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Summer sights

Current D.C. exhibits full of beauty, drama and color

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gallery exhibits, gay news, Washington Blade

‘Intersects’ by Janis Sweeney is on display at Artists and Makers Studios. (Image courtesy the studio)

As usual, there’s no shortage of great gallery exhibits in Washington. Here are a few especially good ones that deserve your attention, but note the dates — a few are wrapping up this weekend.

“Peacock Room REMIX: Darren Waterston’s Filthy Lucre” is on display at Freer and Sackler Galleries (1050 Independent Ave., S.W.). The room is a reimagining of James McNeil Whistler’s “The Peacock Room” as a decaying ruin. Whistler’s original “The Peacock Room” is also on display at the gallery. Both can be viewed at the same location. Admission is free. For details, visit asia.si.edu/filthylucre. It’s on display through Jan. 2.

Gallery Al-Quds at the Jerusalem Fund (2425 Virginia Ave., N.W.) holds its exhibit “Home Away From Home: Little Palestine by the Bay” by Najib Joe Hakim starting Aug. 14. The multi-media exhibit combines photographs from the Bay Area Palestinian community with voice recordings of them telling their stories. Residents answer the question of what it means to be Palestinian in America to them. Admission is free. For more information, visit thejerusalemfund.org/gallery.

Touchstone Gallery (901 New York Ave., N.W.) has three exhibits on display through Sunday, Aug. 2. Gallery A has “Some Like it Hot,” a collection of summer landscapes by Touchstone member artists in sculpture, photography, drawing, collage, ceramics and more. Gallery B holds “Olympic Peninsula: From Coast to Ancient Forests” by Harvey Kupferberg, who uses a series of photographs to showcase parts of the Olympic Peninsula located in western Washington. “Memoryscapes: Blurry Lines II” by Steve Alderton is located in Gallery C. This exhibit highlights the connection between realism and abstraction in landscapes. For more details, visit touchstonegallery.com.

Artists and Makers Studios (11810 Parklawn Dr., Rockville, Md.) presents “NOVA Printmakers: The Painterly Print” Aug. 7-26. The exhibit displays printmaking, book arts, letterpress and papermaking from local printmakers from D.C., Maryland and Virginia. There will be an opening reception for the exhibit on Aug. 7 from 6-9 p.m. For more information, visit artistsandmakersstudios.com.

The Phillips Collection (1600 21st St., N.W.) displays “American Moments: Photographs from the Phillips Collection” through Sept. 13. This collection of photographs comes directly from the Phillips Collection’s permanent photography collection. The exhibit includes more than 130 photographs from 33 artists that is a combination of modernism, street photography, documentary expression and photojournalism. Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. For details, visit phillipscollection.org.

Gallery B  (7700 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, Md.) hosts “Michael Gross: Abstraction II” through Saturday, Aug. 1. Gross, a Bethesda-based painter and printmaker, displays his abstract artwork in this solo exhibit. For more information, visit Bethesda.org/Bethesda/gallery-b.

Filthy Lucre, gay news, Washington Blade

‘Filthy Lucre,’ where artist Darren Waterston reinterprets James McNeil Whistler’s famed Peacock Room, runs through year’s end at the Freer and Sackler Galleries. (Photo by Hutomo Wicaksono)

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Galleries

BMA exhibit traces friendship between Matisse and Etta Cone

Baltimore collector helped build world’s preeminent repository of French master’s work

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Henri Matisse. Seated Odalisque, Left Knee Bent, Ornamental Background and Checkerboard. 1928. (The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland, BMA 1950.255. © Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

The Baltimore Museum of Art is the world’s most important repository of French modern master Henri Matisse’s work and this fall, a new exhibition will explore the friendship between the artist and Etta Cone, the Baltimore collector who befriended Matisse in 1906. 

The two maintained a close 43-year friendship, during which time Matisse traveled to Baltimore and created works with Etta and the BMA in mind. Etta and her sister Claribel ultimately collected about 700 of Matisse’s works, according to the BMA, including Blue Nude (1907), The Yellow Dress (1929-31), and Large Reclining Nude (1935). 

This new exhibit, “A Modern Influence: Henri Matisse, Etta Cone, and Baltimore” will trace their friendship through letters they exchanged and includes more than 160 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and illustrated books. 

Etta Cone (Photo courtesy of Claribel Cone and Etta Cone Papers, Archives and Manuscripts Collections, The Baltimore Museum of Art)

“For years, scholars have debated the purchases made by both Cone sisters, with much more credit given to the important acquisitions of major paintings by older sister Claribel,” the BMA said in a statement. “‘Modern Influence: Henri Matisse, Etta Cone, and Baltimore’ will for the first time fully recognize Etta’s achievements as a collector and acknowledge her role in building the majority of the sisters’ Matisse collection, particularly the sculpture, drawings, and prints.” 

Henri Matisse at the dining room in of Etta Cone’s apartment in Baltimore, 1930. (Photo courtesy of Claribel Cone and Etta Cone Papers, Archives and Manuscripts Collections, The Baltimore Museum of Art)

“Etta Cone and Matisse shared a love of gesture and the female form, expressed not only through her collection of his major paintings, but through an early and sustained interest in his print making and drawing practices. The exhibition begins with work on paper and ends there as well,” said Leslie Cozzi, BMA associate curator of prints, drawings, and photographs.

The exhibition will feature a large selection of drawings, including masterpieces that are rarely on view due to light exposure restrictions, the BMA announced. 

“Etta Cone’s dedication to art, and to Matisse’s work in particular, has had a profound impact on the BMA and the focused and studied ways in which the museum continues to develop its collection. The forthcoming exhibition captures the exciting possibilities that can be achieved when artists, collectors, and public institutions join in a shared vision and commitment. We are delighted to present visitors with the incredible story of Etta Cone and the significant works of art that she brought to our museum, and to have this exhibition serve as a prelude to the presentations, programs, and publications that we’ll be able to create through our soon to be opened Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies,” said Christopher Bedford, the BMA’s Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director.


Henri Matisse. The Yellow Dress. 1929-31. (The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland. BMA 1950.256 © Succession H. Matisse, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York)

The Marder Center, which is scheduled to open in December, will present the breadth of the BMA’s Matisse holdings, while supporting the development of new scholarly publications that advance discussions on the trajectory of modern art, according to a statement. 

“A Modern Influence: Henri Matisse, Etta Cone, and Baltimore” opens Oct. 3 and will be on view until Jan. 2, 2022. Tickets are available through artbma.org. Prices are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $12 for groups of 7 or more, $5 for students with ID, and $5 for youth ages 7-18. BMA Members, children ages 6 and under, and student groups are admitted free. For more information, call 443-573-1701.

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Galleries

A slow return to normal for area museums

National Gallery remains closed, but others have reopened

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Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens reopened last week. (Photo courtesy Hillwood)

The Smithsonian Museums remain closed and the National Gallery of Art recently announced it would not open in time to commemorate its 80th anniversary. But the good news is that with COVID restrictions slowly lifting, some area museums are looking at reopening events while others have already opened their doors .

Below is a smattering of area museums that have reopened. Be sure to check with each museum directly before making plans.

• The National Zoo and the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly reopened on July 24.

• The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Renwick Gallery, The National Museum of American History and the National Museum of the American Indian reopened back in September.

• The National Gallery of Art’s sculpture garden reopened last month.

• Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens reopened last week.

• The National Museum of Women in the Arts has also reopened.

• The International Spy Museum reopened in January.

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The Smithsonian National Zoo has reopened following coronavirus closures. (Blade photo by Michael Key)
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Galleries

National Portrait Gallery art competition now open

Expert panel seeks entries that broaden the definition of portraiture

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Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, gay news, Washington Blade
National Portrait Gallery (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition hosted by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery is open for submissions until Friday, Jan. 29. 

This competition seeks entries that broaden the definition of portraiture with images and media that reflect the country’s diversity as represented through the identities of the artists and subjects as well as their varying backgrounds depicted. 

Artists 18 and up who are living and working in the U.S. and its territories are invited to submit one portrait to be reviewed by a panel of experts. First prize is $25,000 and a commission to portray a remarkable living American for the gallery’s collection. 

The finalists’ and prizewinner’s works will be included in The Outwin 2022: American Portraiture Today exhibition to be displayed at the National Portrait Gallery April 30, 2022 – Feb. 26, 2023, before continuing on to other cities. 

For more information, and to submit works electronically, visit portraitcompetition.si.edu.

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