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Paper dolls, Josephine Baker and the Seven Years’ War

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Escalate

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.

Assemblyman

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.

Make Believe?

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.

Jazz-Age Goddess

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.

About Amy Crawford
Amy Crawford

Amy Crawford is a Michigan-based freelance journalist writing about cities, science, the environment, art and education. A longtime Smithsonian contributor, her work also appears in CityLab and the Boston Globe.

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