Stairway to heaven? Not quite. A French guildsman crafted this foot-high pearwood-and-walnut spiral c. 1820-40. Exquisite stair models from France and England are at the Cooper-Hewitt until June 3.
Collagist Joseph Cornell (1903-72) didn't paint or draw, but his boxes and movies inspired Andy Warhol and piqued Salvador Dali. A big retrospective packs into American Art through February 19.
At the Anacostia Museum until April 29, African-American paper dolls from the past 150 years both reflect and overcome racial stereotypes.
World at War
The Seven Years' War (to 1763) spanned three continents and involved nine European powers. Paintings and artifacts occupy the Ripley Center starting December 15.
Missouri-born Josephine Baker (1906-75)—a cabaret star and secret agent in her adopted France and a U.S. civil rights activist—got 1,500 marriage proposals (she accepted only four). Her story unfolds at the Portrait Gallery through March 18.