Smithsonian Highlights

Smithsonian Highlights

Art Night on the Mall

Enjoy special extended summer hours at the National Museum of African Art, the Freer Gallery of Art, the Sackler Gallery and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Thursday evenings until 8 P.M., from May 28 through September 3. The Ripley Center's International Gallery and the Hirshhorn's Full Circle Café will also remain open.

Special May Exhibitions, Events


National Museum Of American Art

Stuart Davis
(May 22-September 7)
Exhibition features works that reflect the artist's interest in French modernism and American popular culture.

Time Out! Sports in Art
(through May 31)
Display celebrates sports as envisioned by a variety of artists.

Posters American Style
(through August 9)
Exhibition presents poster graphics that reflect the concerns, issues, events and cultural aspects of American life circa 1895 to 1995.

Renwick Gallery

Inspiring Reform: Boston's Arts and Crafts Movement
(through July 5)
Show examines Boston's contribution to the Arts and Crafts movement--books, ceramics, furniture, jewelry, textiles.

National Portrait Gallery

Faces of Time: 75 Years of Portraits for Time Magazine
(through August 2)
Display features the original art for cover portraits commissioned by Time magazine, including a lithograph of Bobby Kennedy by Roy Lichtenstein.

Celebrity Caricature in America
(through August 23)
Show looks at the craze for portrait caricature that swept America between the world wars.

Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden

George Segal, A Retrospective: Sculptures, Paintings, Drawings
(through May 17)
Exhibition showcasing the work of the New York-based sculptor includes key examples of his white-plaster figurative tableaux.

Directions--Kiki Smith: Night
(through June 21)
New works by the American artist explore the enduring yet fragile systems of the natural world.

National Air And Space Museum

The Enola Gay
(through May 18)
Display features the forward fuselage of the Enola Gay, the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Star Wars: The Magic of Myth
(through November 1)
Exhibition commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Star Wars trilogy features original props, models, costumes and artworks. Free timed same-day tickets are available at the museum's ticket desk, on a first- come basis. Advance tickets are available from ProTix for a service charge of $2.25 per ticket (1-800-529-2440); general information (202-786-2122).

Mission to Mir
(11:30 A.M., 1:40 and 3:50 P.M. daily)
IMAX film takes viewers aboard the first permanent space station--Russia's Mir.

National Museum Of American History

Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song
(runs indefinitely)
Exhibition features a sampling of personal artifacts documenting the singer's extraordinary 60-year career.

Duke Ellington Renaissance Man
(through May 31)
Annual art exhibit features the work of Washington, D.C. students.

Science in American Life
Permanent exhibition tracks advances and discoveries in science over the past 125 years.

Information Age: People, Information and Technology
Permanent installation traces the 150-year history of information technology.

Capitol Hill]

Colombian Stamps
(through June 5)
Exhibition features 500 stamps that represent every state in Colombia and reflect the country's history from 1859 to 1907.

Our Town: Mural Art of the New Deal
(through September 8)
Show features 18 mural studies commissioned for U.S. post offices during the 1930s.

National Museum Of Natural History

Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals
New permanent gallery showcases the National Gem Collection and takes visitors from the depths of a copper mine to the far reaches of the Solar System.

Natural Selections: Museum Photography by Chip Clark
(through August 28)
Images of the museum's scientific work, collections and field research taken by staff photographer Chip Clark.

Contemporary Korean Ceramics
Permanent exhibition features 33 contemporary works inspired by centuries-old ceramic traditions.

National Zoological Park

The Birds of Paradise Lost
New permanent display takes a look at the work of Smithsonian ornithologists on the origins, paleontology and conservation of the distinctive birdlife of the Hawaiian Islands.

Permanent installation examines the means of plant reproduction.

National Museum Of African Art

Olowe of Ise: A Yoruba Sculptor to Kings
(through September 7)
African art masterpieces by the early 20th-century Yoruba carver include the museum's high-relief "Palace Door," pillars, containers and shrine figures.

Ceramic Arts at the National Museum of African Art
(runs indefinitely)
Display features 14 vessels by master potters representing various regions of the African continent.

Freer Gallery Of Art

Arts of the Islamic World
(opens May 3)
Objects drawn from the Freer's internationally renowned collections date from the 9th to the 19th century and include Koran pages, metalwork, ceramics, manuscript paintings and calligraphy.

In the Mountains
(through August 2)
Exhibition explores the depiction of mountains in Chinese art.

Art for Art's Sake
(runs indefinitely)
Display takes a look at the collection of American art assembled by the gallery's founder, Charles Lang Freer.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Ikat: Splendid Silks from Central Asia
(through September 7)
Exhibition showcases 19th-century ikat textiles, noted for their vibrant colors and bold designs.

Poetic Landscapes: Two 17th-Century Chinese Albums
(through July 5)
Display features the Ming dynasty "Eight Views of Xiao-Xiang" and Qing dynasty "Landscapes Inspired by Tang Poems."

Sakhi: Friend and Messenger in Rajput Love Paintings
(through July 7)
Paintings created in northern India between the 17th and 19th centuries highlight the role of the "sakhi" as confidante and messenger in Rajput love paintings.

Arts And Industries Building

Speak to My Heart: African American Communities of Faith and Contemporary Society
(opens May 21)
Exhibition presented by the Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture focuses on the role of the black church in contemporary life.

Resonant Forms: Contemporary Women Sculptors
(through September 30)
Works by such artists as Valerie Maynard and René Stout explore black women's representation and experience.

Three Generations of African American Women Sculptors
(through September 30)
Featured artists include Mary Edmonia Lewis and Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller. Discovery Theater Live theater for young audiences. For information, call 202-357-1500 (voice or TTY) weekdays, 9 A.M. - 4 P.M.

The Castle-- Information Center

Smithson's Gift
Permanent display tells the story of the British scientist whose bequest founded the Smithsonian.

International Gallery, S. Dillon Ripley Center

The Jewels of Lalique
(May 15-August 16)
Art Nouveau jewelry and objets d'art by the renowned artist-jeweler René Lalique (1860-1945).

Anacostia Museum

Man Made: African American Men and Quilting Traditions
(through June 28)
Exhibition presents 50 traditional and contemporary quilts made by African-American men.

Heye Center, National Museum Of The American Indian
[New York City]

Indian Humor
(May 31-August 2)
Works by 38 artists in a variety of media display the depth and vitality of Native American humor.

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
[New York City]

Arquitectonica: The Times Square Project
(through May 10)
Exhibition focuses on the Miami-based architectural firm's vision for a new multiuse complex in Times Square.

Exhibition Catalogues

Catalogues available currently include:

The Jewels of Lalique ($50/$37.50 paper)
Stuart Davis ($35 paper)
Posters American Style ($35 cloth)
Celebrity Caricature in America ($45 cloth)
Faces of Time ($40 cloth)
Three Generations of African American Women Sculptors ($24.95 paper)
The National Gem Collection ($39.95/ $24.95 paper)

To order, send a check or money or- der to Smithsonian Museum Shops, P.O. Box 1140, Newington, Virginia 22122. Include 15 percent of the purchase price for postage and handling (minimum, $4.50).

The Smithsonian Associates Resident Program

To become a member, or for fee and ticket information, call 202-357-3030.

May events include:

The Last Apocalypse: Europe at the Year 1000 A.D.
(May 11; 6 P.M.)
Distinguished author James Reston, Jr., talks about the turbulent years leading up to the first millennium.

Buffalo Soldiers: Reality and Myth
(May 16; 9:30 A.M. - 1 P.M.)
Seminar features the noted historian Frank N. Schubert.

Alexander Calder: Sculpture in Motion
(May 30; 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.)
All-day seminar with a special viewing of the National Gallery of Art's exhibition "Alexander Calder: 1898-1976."

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service

SITES organizes and circulates exhibitions to cities throughout the United States and abroad. To sponsor a show in your community, write to: SITES, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560.

Here are some May exhibitions:

  • Athens, Georgia
    (May 1-June 28)
    The Tongass: Alaska's Magnificent Rain Forest, State Botanical Garden of Georgia.


  • Chicago, Illinois
    (May 22-September 7)
    Ocean Planet, Museum of Science and Industry.

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