engagement. This is why Charter 77, a short manifesto with a few thousand signatories, had such an explosive impact within the Eastern Bloc. Not only did many members and signatories of Charter 77 go on to play important roles in Czech and Slovak national life, the manifesto has also served as an inspiration to democratic dissidents from China to Cuba. This panel will explore the enduring significance of Charter 77 for the partisans of human freedom. Registration is required and can be made at https://charter77.eventbrite.com.

Embassy of the Czech Republic


Thu., Feb. 9, 6 p.m.

From Tarzan to Tonto Stereotypes as Obstacles to Progress Toward a More Perfect Union

Tarzan and Jane, Tonto and the Lone Ranger, Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima—all represent familiar tropes and imagery about Native American, African, and African American people. But from where do these limiting stereotypes spring? Why have they remained so resilient? And what can we do to combat fixed cultural identities and move forward?

National Museum of African Art



Wed., Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m.

Swedish Pianist Peter Friis Johansson

Award-winning and highly acclaimed Swedish pianist Peter Friis Johansson performs a solo recital with music by Schubert and Scandinavian composers.

House of Sweden


Thu., Feb. 2, 8 p.m.

Danish String Quartet

The members of the Danish Quartet have self-effacingly described themselves as “simply your friendly neighborhood string quartet with above average amounts of beard.” But the critical press takes a more elevated view, with the Washington Post dubbing the youthful Danes “one of the best quartets before the public today.” Tickets are $47.

UDC Theater of the Arts


Sat., Feb. 4, 7 p.m.

Noche de Boleros (Night of Ballads)

Teatro de la Luna presents an evening of romantic music showcasing the magical voices of María del Socorro and Jorge Anaya (El Salvador) and Amira Mendoza (Venezuela), will interpret unforgettable Spanish-language love ballads, accompanied by well-known area musicians Dani Cortaza, Alfonso Rondón and Nelson Alvarez. Tickets are $35.

Rosslyn Spectrum Theater


Sat., Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m.

The Trumpet Shall Sound

Taking its name from the aria in Handel’s Messiah, this program by PostClassical Ensemble intermingles spirituals with classic religious arias to explore the expression of religious fervor common to both.

Washington National Cathedral


Thu., Feb. 9, 7 p.m.

Sound Impact: Paisajes Españoles

Sound Impact is a collective of renowned musicians dedicated to serving communities and igniting positive change in the U.S. and abroad through live performance, educational programs and creative collaboration. As part of the series, this evening of Spanish music features the works of acclaimed Spanish clarinetist/composer Jose Gonzalez Granero, cellist Danielle Cho, violinist Rebecca Jackson, violinist Regino Madrid and violist Tiffany Richardson. For RSVP information, visit www.spainculture.us.

Former Residence of the Spanish Ambassador


Thu., Feb. 16, 8 p.m.,

Fri., Feb. 17, 8 p.m.


Celebrating 20 years, “the finest Celtic ensemble this country has ever produced” (the Boston Globe) lights up the Barns with its melodic beacon of Irish music. Tickets are $25 to $28.

The Barns at Wolf Trap


Sat., Feb. 18, 8 p.m.,

Sun., Feb. 19, 4 p.m.

Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue

Journey into the contemporary culture of India through the glitz and glamour of Bollywood with this musical review based on one of its greatest films, “Taj Express.” Tickets are $30 to $50.

George Mason University Center for the Arts


Sun., Feb. 19, 7 p.m.

Living the Dream … Singing the Dream

For 25 years, the Washington Performing Arts Gospel Choirs have shared the inspirational gift of gospel music with audiences throughout the D.C. region and beyond. The choirs’ annual concert with the Choral Arts Chorus, honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is a joyful celebration of the power of music and the human spirit. Tickets are $25 to $70.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall


Sat., Feb. 25, 6 p.m.

The Root of the Root

Cuban-Spanish composer Pavel Urkiza and the Cuban-inspired Congrí Ensemble present an exploration of the ancestral connections of music with songs that are part of the Latin American popular heritage, learned and transmitted from generation to generation. Tickets are $25.

Atlas Performing Arts Center


Mon., Feb. 27, 8 p.m.

St. Petersburg Philharmonic

Former Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director Yuri Temirkanov returns with his St. Petersburg Philharmonic, which Washington Performing Arts has presented since its pre-Perestroika days as the Leningrad Philharmonic. Tickets are $40 to $110.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall



Feb. 2 to 26

Yo también hablo de la rosa/I Too Speak of the Rose

In this searing look at poverty and society’s response to it, two poor teens who accidentally derail a train while skipping school become the subject of a media frenzy. As they follow the occurrence, diverse people reveal, with biting humor and wit, their socio-political views on the cause of the incident and provide insight into the complexities of Mexican life in the 1960s. Tickets are $40 to $45.

GALA Hispanic Theatre


Through Feb. 5

Someone is Going to Come

Scena Theatre continues its 30th anniversary season with Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse’s emotionally powerful drama about a strange couple who moves into an isolated, run-down house to be alone, far from the prying eyes of others. Yet, they both grow increasingly anxious that “someone is going to come” in this poetic play about passion, paranoia and jealousy. Tickets are $30 to $35.

Atlas Performing Arts Center


Feb. 7 to March 12

King Charles III

The Queen is dead. After a lifetime of waiting, Prince Charles ascends the throne with Camilla by his side. As William, Kate and Harry look on, Charles prepares for the future of power that lies before him — but how to rule? Written primarily in Shakespearean blank verse, this modern history play explores the people underneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of Britain’s democracy and the conscience of its most famous family. Please call for ticket information.

Shakespeare Theatre Harman Hall


Through Feb. 11


“Hamlette” takes the classic Shakespeare play, throws it in a blender and shakes it up into a side-splitting comedy told in under an hour with only five actors as part of the Keegan Theatre’s “Play Rah Ka” series on inspiring young people (recommended for ages 11 and up). For information, visit http://keegantheatre.com/playrahka/.

The Keegan Theatre


Feb. 15 to March 19

The Taming of the Shrew

Come to “Paduawood” where Synetic Theater will spoof Hollywood’s famous-for-no-reason socialites in this modern-day adaptation of one of the Bard’s best-known romantic comedies. See the original battle of the sexes enacted with the dazzling choreography and physical comedy that only Synetic can deliver (no dialogue). Tickets start at $35.

Synetic Theater


Feb. 18 to April 2

The Select (The Sun Also Rises)

A stage littered with liquor bottles and café chairs seamlessly transforms itself from the bistros of Paris to the banks of the Irati River. As the story winds its way through France and Spain and lands in Pamplona where bullfighting and the fiesta rage in the streets, Ernest Hemingway’s narrator carries the heavy burdens of a war injury and his inability to have the woman he loves. Please call for ticket information.

Shakespeare Lansburgh Theatre


Through Feb. 19

The Hard Problem

Master dramatist Tom Stoppard’s newest play follows Hilary, a young psychology researcher at the prestigious Krohl Institute for Brain Science. As she and her colleagues grapple with the “hard problem” of defining consciousness, a thorny decision from Hilary’s past fuels her controversial stances — and a few suspect choices. Tickets start at $52.

Studio Theatre


Through Feb. 19


The lawyer: a young, brilliant, courageous woman arguing Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court. The plaintiff: a complex, single woman seeking to end an unwanted pregnancy. The landmark 1973 case legalized abortion, but also began their separate journeys that would come to mirror the polarization in American culture. Tickets are $40 to $90.

Arena Stage


Sun., Feb. 19, 3 p.m.

Léonore, ou l’amour conjugal

Revolution is in the air. A political prisoner awaits death in his cell. A woman puts herself in mortal danger to seek justice in Ludwig van Beethoven’s classic opera rich with themes that remain relevant today. Tickets are $25 to $130.

GW Lisner Auditorium

Feb. 24 to April 9


Jacqueline E. Lawton’s new political thriller explores the cost of deception and the consequences of speaking truth to power. “Intelligence” is a fictionalized account inspired by true events of a covert operative who, tasked with protecting the national security of the United States post-9/11, is racing to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. With her country at war, her cover is blown and the lives of her assets are put in jeopardy. Tickets are $40 to $90.

Arena Stage


Through Feb. 26

Baby Screams Miracle

A small house is besieged by an apocalyptic storm. Great trees crack and splinter, garbage shatters windows, a deer impales the car windshield and the wind hurls a trampoline into the living room. While their family home collapses all around them, an estranged daughter and her devout relatives try to pray their way to safety. Tickets start at $20.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company


Through March 5

As You Like It

Rosalind is banished from court and flees to the Forest of Arden, where she discovers Orlando and a world of passion and possibility in one of Shakespeare’s most cherished romantic comedies. When she disguises herself as a man, enchantment abounds and blossoms into an exploration of the beauty and complexities of young love. Tickets are $35 to $75.

Folger Theatre