|Washington Travel Guide|
M. Sackler Gallery
“Faith and Form: Selected Calligraphy and Painting From Japanese Religious Traditions” closes July 18. Some of the illuminated texts, portraits, and mandala paintings on display belong to the Freer. Others are from the private collection owned by Sylvan Barnet and William Burto.
“Return of the Buddha: The Qingzhou Discoveries,” beautiful and well-preserved sixth-century sculptures, closes August 8.
At the Sackler, a sixth-century Chinese Buddha.
“Caliphs and Kings: The Art and Influence of Islamic Spain” opens May 8 and closes October 17. A history lesson of sorts is implicit in the silks, ceramics, and illuminated Bibles dating from the 8th to the 16th century that will be shown. The textiles, ceramics, maps, manuscripts and marquetry are examples of the interchange of ideas among Muslim artists, Jewish scribes, and their patrons in medieval Spain.
Baltimore Museum of Art
Same-day tickets ($12 for adults; $10 for seniors and students; $6 for ages 6 to 18; children under 6 free; includes museum admission) are available at the museum, without a service charge. Ticketmaster, at 202-432-7328 or online at www.ticketmaster.com, sells advance timed tickets; there is a service charge of $2.75 a ticket and a $2 handling fee per order.
“Picasso: Surrealism and the War Years,” a show of 20 prints and paintings from the 1920s and 1930s containing psychological and autobiographical elements, runs through August 29. Highlights include “Minotauramachy” and prints referencing “Guernica,” Picasso’s mural decrying fascism and war.
Since opening in May, the City Museum keeps adding to its collections.
In addition to its room-size lighted floor map and its dioramas of local
history, the museum is now showing an exhibit about its neighbor to the
east, “Chinatown: Place and People.” Chinese Immigrants first
lived and worked on Pennsylvania Avenue about 120 years ago. The move
to today’s Chinatown happened in the 1930s.
Corcoran Gallery of Art
Tickets are $20. Call 202-357-3030 or visit smithsonianassociates.org for more.
National Air and Space Museum
Kids five and up, adults too, will find two very interesting programs
in the Einstein Planetarium. “The Stars Tonight” involves
a museum staffer explaining what is to be seen through the planetarium’s
projector. And in “Infinity Express,” visitors are transported
via digital technology to the edge of the universe.
The architects whose work is represented here include Louis I. Kahn, Rem Koolhaas, Mies van der Rohe, Otto Wagner, and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Drawings by more than 60 architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, who
have influenced modern design are at the National Building Museum.
At the National Gallery, Joseph Decker’s “Still Life With Crab Apples and Grapes” is in the Wilmerding collection.
In the reception room on the ground floor, an exhibit commemorates the
25th anniversary of the East Building. Included are a 1968 sketch by architect
I.M. Pei, a three-dimensional model, photographs, and many archival materials.
We who live here tend to forget that the American Institute of Architects
considers Pei’s masterpiece one of the top ten buildings in the
Sixth St. and Constitution Ave., NW; 202-737-4215; www.nga.gov
Director’s Tour: Masterpieces at the National Gallery,” an
audio tour narrated by museum director Earl A. Powell III and gallery
curators, examines more than 130 of the gallery’s greatest paintings.
It’s a wonderful way to tour the permanent collection, revisiting
old favorites and learning about new ones. The cassettes are available
for rent ($6 for adults, $5 for seniors) at the West Building’s
National Museum of American History
On the third floor, two exhibits of photographs bring back the 1960s’
yeah, yeah, yeah: “The Beatles! Backstage and Behind the Scenes”
and “MMLL: Mike McCartney’s Liverpool Life,” featuring
work by a brother of Paul McCartney, close July 5. Quaint memorabilia
for Fab Four fans.
“The Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals,” is a permanent
exhibit made possible by a $20-million donation from the eponymous developer,
big-game hunter, and philanthropist. The hall, measuring 25,000 square
feet and featuring plenty of kid-friendly, interactive exhibits, has 274
lifelike (though taxidermied) mammals in realistic settings.
National Museum of Women in the Arts
“Treasures From the Smithsonian American Art Museum” are
staying at the Renwick until the renovations at the American Art Museum
are completed in 2006. Paintings, hung cheek-by-jowl, all the way to the
ceiling, include works by Childe Hassam, Winslow Washingtonr, John Singer
Sargent, and Thomas Moran.
Dumbarton Oaks’ gardens (1703 32nd St., NW; the entrance to the
gardens is on R St. at 31st St.; 202-339-6400) are open to the public
Tuesday through Sunday from 2 to 6. Admission is $6; $4 for children and
seniors. There’s a hotline, 202-339-6401, with a recording about
what’s in bloom.
Hillwood, the stately Washington of Marjorie Merriweather Post (4155 Linnean Ave., NW; 202-686-8500) has a beautiful garden with a splendid array of azaleas. Admission ranges from $5 to $12; reservations are needed and can be made by calling 202-686-5807.
The Hirshhorn (Independence Ave. and Seventh St., SW, with entrances on Jefferson Dr. and the Mall; 202-633-4674) has more sculpture than plants and flowers but is one of the nicest gardens around. It is open daily from 7:30 AM to dusk. Monday through Saturday at 12:15 there are free guided tours.
The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden (Constitution Ave. and Ninth
St., NW; 202-737-4215) is best entered on Seventh Street. The flora and
fauna are well labeled, and so is the sculpture. The hours in May are
10 to 4:30 Monday through Saturday and 11 to 5:30 Sunday; from Memorial
Day through Labor Day, they will be 10 to 7 Monday through Thursday and
Saturday; 11 to 7 Sunday; and 10 to 9 Friday as local jazz musicians jam
from 5 to 8.