The National Portrait Gallery

June 2, 2011

Calder’s Portraits: A New Language
March 11-August 14, 2011

Most people recognize Calder (1898-1976) for his grandly ambitious, larger-than-life mobiles, like the one hanging in the main plaza of the NGA’s East Wing, or the “Calder Room” in the same building. What many people don’t know is that Calder was also a prolific portrait artist. Throughout his career Calder portrayed entertainment, sports, and art-world figures, including Josephine Baker, Babe Ruth, and Charles Lindbergh to name a few. Calder worked largely in wire, which he shaped into three-dimensional portraits of considerable character and nuance. Suspended from the wall or ceiling, the portraits are free to move. The movement gives the subjects a life of their own.

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Capital Portraits: Treasures from Washington Private Collections
April 8 – September 5, 2011

This exhibition presents portraits that reside in private Washington, DC collections. Many of the works have never been on public display before and the exhibition reveals a remarkable range of styles, images and perhaps most importantly, stories. Works included are by major artists such as John Singleton Copley, Mary Cassatt, and Andy Warhol.

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150th Commemoration of the Civil War: The Death of Ellsworth
April 29, 2011 – March 18, 2012

On the site of a former Union hospital, the National Portrait Gallery will mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War through a series of four alcove exhibitions—one each year—commemorating this period of American history. The first of these exhibitions recounts the death of Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth in Alexandria, VA. Ellsworth was a friend of Abraham Lincoln and the first Union officer to be killed in the war.

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One Life: Ronald Reagan
July 1, 2011 – May 28, 2012

If you have seen the One Life: Katherine Graham, you don’t need to be told that this is bound to be a small gem of a pictorial biography, with both historical, social and emotional power for anyone who ever cared about Reagan, one way or the other.

Smithsonian American Art Museum


To Make a World: George Ault and 1940s America
March 11, 2011 – September 5, 2011

During the 1940s, painter George Ault (1891-1948) created precise yet eerie pictures that have come to be seen, following his death, as some of the most original paintings made in America in those years. To Make a World captures a 1940s America that was rendered fragile by the Great Depression and made anxious by a global conflict.

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History in the Making: Renwick Craft Invitational 2011
March 25, 2011 – July 31, 2011

This exhibition presents the work of a group of artists: ceramicist Cliff Lee, furniture maker Matthias Pliessnig, glass artist Judith Schaechter and silversmith Ubaldo Vitali. These four extraordinary artists create works of superior craftsmanship that address the classic craft notion of function without sacrificing a contemporary aesthetic

The Textile Musem


Green: the Color and the Cause
April 16 -September 11, 2011

This exhibition will celebrate everything green, both as a color and as a cause, exploring the techniques people have devised to create green textiles, the meanings this color has held in cultures across time and place, and the ways that contemporary textile artists and designers are responding to concerns about the environment. The exhibition will include a selection of work from the Museum’s collection, along with extraordinary work by contemporary artists and designers from five continents, including two extraordinary on-site installations. [gallery ids="99610,105053" nav="thumbs"]

An Artist Visits the White House Past: The Paintings of Peter Waddell


Every Tuesday and Thursday through July 26 at 1:30 p.m. at the White House Visitor Center, artist Peter Waddell will discuss his paintings in the exhibit, “An Artist Visits the White House Past.” The exhibit presents fourteen paintings commissioned by the White House Historical Association that’s been six years in the making, depicting the President’s house from construction in 1792 to Theodore Roosevelt’s major renovation in 1902. Through meticulous research and tireless attention to detail, Peter Waddell created a vision of the White House as it was in the nineteenth century. The exhibit, part of a year-long celebration of the association’s 50th anniversary, will be on display through November 28, 2011.

Corcoran Gallery of Art


NEXT at the Corcoran: BFA Class of 2011
April 23–May 22, 2011

On the footsteps of Corcoran’s progressive and wonderfully fresh “NOW” series, which spotlights contemporary working artists as comprehensively as most museums cover the classics, comes NEXT, an exhibition of the Corcoran College graduating class of 2011. There is sure to be an impressive array of budding artists on display with the bravado and curiosity that students exemplify, like horses chomping at the bit.

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NOW at the Corcoran: Chris Martin
June 18–October 23, 2011

Although abstract, Martin’s paintings are a direct response to the physical world around him. Many of his works integrate objects from his immediate environment into their surfaces, including kitchen utensils, records, photographs, and Persian carpets. The works are as much about daily life—music, travel, and language—as they are about mythology, storytelling, the endurance of symbols, and the role of painting in art history.