Visit Washington, DC! Hotel and travel tips for visiting Washington, DC Fri, 24 Jul 2015 17:59:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Washington DC Metro Track Work Information for July 24-26, 2015 Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:06:36 +0000  

Metro Train

Washington, DC Metro track work information is available to help visitors and riders plan ahead for weekend travel changes. Metro is investing over 5 billion dollars in the reconstruction of its Metrorail system, and track work is expected on most weekends. Weekly updates are provided to inform travelers which lines are affected. This is a weekly press release provided by Metro. Service changes begin at 10pm on Friday night and continue through closing on Sunday night.

According to Metro:

“This weekend, Yellow Line trains will operate at regular weekend intervals. Green Line trains will operate at regular weekend intervals except Saturday at Suitland and Branch Ave (see below).  Orange, Silver and Blue line trains will operate every 24 minutes.

Red Line trains will operate every 8-16 minutes with additional trains between Friendship Heights and Rhode Island Ave between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.


Orange Line 
Trains every 24 minutes

Orange Line trains will operate every 24 minutes throughout the weekend.

Orange Line trains will share one track between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory to allow for joint elimination, rail, fastener and stud renewal for a safer ride.


Red Line
Trains every 8-16 minutes

Red Line trains will operate as follows throughout the weekend:

  • Between Shady Grove & Glenmont: trains every 16 minutes
  • Between Friendship Heights & Rhode Island Ave: every 8-10 minutes from 9AM-9PM only

Rail, tie and insulator renewal for a safer ride will cause Red Line trains to share one track between Grosvenor & Medical Center and between Fort Totten & Silver Spring.


Silver Line
Trains every 24 minutes

Silver Line trains will operate every 24 minutes throughout the weekend.

Silver Line trains will share one track between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory to allow for joint elimination, rail, fastener and stud renewal for a safer ride.


Blue Line
Trains every 24 minutes

Blue Line trains will operate every 24 minutes throughout the weekend.

Blue Line trains will share one track between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory to allow for joint elimination, rail, fastener and stud renewal for a safer ride.


Yellow Line
Regular weekend service

Yellow Line trains will operate regular weekend service between Huntington and Fort Totten


Green Line
Modified regular weekend service

Green Line trains will operate on Saturday as follows:

  • Between Greenbelt & Naylor Road: trains every 12 minutes (regular weekend intervals)
  • At Suitland & Branch Ave: trains will arrive and depart about every 24 minutes

Trains will operate regular Sunday intervals (every 15 minutes) between Greenbelt and Branch Ave.

Switch replacement will cause Green Line trains to share one track between Naylor Road and Branch Ave to improve instructure reliability.


For more information:

For schedules, real-time train arrivals and station information, visit Metro riders can access Metro’s mobile website by entering into their smartphone browser. For assistance by phone, call Metro customer information at (202) 637-7000 [TTY 202-638-3780].”

For more information on traveling by Metrobus or Metrorail, visit


 * Photo Credit: WMATA Photograph by Larry Levine


]]> 0
Events and Programs at the Smithsonian American Art Museum Fri, 17 Jul 2015 16:34:05 +0000 Events and Programs at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Programs are free and open to the public unless ticket information is noted.

Art Talks and Activities

Kuniyoshi Gallery Talk
Thursday, July 16, 5:30 pm
Exhibition co-curator Joann Moser highlights Kuniyoshi’s inventive and humorous early works as well as his later more sensuous and worldly ones, painted after his two extended visits to Paris.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in G Street Lobby
Tickets: Free
Event Link

Luce Artist Talks with Erik Thor Sandberg and Megan Van Wagoner
Saturday, July 18, 1:30 pm
Local artists Erik Thor Sandberg (painter) and Megan Van Wagoner (sculptor) will discuss how they collaborate across media.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in the F Street Lobby
Tickets: Free
Event Link

Thursday, July 23, 5:30 pm
DC’s premier DIY hour is back for a fun evening of all-you-can-craft activities. Enjoy craft beers specially selected for the event and live music by Practically Einstein. Visit the Handi-hour page for more information and how-to videos on the featured crafts (and past crafts).
American Craft programs are made possible by the James Renwick Alliance.  Members of the Alliance are on site during this Handi-hour to answer questions about their organization and sign-up new members!
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center
Tickets: Admission is $20 at the door, includes two drink tickets, light snacks, and all you can craft. Ages 21 and older.  Additional food and drinks for purchase at the event.
Event Link

Yoga in Luce
Wednesday, August 5, 6 pm
Bring your mat and relax with this vinyasa yoga and art appreciation series. Participants will be invited to reflect on a Luce Center artwork of their choosing before a credentialed instructor from Flow Yoga Center leads a one hour, all levels class.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center
Tickets: $10 (cash only) at the door
Event Link

Video Games and Art Discussion Panel
Thursday, August 27, 6 pm
Curator Michael Mansfield discusses the video games included in Watch This! with their creators Ed Fries and Kellee Santiago.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium
Tickets: Free
Event Link

Watch This! Gallery Talk with Rico Gatson
Thursday, August 13, 5:30 pm
Video artist Rico Gatson is known for work that stands at the intersection of formalist abstraction and social commentary. Gatson leads a gallery tour of Watch This! discussing Gun Play, his socially conscious work in the exhibition, and his overall approach to art making.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in Watch This! gallery, third floor
Tickets: Free
Event Link

Art Signs: ASL Gallery Talks
Thursday, August 13, 5:30 pm
Join us for gallery conversations about artworks presented by a volunteer ASL gallery guide. For more information, go to or email
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in F Street Lobby
Tickets: Free
Event Link

Gamer Family Festival
Saturday, August 15, 11:30 am
Imagine a whole day inspired by the video games in the museum’s collection! Play the game Flower, create pixel art and other crafts, catch up with our partners at MAGFest, and enjoy live music and performances.
This program is generously supported by Booz Allen Hamilton.
Location:Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard
Tickets: Free
Event Link

An American Diary with Roger Shimomura
Thursday, August 20, 6:30 pm
Artist Roger Shimomura’s work juxtaposes everyday images with racially charged imagery, confronting Asian-American political and ethnic issues. Shimomura discusses paintings, prints, and experimental theatre pieces that span his forty-year career.
This program is in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium
Tickets: Free
Event Link

Luce Design with Melanie Karlins
Sunday, August 23, 1:30 pm
Melanie Karlins is the owner and printer at Grey Moggie Press, a Capitol Hill-based letterpress shop. In her small studio she creates letterpress cards, prints, and stationary, which are inspired by urban life, letter writing, and typography.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Meet in F Street Lobby
Tickets: Free
Event Link



Luce Unplugged Community Showcase
Friday, July 17, 6 pm
Explore the center’s thousands of artworks while listening to sets by two local acts– soul/folk singer Be Steadwell and electronic musician Olivia Neutron-John, selected with the help of theWashington City Paper’s arts editor Christina Cauterucci. Libations and small snacks will be available for purchase from a cash bar and a local brewery will provide free tastings to visitors 21+.
Location:  Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center
Tickets: Free
Event Link

Luce Unplugged with Fellow Creatures 
Thursday, August 6, 5:30 pm
Sam McCormally, formerly of Ugly Purple Sweater, returns to Luce Unplugged to perform with his new indie-rock band Fellow Creatures. The band, named one of six local artists to watch by D.C. Music Download, has been busy this year-they headlined a show at the venue the Black Cat and released a danceable electronic rock single, “Shuka Shuka.” See them perform following an art talk on a work they picked out from the collection. Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase from a cash bar.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center
Tickets: Free
Event Link

Bella Notte! A Taste of Italy/Film: Pranzo di Ferragosto
Thursday, August 6, 6 pm
Join American Art, the Embassy of Italy, and the Italian Cultural Institute as we celebrate the good food and films of Italy. This screening will be followed by a sampling of Italian cannoli! Films in Italian with English subtitles (2008, 75 minutes). Gianni is a middle-aged man living in Rome with his elderly mother. Facing mounting debts, he is forced to stay home and entertain her and three other feisty old women during Italy’s biggest summer holiday, Ferragosto. This series is made possible through a collaboration with the Embassy of Italy in Washington, DC, and the Italian Cultural Institute
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium
Tickets: Free tickets available at 5:30 p.m. in the G Street lobby on the day of each program.
Event Link

Take 5! with James Zimmerman Ensemble
Thursday, August 20, 5 pm
Oscar Brown Jr., Billy Eckstine, Johnny Hartman, Bill Henderson, Jon Hendricks, and Eddie Jefferson are known for their powerful narrative lyrics and evocative songs. The Smithsonian’s very own James Zimmerman, on vocals, leads a tribute to the artistry of these great jazz musicians.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard
Tickets: Free
Event Link


Ongoing Programs

Sketching: Draw and Discover!
Tuesdays, 2:30pm – 4:30pm
Draw inspiration from artists’ sketches as well as the thousands of objects on display in the Luce Foundation Center of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, then spend time sketching in our workshop. Some materials provided; please bring a small sketchbook and pencils. Repeats weekly.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum, meet at the Luce Foundation Center information desk.
Event Link


For more information on this museum, visit our Smithsonian American Art Museum page.

]]> 0
Daytime Fireworks at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Fri, 03 Jul 2015 19:06:01 +0000 mount vernon estate and gardens

Saturday, July 4, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Mount Vernon salutes our first commander-in-chief with a dazzling display of made-for-daytime fireworks during its annual Independence Day event!  The event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens with a keynote address from CIA Director John Brennan, military reenactments, a special wreathlaying ceremony, free birthday cake for all (while supplies last), and a visit from the “first” first couple, “General and Mrs. Washington.” Visitors will be treated to spectacular smoke fireworks in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River.

  • All day: “General and Mrs. Washington” greet visitors.
  • 9:30 a.m: Re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment assemble for inspection by “General Washington.”  The Declaration of Independence is read.
  • 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m: Annual Independence Day wreathlaying at the tomb of George Washington.
  • 11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m: A special naturalization ceremony for America’s 100 newest citizens near the Mansion.  CIA Director John Brennan will provide keynote remarks.
  • 12 p.m. – 12:45 a.m: Patriotic music performance by the National Concert Band of America on the Bowling Green.
  • 1 p.m. – 1:15 p.m: Unique daytime fireworks display over the Potomac River.
  • 1:15 p.m: “Happy Birthday, America!” cake. Birthday cake on the Bowling Green (while supplies last).
  • 1:30 p.m: Revolutionary War military music.
  • 2:30 p.m: Revolutionary War military drills.

Note: Parking is limited on Independence Day.  Please e-mail or call by 5pm July 3 to RSVP and arrange parking.  


For more information on Mount Vernon, visit our Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens page.

To purchase general admission tickets to Mount Vernon online, click here.

To view hotels near Mount Vernon, click here.

]]> 0
US Capitol Police Information for the Fourth of July Concert and Fireworks in Washington DC Wed, 01 Jul 2015 18:59:46 +0000 The US Capitol Police have issued the following press release to help visitors to the National Mall for the Fourth of July events in Washington D.C.:

Updated July 1, 2015

A Capitol Fourth Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol

Concert and Rehearsal Times

“On Saturday, July 4, 2015, from 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm, “A Capitol Fourth Concert” will be broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. There will be a full concert dress rehearsal for this event on Friday, July 3, 2015 at 8:00 pm. Both the rehearsal and the concert are free and no tickets are required. On both days, gates will open to the public at 3:00 pm.

Public Access, Mobility Impaired Information and Traveling Tips

All public entrances are wheelchair accessible. Mobility impaired guests and their party will be accommodated at any public entrance. Limited parking on a first come, first serve basis will be available to mobility impaired guests and their party along the south curb of Constitution Avenue between First Street & Third Street, NW. Mobility carts will begin service from this parking area to the entrance nearest First Street, NW and Constitution Avenue, NW at 4:30 pm.

Public entrances to the West Front of the U.S. Capitol:

  • North Side: Third Street, NW and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
  • South Side: Third Street, SW and Maryland Avenue, SW

Parking in the immediate area of the U.S. Capitol is extremely limited. Please visit to help plan your trip using public transportation.

Prohibited Items and Security Measures

The U.S. Capitol Police along with event and production staff closely monitor weather conditions. Any changes to the schedule of events based on adverse weather conditions will be announced to the general public. If an evacuation occurs due to inclement weather, please follow the directions of the U.S. Capitol Police.

Additional security measures will be in place to ensure the safety and security of those in attendance. Anyone attending events on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol must adhere to security screening procedures before entering the event site. This will include an administrative search of all bags, coolers, backpacks, and closed containers.

For this event, food items are permitted. You are strongly encouraged to bring your own supply of water or an empty water bottle that can be filled at on-site water stations. However, alcoholic beverages of any kind and glass bottles are prohibited. In addition to any other items determined to be prohibited at the discretion of the U.S. Capitol Police, the following items are prohibited:


Tour Bus Access

Tour buses will not have access to Garfield Circle and Peace Circle from Thursday, July 2 through Saturday, July 4 and will be rerouted from First Street between Constitution Avenue, NW and Independence Avenue, SW to Third Street, between Constitution Avenue, NW and Independence Avenue, SW for passenger drop off and pick up.

Street Closures

Temporary street closures will begin on Thursday, July 2 at 12:00 am through Sunday, July 5 at 4:00 am:

  • First Street between Independence Avenue, SW and Constitution Avenue, NW
  • Pennsylvania Avenue, NW between First Street, NW and Third Street, NW
  • Maryland Avenue between First Street, SW and Third Street, SW

First Street NW/SW between Garfield Circle and Peace Circle will remain partially closed through Wednesday, July 8 at 11:59 am.

For additional information on the Capitol Fourth Concert, please visit or

If there are any questions about these events or our security procedures, you may contact the United States Capitol Police Public Information Office at 202-224-1677.”


For more information on the Fourth of July in Washington DC, Visit our A Capitol Fourth – 4th of July events page.

To view this press release, click here.



]]> 1
Free Concerts in the Park in Falls Church, Thursdays at 7 p.m. Sat, 27 Jun 2015 02:51:02 +0000 Concerts in the Park

Concerts in the Park is sponsored by the City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks and the Village Preservation and Improvement Society (VPIS).

2015 Lineup:

  • June 25: Falls Church Concert Band – Concert Music
  • July 2: The Flannel Underground – 90’s Hits
  • July 9: Dear Creek – Blues Folk Rock
  • July 16: Ocho de Bastos (Eight of Clubs) – Latin Pop
  • July 23: Mama Tried with Randy Barrett and Dede Wyland – Bluegrass
  • July 30: Andrew Acosta Band – Roots Music
  • August 6: Tom Principato – Blues Rock

Cherry Hill Park
Falls Church, VA

Thursdays, 7pm.

The schedule is available at

In the event of rain, concerts will be held in the Falls Church Community Center located next to the Park at:
223 Little Falls St.
Falls Church, VA 22046

*Photo Credit: City of Falls Church

]]> 0
DC Circulator Now Has National Mall Route Bus Service Fri, 12 Jun 2015 23:55:15 +0000 The following is a press release from the DC Circulator:

Mayor Muriel Bowser, National Park Service Acting Superintendent Karen Cucurullo and District Department of Transportation Director Leif Dormsjo announced that the DC Circulator will begin passenger service along the National Mall on Sunday, June 14, 2015.

The route will begin at Union Station, travel along Louisiana Avenue, NE, and loop around the National Mall via Madison Drive, SW; Constitution Avenue, NW; West Basin Drive, SW; Ohio Drive, SW; and Jefferson Drive, SW. The service has 15 stops, steps away from the most popular District attractions including the Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and National Museum of American History, National Gallery of Art and the U.S. Capitol.

“Improving and diversifying transportation options in the District of Columbia remains a top priority of my administration,” said Mayor Bowser. “The DC Circulator’s expansion is a win for the District, its residents and visitors as a sustainable solution for moving people around the National Mall and into our unique and diverse neighborhoods. This route will provide people with greater access to the nation’s most iconic monuments, memorials and museums while boosting economic activity in the District.”

“The National Park Service is proud to partner with DC Circulator to provide reliable, low-cost transportation around the National Mall and Memorial Parks for our more than 29 million annual visitors, and to provide them with a connection to points throughout the city,” said National Mall and Memorial Parks Acting Superintendent Cucurullo. “And with the added benefit of addressing ongoing issues of traffic congestion, lack of parking and air quality, its benefits extend far beyond the boundaries of the National Mall.”

Currently, the DC Circulator provides service on five convenient routes throughout the District at a fare of $1, with buses arriving every 10 minutes. The DC Circulator is the product of a partnership between the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), First Transit and DC Surface Transit, Inc. DC Circulator will continue to expand links to cultural, entertainment and business destinations within the city’s central core and other District neighborhoods.

Expansion of the DC Circulator service along the National Mall is the result of collaboration among DDOT, the National Park Service and DC Surface Transit, Inc. Through this partnership, DC Circulator bus service will be providing visitors, commuters and residents door-to-door transportation to more than 25 museums, monuments and memorials along the National Mall.

“Connecting the National Mall to the rest of the city with affordable, convenient surface transit was the impetus for launching DC Circulator service in 2005,” said DC Surface Transit President Richard H. Bradley. “Opening our local economy with this service to the millions of tourists who visit the National Mall each year is a win for both the city and for the visitor experience in Washington, D.C.”

“DDOT is pleased to launch DC Circulator’s National Mall route, a transit need that tourists and residents have wanted for years. We are committed to continuing to provide safe and reliable bus transit for all District residents and visitors,” said DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo.

For more information, visit


]]> 0
Wine and Dine on George Washington’s Lawn, June 12 & 13th Thu, 11 Jun 2015 02:13:37 +0000 mount vernon gardens and estate -- george washington's home

Special Evening Event: Summer Escape, June 12 & 13, 2015

George Washington’s Mount Vernon invites visitors to sip wine and taste local and historic culinary treats while watching the sun set at the first president’s home on Friday, June 12 and Saturday, June 13 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.! Summer Escape at Mount Vernon offers a rare opportunity to visit Mount Vernon after the daytime crowds have departed. Relax to live music, join in a bocce game, and unwind against the backdrop of the Potomac River.

Beer lovers can experience a taste of history as Colonial Williamsburg’s beer-making expert demonstrates 18th century beer brewing.  Selections from several microbreweries will also be available for sampling. Cider-making demonstrations and samples will also be available. Mount Vernon’s chocolatiers will demonstrate the process of making chocolate while serving up chocolate martini samples! Beer, wine, and light and heartier fare will also be available for purchase.

The event also offers foodies a chance to talk with 18th- century herbalist, Betsey Golan, and sample flavorful herb-infused dips and teas.  And what better way to cool off on a warm summer day than with ice cream—a treat George Washington himself enjoyed. Event-goers will explore how it was made before the days of refrigeration during ice cream-making demonstrations.

After sampling culinary treats and libations, take part in a bocce ball competition with prizes. Stroll the lantern-lit grounds and immerse yourself in the 18th century as you mingle with costumed residents like the charming “Lady Washington.” Enjoy in 18th-century music, dancing, and more historic fun.

Admission is $20 per person, including children. Purchase four tickets for $60. For more information, please visit


For more information on Mount Vernon, visit our Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens page.

To purchase general admission tickets to Mount Vernon online, click here.

To view hotels near Mount Vernon, click here.

]]> 0
Events and Exhibits at the Arthur M. Sackler and Freer Galleries of Art Wed, 10 Jun 2015 21:09:23 +0000 Arthur M. Sackler and Freer Gallery in Washington, DC


Oribe Ware: Color and Pattern Come to Japanese Ceramics
through June 14, 2015
Freer Gallery of Art
Invented in Japan in 1605, Oribe ware introduced vivid pattern and color to a ceramics tradition that had previously favored somber, monochrome designs. Oribe ware vessels were used primarily for serving food and drinking tea, and their sprightly patterns with glossy black or brilliant green glazes made them a shimmering addition to 17th-century dining trays and tearooms. A major technological advance in ceramics—the Motoyashiki multi-chamber climbing kiln, which allowed potters to melt glazes to dazzling translucency—made this radically new appearance possible. This exhibition highlights the best selections of Oribe ware in the Freer’s collection, including two new acquisitions on view for the first time.

Zen, Tea, and Chinese Art in Medieval Japan
through June 14, 2015
Freer Gallery of Art
Zen Buddhism, tea, and ink painting—well-known expressions of Japanese culture—have their roots in Chinese arts and ideas brought to medieval Japan from the late 12th to the 16th century. By the end of that period, arts and customs from Song, Yuan, and Ming dynasty China had been assimilated into Japanese culture, emerging as Japanese practices such as chanoyu, the art of tea. In this exhibition, Chinese and Japanese paintings, lacquer ware, and ceramics illuminate this remarkable period of cultural contact and synthesis.

Chinese Ceramics: 13th–14th Century
through December 2015
Freer Gallery of Art
Ceramic production during the Yuan dynasty (1279–1368) reflects the strength of the international market demand for Chinese wares. Notably, celadon-glazed vessels from Longquan competed with porcelain objects from Jingdezhen, painted with innovative decoration in cobalt pigment. A dozen Chinese ceramics from the Freer collection show highlights of Yuan ceramic styles and complement the exhibition Style in Chinese Landscape Painting: The Yuan Legacy.

Seasonal Landscapes in Japanese Screens
through September 7, 2015
Cherry trees bloom in this selection of folding screen paintings from the Freer Gallery. These landscapes from the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries combine ink-painting techniques assimilated from China with the vibrant color and gold of traditional Japanese painting in a new style and grand scale.

Fine Impressions: Whistler, Freer, and Venice
through November 1, 2015
In 1887, Charles Lang Freer purchased the entire Second Venice Set, 26 atmospheric etchings by James McNeill Whistler. This marked the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership between collector and artist, which eventually led to the founding of the Freer Gallery, today the world’s largest and finest repository of Whistler’s works. Fine Impressions shows how Freer’s acquisition of the Second Venice Set came to shape his legacy as a connoisseur and collector.

Bold and Beautiful: Rinpa in Japanese Art
through January 3, 2016
The modern term Rinpa (Rimpa) describes a remarkable group of Japanese artists who created striking images for paintings, ceramics, textiles, and lacquerware. Their works are linked by common features such as strong compositions, vibrant fields of color, and thin, pooled ink rooted in the work of the 17th-century Kyoto painter Tawaraya SØ­tatsu (on view in the Sackler beginning October 2015). This exhibition features 37 works by Rinpa artists and those inspired by Rinpa design, and is complemented by a gallery of tea ceramics influenced by SØ­tatsu”Æs collaborator Hon”Æami Koetsu.

Chinese Ceramics: 13th-14th Century
through January 3, 2016 
A selection of Chinese ceramics from the Freer collection shows highlights of Yuan ceramic styles and complements the exhibition Style in Chinese Landscape Painting: The Yuan Legacy.

Enigmas: The Art of Bada Shanren (1626-1705)
through January 3, 2016
As a painter and a calligrapher, Bada Shanren (1626-1705) developed a unique visual vocabulary full of intriguing symbolism and artistic gestures. This exhibition showcases an impressive selection of his painting and calligraphy, including some of his most daring and idiosyncratic works from the 1660s through the early 1700s.

Freer and Whistler: Points of Contact
through January 3, 2016
A new rotation of Points of Contact features fourteen of the Freer Gallery’s most iconic paintings by the American expatriate James McNeill Whistler. The exhibition highlights the artist’s creative use of Japanese and Chinese imagery and formal devices in his own development as a painter, and it documents Whistler’s influence on the aesthetic philosophy and collecting habits of museum founder Charles Lang Freer.

Peacock Room REMIX: Darren Waterston’s Filthy Lucre
through January 2, 2017

Freer and Sackler Galleries
Peacock Room REMIX centers on Filthy Lucre, an immersive interior by painter Darren Waterston. He reinterprets James McNeill Whistler’s famed Peacock Room as a resplendent ruin, an aesthetic space that is literally overburdened by its own excesses—of materials, history, and creativity. Like Filthy Lucre and the original Peacock Room, this exhibition invites viewers to consider the complex relationships among art, money, and the passage of time. Darren Waterston’s installation Filthy Lucre, 2013–14, was created by the artist in collaboration with MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts.
More information…

Vietnam’s Ceramics: Depth and Diversity
opens July 11, 2015
Ceramic traditions within the borders of modern Vietnam are deep and diverse, reflecting the artistic legacies and interactions of this nation’s fifty-four ethnic groups. On the twentieth anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Freer|Sackler opens its first exhibition since 2005 focused solely on Vietnamese ceramics.

Art of the Gift: Recent Acquisitions
July 25-December 13, 2015
The beauty and diversity of Asian art are evident throughout the collections of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Since the opening of the Freer in 1923 and the Sackler in 1987, generous gifts and funds designated for acquisitions have expanded the collections and added to their breadth and variety. Continuing this legacy, Art of the Gift celebrates some of the recent and promised gifts made to the museums and archives. Objects on view range from centuries-old Buddhist sculptures from Japan, Southeast Asia, and Tibet to lacquer ware and contemporary photography from Iran. Art of the Gift: Recent Acquisitions is organized by the Freer and Sackler Galleries and sponsored by Altria Group.

Perspectives: Lara Baladi
August 29, 2015-June 5, 2016
Egyptian-Lebanese artist Lara Baladi (born 1969) experiments with the photographic medium, investigating its history and its role in shaping perceptions of the Middle East–particularly Egypt, where she is based. This installation centers on Oum el Dounia (The Mother of the World), a large-scale tapestry based on a photographic collage. Perspectives: Lara Baladi is organized by the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and is sponsored by Altria Group. Additional funding provided by the Gallery’s endowment for Contemporary Asian Art.


Programs and Events

Open Studio Saturdays
Saturdays, July 11 and 18, August 8 and 15, 12–4 pm
Sackler sublevel 2, ImaginAsia classroom
Discover Peacock Room REMIX with a gallery guide or on a family-friendly tour (held at 12 pm and 2 pm). Return to the ImaginAsia classroom to experiment with art materials, solve creative challenges, and collaborate with friends and family.
Event Link

after-hours event
Third Thursday After-Hours Open House
Thursday, July 16, 5:30–8 pm
Freer and Sackler
Experience both our special exhibition Peacock Room REMIX: Darren Waterston’s Filthy Lucre and its inspiration, Whistler’s famous Peacock Room. Take advantage of this rare chance to see the Peacock Room with its shutters open while enjoying curator-led tours. Let the architectural details of both rooms spark your imagination as you fashion peacock-inspired accessories.
Event Link

film and conversation
Inspired by Forough Farrokhzad
Saturday, July 18, 2 pm
Freer, Meyer Auditorium
Following a screening of legendary feminist poet Forough Farrokhzad’s groundbreaking documentary The House is Black, artist Sussan Deyhim talks about her own ongoing projects and Farrokhzad’s enduring influence on Iranian art and culture. Presented as part of Contemporary Iran through Film, a series highlighting prominent figures in contemporary Iranian art, in conjunction with Shirin Neshat: Facing History at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Event Link

Vijay Iyer, piano; Rudresh Mahanthappa, alto saxophone*
Thursday, July 23, 7:30 pm
Freer, Meyer Auditorium
Pianist Vijay Iyer and alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa form what the Chicago Tribune calls “one of the great partnerships in jazz.” Presented by the Freer|Sackler and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (APAC), in conjunction with APAC’s Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation on view at the National Museum of Natural History.
Event Link

Larz and Isabel Anderson’s Art Collection and Historic Interiors
Sunday, August 16, 2–4 pm
Anderson House, the Society of the Cincinnati
2118 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
Anderson House was the winter residence of diplomat Larz Anderson and his wife, as well as a showcase for the couple’s art collection. Emily Schulz Parsons, deputy director and curator of the Society of the Cincinnati, discusses the Andersons and their art, and then leads a tour highlighting several of the home’s most important works. Presented in conjunction with Peacock Room REMIX.
Event Link



Celebrating Vietnamese Cinema
Saturday–Sunday, July 11–12
Join us for a weekend of films, guests, and a reception celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the opening of diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam. Visit in June for details.

Twentieth Annual Made in Hong Kong Film Festival
July 17–August 16
We celebrate twenty years of Hong Kong movies at the Freer|Sackler with screenings and special events, including guest appearances, new hit films, and rare classics. Cosponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.


Programs marked with * require free tickets. Up to four tickets can be reserved (with service fee) beginning two Mondays before the event through Ticketmaster at 800.551.7328 or Unreserved and no-show tickets (two per person; no service fee) are distributed at the Meyer Auditorium beginning one hour before showtime.

For more information about this museum, visit our Arthur M. Sackler and Freer Galleries of Art page.

]]> 0
Asia After Dark: PEACOCKalypse, at the Freer and Sackler Galleries on Saturday June 13 Wed, 10 Jun 2015 20:43:32 +0000 Don your finest feathers for this beloved after-hours party hosted by the Silk Road Society that this year is an official event of the Capital Pride Celebration. Flash back to the gilded glamour of Whistler’s Peacock Room and meet its alter ego Filthy Lucre, a new installation by New York City-based gay artist Darren Waterston. Sip specialty cocktails by Ping Pong Dim Sum, win prizes in a game-show style cash cube, and shake a tail feather to music by award-winning activist band BETTY.

WhatAsia After Dark: PEACOCKalypse

Where: Freer and Sackler Galleries

When: Saturday June 13 from 8pm to 12am

For more information and to purchase tickets visit

PEACOCKalypse: Asia After Dark

]]> 0
The Renwick Gallery Will Reopen November 13, 2015 Fri, 05 Jun 2015 20:42:27 +0000 Renwick Gallery

The following is a press release announced by the Smithsonian American Art Museum:

The Renwick Gallery, home to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s craft and decorative arts program, will reopen to the public Friday, Nov. 13, following a comprehensive two-year renovation. The museum, located across from the White House at the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., in downtown Washington, D.C., will reopen with carefully restored historic features and entirely new infrastructure. LED lighting throughout the public spaces and other upgrades will dramatically improve energy efficiency. The opening exhibition titled “Wonder” will feature original gallery-sized installations by nine major contemporary artists, renewing the commitment inscribed in stone above the front door, “Dedicated to Art.” The reopening will be accompanied by a celebratory weekend of public programs and three special publications.

This project marks the first comprehensive renovation to the building in 45 years. Westlake Reed Leskosky is the lead architectural design and engineering firm, and Consigli Construction Co. Inc. is the general construction contractor. Both firms are recognized leaders in working with museums and historic buildings.

The Renwick Gallery, built in 1859, was the first structure in America created expressly for showcasing great works of art to the public; the original legislation states that the building is intended to “encourage American genius.” In keeping with this purpose, the Smithsonian American Art Museum has used the building since 1972 to present a program of traditional and modern crafts, decorative arts and architectural design. The focus has strongly emphasized contemporary artists’ work, and contemporary expressions will continue to inspire the collections, installations and public events presented there.

“The Renwick Gallery is the first purpose-built art museum in America and an architectural masterpiece; we are delighted to renew this great historic building for the next half-century,” said Betsy Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “James Renwick, Jr., the original architect, took inspiration from the new pavilions of the Louvre in Paris. When the building first opened a decade after the Civil War to display William Wilson Corcoran’s art collection, it was hailed as the ‘American Louvre,’ symbolizing the young nation’s aspirations for a distinctive culture.”


The renovation of this National Historic Landmark has revealed two long-concealed ceiling vaults on the second floor, restored the original 19th-century window configuration throughout, and repaired original moldings and other decorative features. In addition to upgraded art-storage areas, exterior brick repointing and stucco repair, infrastructure was replaced or upgraded, including all heating, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing and fire-suppression systems, as well as elevator, security, phone and data-communication systems.

Public spaces are now illuminated entirely with LED lighting; museum staff has worked with the lighting industry since 2012 to develop brighter, more precise LED lights specifically for the Renwick that equal or exceed the aesthetics of halogen and incandescent lighting used in most museums. The new lighting system is a landmark advance in museum energy efficiency and, combined with other infrastructure improvements, will reduce the building’s energy usage by 70 percent and significantly shrink the building’s environmental footprint.

The elegant “Octagon Room,” which was personally designed by Corcoran to feature his favorite sculpture, Hiram Powers’ “Greek Slave,” will present during the inaugural year a summary history of the building, including photographs and information about Corcoran, Renwick, the use of the building during the Civil War, the demolition threat in the 1960s and the building’s rescue by First Lady Jackie Kennedy, and the building’s transfer to the Smithsonian to return it to its original purpose as an art museum. A full-size 3-D print of the “Greek Slave,” recently made from a scan of the original plaster in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection, will recall the sculpture’s original placement.

A dramatic new carpet for the Grand Stair, designed by French architect Odile Decq in her signature red color, re-establishes the French influence in the building; the carpet appears to flow down the imposing 10-foot-wide staircase and pool in the lobby near the entrance. LED up-lighting of the ceiling coves and touches of gilding on decorative moldings further enhance public circulation areas.

Inaugural Exhibition

The debut exhibition, “Wonder,” encompasses all the public galleries, with new room-size installations by nine artists, including Jennifer Angus, Chakaia Booker, Gabriel Dawe, Tara Donovan, Patrick Dougherty, Janet Echelman, John Grade, Maya Lin and Leo Villareal. Each artist works intensively with expressive materials-insects, tires, thread, paper, osiers, netting, woven wood, glass marbles, and LED light strips-to create installations that dazzle the eye and resonate with today’s environmental and social issues. Nicholas Bell, the Fleur and Charles Bresler Curator of Craft and Decorative Arts, selected the artists.

Just before closing for renovation, the Renwick organized the exhibition “40 under 40,” highlighting new directions by young artists. Many of the exhibition artworks were acquired for the permanent collection and will be included in a new collections installation in summer 2016 by Nora Atkinson, the Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft. The installation is supported by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Windgate Charitable Foundation.

Public Programs

A series of public programs will celebrate the reopening. On Friday, Nov. 13, a morning ribbon-cutting ceremony will precede a free open house offering the opportunity for the public to explore the galleries, meet curators Bell and Atkinson, and take tours led by museum docents. On the evening of the 13th the Renwick’s famed DIY program, “Handi-hour,” returns to the Gallery with a large-scale version of this acclaimed program; the Gallery will remain open after hours for “all you can craft,” craft beer, live music and special guest artists on site. This event will be ticketed and available for ages 21 and up. On Saturday, Nov. 14, the Renwick will offer a free family festival with craft activities, artist demonstrations, musical performances and special museum tours.  Details will be available on the museum’s calendar,, this fall.

*Photo credit: Joshua Yetman



]]> 0