Home The Washington Diplomat December 2018 Events – December 2018

Events – December 2018












Through Dec. 6

Holocaust Survivors in Argentina

Photojournalist Pablo Cuarterolo has compiled portraits and memories of Holocaust survivors in Argentina, capturing the ruins of concentration camps as a metaphor that reflects on the suffering of the post-war generations that arrived in the country seeking a new life.

Embassy of Argentina


Dec. 7 to April 14

Ambreen Butt – Mark My Words

This is the first solo exhibition in Washington, D.C., for Pakistani-American artist Ambreen Butt (born 1969). Featuring 13 mixed-media works on paper, “Mark My Words” reveals the connection between the artist’s global consciousness and the physical mark-making techniques that she uses to create her works.

National Musuem of Women in the Arts


Dec. 12 to Feb. 1

Joy in Colors

The selection of paintings in Alexandra Arata’s “Joy in Colors” comes after more than two years of studies on the latest research into the psychology of color and the impact that its use has on our way of living and feeling. Arata taps into her creative energy to discover the “aesthetics of happiness” and how to surround ourselves with shapes and colors that increase our motivation and creativity.

Embassy of Argentina


Dec. 14 to Nov. 17, 2019

Portraits of the World: Korea

Pioneering feminist artist Yun Suknam (born 1939) uses portraiture to gain insights into the lives of women, past and present. A wood assemblage portrait of her mother is the centerpiece of this exhibition, which includes portraits of American artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Louise Nevelson, Marisol, Kiki Smith and Nancy Spero.

National Portrait Gallery


Through Dec. 15

Rashwan Abdelbaki: One Eye Open, One Eye Closed

Rashwan Abdelbaki is a multi-medium artist who was born in Damascus, Syria, and has been featured in several solo and group exhibitions in Lebanon, Syria, Italy, Britain and the U.S. Abdelbaki’s large and mid-sized canvases present rich allegorical studies of human relationships using stark abstracted figures and bold colors.

Syra Arts


Through Dec. 16

Studio 54 Forever

Studio 54 was and arguably remains the world’s most iconic discotheque. It opened in 1977 in New York City as disco music was reaching its peak. The establishment attracted celebrities, politicians, artists and the cultural avant garde. On the Studio 54 dance floor, everyone was a star. Take a journey back in time through the lens of acclaimed Swedish photographer Hasse Persson, whose images provide an intimate, sometimes provocative look at the cultural moment that would become the stuff of legend.

House of Sweden


Through Dec. 16

Tribe: Contemporary Photography from the Arab World

This display highlights a selection of artists published in Tribe, a magazine founded in Dubai that covers developments in photography and new media from the Arab world. By expanding our appreciation and understanding of the variety of photographic practices creatively deployed by artists from throughout the Arab world, Tribe aims to place these accomplished artists on a global stage within the larger sphere of contemporary photography.

American University Museum


Through Dec. 16

Without Provenance: The Making of Contemporary Antiquity

Artist Jim Sanborn provides a critique of the contemporary art market that sells stolen or forged antiquities. The artist’s imagined world, which would make complete sense to an ancient Roman, is one wherein the skilled artist-craftsmen of contemporary Cambodia (who we now call forgers and who muddle the art market) would be understood to be what they are: gifted copyists. Their works would be bought for what they are — copies — and valued for what they offer: powerful evocations of the artistic genius of Khmer art of the distant past.

American University Museum


Through Dec. 21

Folding the Future: Theoretical Origami Devices

For hundreds of years, the art of folding paper — origami — served two entirely aesthetic purposes: as an entertaining craft and as a symbolic decoration. In the middle of the 20th century, however, the practice underwent a renaissance as artists and craftspeople developed new and innovative methods of designing and folding their intended forms. The practice also underwent another change: Origami entered the world of science and engineering, and both fields have since been immeasurably enriched.

Japan Information & Culture Center


Through Dec. 25

Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa’s Arts

More than 300 works of art from the museum’s permanent collection are on view within this exhibition. Working in media as diverse as wood, ceramics, drawing, jewelry, mixed media, sculpture, painting, photography, printmaking, and video, these works of art reflect the visionary ideas and styles developed by men and women from more than half of Africa’s 55 nations. The installation is organized around seven viewpoints, each of which serve to frame and affect the manner in which African art is experienced.

National Museum of African Art


Through Dec. 17

Women Who Make Ibero-America

Presented in partnership with the Ibero-American Cultural Attachés Association (AACIA), this exhibition features work by contemporary photographers from countries across Latin America, Spain and Portugal. The works show how women contribute to the cultural, economic, scientific, educational, social and inclusive development of their countries, often provoking positive social changes, continuity of traditions and social values.

Hillyer Art Space


Through Dec. 31

Corot: Women

Camille Corot is best known as the great master of landscape painting in the 19th century. His figure paintings constitute a much smaller, less well-known portion of his oeuvre, but arguably are of equal importance to the history of art. Dressed in rustic Italian costume or stretched nude on a grassy plain, Corot’s women read, dream, and gaze, conveying a mysterious sense of inner life. His sophisticated use of color and his deft, delicate touch applied to the female form resulted in pictures of quiet majesty.

National Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 6

Churchill’s Shakespeare

A towering leader during World War II, Prime Minister Winston Churchill was also a lifelong admirer of Shakespeare. Compelling materials from Cambridge’s Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill’s home Chartwell, and the Folger collection show the man himself and trace Shakespeare’s influence on his speeches and ideas.

Folger Shakespeare Library


Through Jan. 6

Sense of Humor

Humor may be fundamental to human experience, but its expression in painting and sculpture has been limited. Instead, prints, as the most widely distributed medium, and drawings, as the most private, have been the natural vehicles for comic content. Drawn from the National Gallery of Art’s collection, this exhibition celebrates this incredibly rich though easily overlooked tradition through works including Renaissance caricatures, biting English satires, and 20th-century comics.

National Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 6

Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen

Trevor Paglen is an award-winning artist whose work blurs the lines between art, science and investigative journalism to construct unfamiliar and at times unsettling ways to see and interpret the world. This is the first exhibition to present Paglen’s early photographic series alongside his recent sculptural objects and new work with artificial intelligence.

Smithsonian American Art Museum


Through Jan. 13

Fabergé Rediscovered

Designed to delight and surprise, the treasures created by the firm of Carl Fabergé have inspired admiration and intrigue for over a century, both for their remarkable craftsmanship and the captivating stories that surround them. The fascination with Fabergé continues to uncover new discoveries about the storied jeweler to the tsars and his remarkable creations. This exhibit unveils recent research and explore how the 2014 discovery of a long-lost imperial Easter egg prompted new findings about Hillwood’s own collection.

Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens


Through Jan. 13

Nordic Impressions

“Nordic Impressions” is a major survey of Nordic art spanning nearly 200 years and presenting 53 artists from Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden, as well as the self-governing islands of Åland, Faroe and Greenland. The exhibition celebrates the incredible artistic diversity of Nordic art, from idealized paintings of the distinctive Nordic light and untouched landscape to melancholic portraits in quiet interiors and mesmerizing video works that explore the human condition.

The Phillips Collection


Through Jan. 13

Rachel Whiteread

As the first comprehensive survey of the work of British sculptor Rachel Whiteread, this exhibition brings together some 100 objects from the course of the artist’s 30-year career, including drawings, photographs, architecture-scaled sculptures, archival materials, documentary materials on public projects and several new works on view for the first time. Throughout her celebrated career, Whiteread has effectively recast the memories of these locations and objects to chart the seismic changes in how we live, from the late 20th century and into the 21st.

National Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 20

The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy

Chiaroscuro woodcuts — color prints made from the successive printing of multiple blocks — flourished in 16th-century Italy, interpreting designs by leading masters such as Raphael, Parmigianino and Titian, while boasting extraordinary craft and their own often striking palette.

National Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 21

Japan Modern: Photography from the Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck Collection

Celebrating the Freer|Sackler’s recent acquisition of a major Japanese photography collection, this exhibition features a selection of works by groundbreaking 20th-century photographers. Whether capturing evocative landscapes or the gritty realities of postwar Japan, this presentation focuses on Japanese artists’ search for a sense of place in a rapidly changing country. The images highlight destinations both rural and urban, in styles ranging from powerful social documentary to intensely personal.

Freer Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 21

Japan Modern: Prints in the Age of Photography

When photography arrived in Japan in the mid-19th century, traditional woodblock printmakers were forced to adapt their craft to keep pace with the new medium. This exhibition explores Japanese artists’ reactions to the challenges of modernity, examining the collapse of the traditional woodblock-printmaking industry in the face of the printing press and photography, and then tracing the medium’s resurrection as an art form, through which printmakers recorded scenes of their changing country in striking new ways.

Freer Gallery of Art


Through Jan. 21

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man

Each year in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, a city of more than 70,000 people rises out of the dust for a single week. During that time, enormous experimental art installations are erected and many are ritually burned to the ground. Cutting-edge artwork created at Burning Man, the annual desert gathering that is one of the most influential events in contemporary art and culture, will be exhibited in the nation’s capital for the first time this spring.

Renwick Gallery


Through Jan. 27

Roberto Huarcaya: Amazogramas

Just over two years ago, Lima-born artist Roberto Huarcaya began a project that took him to a national park in the Amazon jungle in southeastern Peru. Throughout the first year, Huarcaya found it impossible to “depict” the vast web of emotions that the Peruvian jungle inspired. To solve this dilemma, Huarcaya discarded the sophisticated cameras he used on his initial journeys and chose to go back 175 years, resurrecting one of the first procedures used in photography: the photogram — a technique that, without a lens or a camera, allows for accurate reproductions of objects. The result are large-scale photo-based installations that demonstrate the landscape´s superiority over those trying to capture it.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas


Through Jan. 29

Vested Values

“Vested Values,” a selection comprising more than 40 works of various Mexican contemporary artists, explores the representation of nature and its sociocultural environment. Each of the works reveals how particular methods of production, implementation and execution of contemporary art can offer a complex impression of the diverse elements that define a society, which in turn promotes a continuous dialogue on both experience and perception. Each of the works originates through an arrangement with Mexico’s Tax Administration Service that allows Mexican artists to pay their taxes with their artwork. Today, artists can pay their income tax using media that ranges from digital art to photography.

Mexican Cultural Institute


Through Feb. 3

Sean Scully: Landline

Sean Scully’s “Landline” series, which first captivated international audiences at the 56th Venice Biennale, will make its museum debut at the Hirshhorn, featuring never-before-seen artworks from the renowned series. With thick, gestural brushstrokes and loose bands of color, the works look toward the land, sea, and sky (and the indistinct lines between them) to navigate the elemental relationships that compose our world.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Through Feb. 8

Roberto Fernandez Ibañez: Visions and Reflections

Curated by Fabián Goncalves Borrega, this exhibition features four of Uruguayan artist Roberto Fernandez Ibañez’s photographic series addressing the human impact on the environment: Earthy Resilience, Melting Point, The Hand and Rara Avis. His photographic material not only changes when it is exposed to light, but it can also be transformed, tuned and textured by techniques and laboratory processes. Fernandez Ibañez says he harnesses the environment’s capabilities to transform to shape his own artwork.

OAS Art Museum of the Americas F Street Gallery


Through Feb. 10


The celebrated American luxury fashion house Rodarte, founded by sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, are featured in the first fashion exhibition organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The display explores the distinctive design principles, material concerns and reoccurring themes that position the Mulleavys’ work within the landscape of contemporary art and fashion. Spanning the first 13 years of Rodarte, nearly 100 complete looks, presented as they were shown on the runway, will highlight selections from their most pivotal collections.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Through Feb. 18

Gordon Parks: New Tide, Early Work 1940-1950

During the 1940s American photographer Gordon Parks (1912–2006) grew from a self-taught photographer making portraits and documenting everyday life in Saint Paul and Chicago to a visionary professional shooting for Ebony, Vogue, Fortune and Life. For the first time, the formative decade of Parks’s 60-year career is the focus of an exhibition, which brings together 150 photographs and ephemera.

National Gallery of Art


Through March 1

Shane Pickett: Djinon Djina Boodja Look at the Land I Have Travelled

During his lifetime, Shane Pickett (1957-2010) was one of Western Australia’s most significant contemporary Aboriginal artists. “Djinong Djina Boodja (Look at the Land That I Have Travelled)” features works from the most radical and significant phase of his career. Balancing innovation with tradition, modernity with an ancient spirituality, they are complex visual metaphors for the persistence of Nyoongar culture against the colonizing tide of modernity.

Embassy of Australia Art Gallery


Through April 28

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse

Innovative Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer brings the largest interactive technology exhibition to the Hirshhorn. “Pulse” takes up the entire second level, with three major installations using heart-rate sensors to create audiovisual experiences from visitors’ biometric data. Together, the biometric signatures will create spellbinding sequences of soundscapes, lights and animations.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Through May 20, 2020


The Hirshhorn presents the largest site-specific exhibition to date by the acclaimed abstract painter Pat Steir. An expansive new suite of the artist’s signature “Waterfall” paintings spans the entire perimeter of the museum’s second-floor inner-circle galleries, extending nearly 400 linear feet. The 28 large-scale paintings, when presented together as a group, will create an immense color wheel that shifts hues with each painting, with the pours on each canvas often appearing in the complementary hue of the monochrome background.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden


Through Sept. 29, 2019

Good as Gold: Fashioning Senegalese Women

In the cities of the West African nation of Senegal, stylish women have often used jewelry as part of an overall strategy of exhibiting their elegance and prestige. Rooted in the Wolof concept of sañse (dressing up, looking and feeling good), “Good as Gold” examines the production, display, and circulation of gold in Senegal as it celebrates a significant gift of gold jewelry to the National Museum of African Art’s collection.

National Museum of African Art


Through September 2019

Shaping Clay in Ancient Iran

Potters in ancient Iran were fascinated by the long-beaked waterfowl and rams with curled horns around them. This exhibition of ceramics produced in northwestern Iran highlights animal-shaped vessels as well as jars and bowls decorated with animal figures.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery



Dec. 5 to 9

Ballet West: Nutcracker

Ballet West returns to perform the D.C. premiere of its whimsical new production of “The Nutcracker,” which was unveiled in Salt Lake City last year. Pairing reimagined designs with beloved choreography, the opulent production delivers treasured moments and surprising new delights. Tickets are $59 to $215.

Kennedy Center Opera House


Through Dec. 28

The Washington Ballet: The Nutcracker

Set to Tchaikovsky’s magical score, this charmingly D.C. production set in 1882 Georgetown is a holiday tradition. With General Washington as the Nutcracker, George III as the Rat King and other historical figures, the story comes to life with over 100 dancers, stunning set designs and original costumes. Please call for ticket information.

Warner Theatre



Thu., Dec. 6, 6:45 p.m.

The String Quartets of Julián Carrillo

Known for his so-called “Sonido 13,” one of the earliest theorizations about microtones in the Western art music tradition, Mexican composer and music theorist Julián Carrillo (1875-1965) composed 13 string quartets between 1903 and 1964. But this repertory has received little attention from performers and musicologists. This lecture/recital offers an assessment of the historical and aesthetic importance of Carrillo’s string quartets and a performance of some of his most representative works. To RSVP, visit www.instituteofmexicodc.org.

Mexican Cultural Institute


Thu., Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m.

Susan Gaeta and Gina Sobel

Sephardic ballad singer Susan Gaeta accompanies her new apprentice, multi-instrumentalist and Strathmore artist-in-residence alum Gina Sobel, for an evening of Sephardic music, which originated among Jews in pre-medieval Spain and picked up influences from Portugal, Yugoslavia, Greece and Turkey after they were forced into exile in the 1400s. Tickets are $20.

Music Center at Strathmore


Thu., Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m.

Two Poets in Music: Whitman and Pushkin

The Russian Chamber Art Society continues its homage to poets with a tribute to Walt Whitman (1819-92), whose bicentennial will be celebrated in 2019. Performed by soprano Shelley Jackson, baritone Kevin Wetzel and pianists Michael Sheppard and Vera Danchenko-Stern, this wide-ranging program pairs the free verse of this most American of poets with the elegant stanzas of the most Russian of poets, Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837). Tickets are $55; for information, visit thercas.com.

Embassy of France


Dec. 7 to 22

The Washington Chorus: A Candlelight Christmas

The Washington Chorus brings the music of Christmas to the Kennedy Center with its enormously popular holiday program. “A Candlelight Christmas” features traditional carols, contemporary compositions, and sing-alongs of your favorites. Tickets are $18 to $75.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall


Mon., Dec. 10, 6:45 p.m.

Francisco Montero: New York Dreams

Francisco Montero has performed in some of the most important halls in the U.S., the U.K, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Spain. He recently participated in the new radio series “The Piano in Spain” and won first prize at the Windsor International Piano Competition in London, among many other accolades. To RSVP, visit www.spainculture.us/city/washington-dc/.

Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain


Mon., Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.

Julia Angelov, Piano

Violinist Julia Angelov, a senior at National Cathedral School, has been a fellow at the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Youth Fellowship Program at the Kennedy Center since 2013. She performs a program of Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Schedrin. Tickets are $60, including reception and wine; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

Embassy of Bulgaria


Wed., Dec. 12, 6:45 p.m.

Goya’s Caprichos Suite by Erizonte Company

“Goya’s Caprichos Suite” was inspired by the series of 80 engravings, “The Caprichos,” by renowned Spanish painter Francisco de Goya. This performance includes the projection of the 80 prints, tackling topics such as the abuse of the power, the clergy, gender violence, prostitution and superstitions, all surrounded by a bestiary of witches and fantastic creatures. Erizonte uses symphonic tones, electro acoustic instruments and other sound elements created especially for the project. To RSVP, visit www.spainculture.us/city/washington-dc/.

Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain


Dec. 16 to 24

The Choral Arts Society of Washington: Songs of the Season

Holiday carols and seasonal classics are performed by the Choral Arts Chorus and Youth Choir, which combines traditional favorites and choral jewels of the season with masterpieces performed by soprano soloist Esther Heideman. Tickets are $15 to $69.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall


Mon., Dec. 17, 6 p.m.

Karel Ruzicka Jr.

Prague-born saxophonist Karel Ruzicka Jr. combines his jazz grooves with pianist George Dulin to perform a special program that brings the spirit of the season to Washington.

Kennedy Center Millennium Stage


Sat., Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m.

The King’s Singers

The Grammy Award-winning all-male a cappella sextet The King’s Singers returns to the National Cathedral for the final stop on its 2018 North American Christmas tour. The program, GOLD Christmas, celebrates the King’s Singers 50th birthday, with music that has defined the group’s first half century as well as new commissions from their three-disc anniversary album. Tickets are $25 to $95.

Washington National Cathedral



Dec. 1 to 29

The Puppet Master: The Complete Jiří Trnka

The maestro of puppet animation, Czech artist Jiří Trnka (1912-69) came of age in an era of marionette theater, a lively feature of European culture since at least the 17th century. View the first complete retrospective of Jiří Trnka in the United States — six features and 20 shorts — a production of Comeback Company, curated by Irena Kovarova, featuring 35mm prints, two new digital restorations and 11 newly translated works.

National Gallery of Art



Sat., Dec. 1, 6:30 p.m.

From Destruction to Rehabilitation: Wayang Performance Fundraiser

Shadow puppet master Marc Hoffman is joined by the Javanese Gamelan Orchestra of the Indonesian Embassy for a performance to benefit survivors of the Sept. 28, 7.5-magnitude earthquake that struck Sulawesi, Indonesia, followed by a tsunami. The disaster killed more than 2,000 people, displaced 80,000 and destroyed nearly 70,000 houses, schools and hospitals. Tickets are $25; for information, visit indonesiatsunamifundraiser.eventbrite.com.

Indonesian Ambassador’s Residence


Through Dec. 2

King John

Secret deals. Threats of mass destruction. Shifting loyalties. Folger Theatre follows its sold-out run of “Macbeth” with “King John,” Shakespeare’s rarely performed history play chronicling King John’s turbulent reign from 1199 to 1216. Tickets are $30 to $85.

Folger Theatre


Dec. 4 to 31

The Second City’s Love, Factually

“Love, Factually” is a holiday satire from the twisted minds at The Second City, which gets to the truth of December life, love and romance. Whether you love or hate the movie “Love, Actually,” you’re going to fall in love with this mashup of parody, original comedy, music, improv and audience participation. Tickets are $49 to $75.

Kennedy Center Theater Lab


Dec. 12 to Jan. 6


Representative Sydney Millsap rode a Blue Wave into D.C. She arrives armed with her ideals and sense of duty, and refuses to play by the rules of special interests. Kate’s a lobbyist who backs winners. So when she crosses paths with Millsap, she dismisses her as a one-term neophyte, but ends up hearing a call to conscience she thought she’d left outside of the Beltway. Please call for ticket information.

The Studio Theatre


Dec. 12 to Jan. 13

Miss Saigon

In a bar run by a notorious character called The Engineer, a young Vietnamese woman named Kim meets an American G.I. in an encounter that will change their lives forever in this stunning musical. Tickets are $49 to $175.

Kennedy Center Opera House


Through Dec. 16

Cry It Out

Jessie is a corporate lawyer in a Manhattan firm. Lina is a community-college dropout and born-and-bred Long Islander. They don’t seem to have anything in common, but marooned at home with infants, they strike up a fast friendship. Tickets are $20 to $80.

The Studio Theatre


Dec. 18 to Jan. 6

The Play That Goes Wrong

What would happen if Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python had an illegitimate Broadway baby? You’d get Broadway and London’s award-winning smash comedy that is chock-full of mishaps and madcap mania. Tickets are $49 to $149.

Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater


Through Dec. 23

Anything Goes

Cole Porter’s madcap seafaring musical features some of musical theater’s most memorable standards, such as “I Get a Kick Out of You” and the title song, “Anything Goes.” Tickets are $51 to $105.

Arena Stage


Through Dec. 23

An Inspector Calls

Winner of 19 major accolades, the award-winning production of J.B. Priestley’s classic thriller “An Inspector Calls” will kick off a four-city U.S. tour at Shakespeare Theatre Company. Set simultaneously in 1912, post-war society and modern day at the home of the Birlings, a well-heeled British family, the story follows a festive celebration that is suddenly punctured by a mysterious visitor: a grim inspector investigating the death of a young woman. As questions multiply and guilt mounts, the Birlings’s entanglement in the affair shatters the foundations of their comfortable lives. Please call for ticket information.

The Shakespeare Theatre


Through Dec. 30

A Christmas Carol

Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. The 2018 production of “A Christmas Carol” has selected D.C.’s Homeless Children’s Playtime Project as recipient of this year’s donation drive inspired by the themes of charity in Dickens’s holiday classic. Tickets are $24 to $107.

Ford’s Theatre


Through Dec. 30


Inspired by the 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s Yiddish drama “The God of Vengeance,” and the controversy that surrounded its themes of censorship, immigration and anti-Semitism, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Vogel explores the behind-the-scenes story of the courageous artists who risked their careers and lives to perform this piece of theater under the most challenging circumstances. Tickets are $41 to $95.

Arena Stage


Through Jan. 6

Billy Elliot the Musical

Based on the powerful and acclaimed film, all 11-year-old Billy wants to do is dance. Initially facing opposition from society and his father, Billy’s passion instead unites the community and changes his life in extraordinary ways. Please call for ticket information.

Signature Theatre