Home The Washington Diplomat January 2019 Events – January 2019

Events – January 2019










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. 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


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 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


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 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


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 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



Sat., Jan. 19, 8 p.m.

Evening of Indian Dance

Enjoy a rich and innovative program from IDEA (Indian Dance Educators Association) showcasing a variety of dazzling Indian dance. Tickets are $25 to $27.

Wolf Trap



Sat., Jan. 5, 6 p.m.

Orquesta Akokán

Straight out of Havana comes Orquesta Akokán, a mambo ensemble reminiscent of Benny Moré, Pérez Prado, and the Banda Gigante of the 1940s and 1950s. Their original songs were recorded at the Estudios Areito with Cuba’s finest players, led by singer José “Pepito” Gómez.

Kennedy Center Millennium Stage


Tue., Jan. 8, 6 p.m.

Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness

South African seven-piece band Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness has mesmerized audiences worldwide with its indigenous funk and high-energy performances. These artistic heirs to Philip “Malombo” Tabane and Batsumi give a contemporary voice to ancestral traditions.

Kennedy Center Millennium Stage


Mon., Jan. 14, 6 p.m.

Cante Alentejano

Cante Alentejano is a genre of traditional two-part singing performed by amateur choral groups in southern Portugal, characterized by distinctive melodies, lyrics and vocal styles, and performed without instrumentation.

Kennedy Center Millennium Stage


Sun., Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m.

Pan American Symphony Orchestra Presents Passion and Fire: The Music of Spain

Pan American Symphony Orchestra brings you a thrilling evening of evocative and passionate music by Spain’s foremost composers — Isaac Albeniz, Manuel de Falla, and Joaquin Turina — music infused with the rhythms of Spanish folk dances, and reflecting the traditions of the Gypsy, Jewish, Arab, African and Greek peoples. Tickets are $50 to $65.

Kennedy Center Terrace Theater


Wed., Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m.

Cultural Fusion: The Gamelan Experience

PostClassical Ensemble (PCE) explores the traditional percussive ensemble music of Indonesia known as gamelan, which has by far been the non-Western musical genre that has most impacted the Western classical music tradition. The concert surveys gamelan’s influence on classical music across 120 years, beginning with the 1889 Paris Exposition, where Claude Debussy first experienced the allure of Indonesian music and dance — an introduction that transformed Western music via Debussy and countless other composers. From there, PCE explores other celebrated composers who have incorporated the sound and spirit of gamelan into their work. The immersive concert will transform the Washington National Cathedral with dancers, archival films and more, with a gamelan and accompanying musicians assembled in the middle of the nave and the audience seated around it for a 360-degree viewing experience. Tickets are $45 to $65; for information, visit www.postclassical.com.

Washington National Cathedral



Jan. 5 to 20

From U Street to the Cotton Club

In commemoration of the seminal events of 1968, the In Series honors the community where it resides with a revival of the acclaimed 2009 production “From U Street to the Cotton Club,” along with an array of unique audience experiences meant to deepen the impact. This original work, written by local playwright Sybil Williams and directed by KenYatta Rogers, uses D.C. music from gospel to jazz (Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller) to tell the story of the rich cultural heritage and the importance of music in the life of Black Broadway, and of D.C.’s role in shaping the sound and soul of the Harlem Renaissance. Tickets are $45.

Cultural DC’s Source Theatre


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


Through 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


Through Jan. 6

My Father’s Dragon

Synetic’s wordless Family Theater Production presents the adventures of a young child who stows away to Wild Island with a new cat companion in an attempt to rescue a captive baby dragon. Tickets are $20.

Synetic Theater


Through Jan. 6

The Panties, the Partner and the Profit: Scenes from the Heroic Life of the Middle Class

David Ives returns to the Shakespeare Theatre Company to collaborate with artistic director Michael Kahn during his final season at STC for this tale inspired by the epic pre-World War I trilogy of German playwright Carl Sternheim. Ives sharpens his celebrated wit to razor-like social commentary to devise this contemporary version that transports the audience from Boston in 1950 to Wall Street in 1986 to lavish Malibu today, filling the evening with panties falling, dueling pistols going off, brunch being eaten and other signs of near-apocalypse. Please call for ticket information.

Shakespeare Theatre Company


Through 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 Jan. 6

She the People

An all-female, all-star team of The Second City’s most fearless, tuned-in sketch comics roasts the patriarchy and reclaims at least two hours of absolutely hilarious time. Tickets start at $51.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company


Jan. 11 to 13

American Opera Initiative Festival

The Washington National Opera presents the seventh season of its acclaimed American Opera Initiative with four world premieres, including “Taking Up Serpents,” based on faith, family and patriarchy in the deep South. A comprehensive commissioning program that originates and develops new works, the American Opera Initiative provides rare opportunities for emerging composers and librettists to partner and write for the opera stage. Tickets are $19 to $45.

Kennedy Center Terrace Theater


Through 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


Jan. 15 to 20

Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures: Cinderella

Set in London during World War II, a chance meeting results in a magical night for Cinderella and her dashing young RAF pilot, together just long enough to fall in love before being parted by the Blitz. Matthew Bourne’s vivid storytelling has never been more heart-stopping. Tickets are $29 to $129.

Kennedy Center Opera House


Jan. 18 to Feb. 24


Inspired by the power struggle between the richest of the oligarchs and an ambitious Vladimir Putin after the collapse of the Soviet Union, this timely cautionary tale of capitalism run amok by Kenneth Lin (“House of Cards”) explores U.S.-Russia relations, then and now. Tickets are $41 to $95.

Arena Stage


Jan. 25 to 27

CPAA Productions Presents Image China: Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage

China’s first traditional concert drama performed by the China National Traditional Orchestra tells the story of the Buddhist monk Xuanzang (602-664) who traveled the length of the Silk Road across China on a pilgrimage to India. Xuanzang documented his experiences of the differences within Buddhism that he encountered along the way. Tickets are $70 to $200.

Kennedy Center Opera House


Jan. 29 to March 10

Nell Gwynn

A humble orange seller from the streets of Drury Lane steps onto the stage and becomes the darling of the Restoration theater. Nell discovers one of her biggest fans is none other than Charles II. Smitten with Nell’s spirit, the king brings her to court as a favorite mistress. Tickets are $42 to $79.

Folger Theatre