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March Arts
What's going on around museums during the month of March. By Susan Davidson
Comments () | Published March 4, 2009

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March Music and Dance
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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

“Louise Bourgeois,” a retrospective that was at New York’s Guggenheim Museum last summer, opens February 26. The mood is set by the 97-year-old sculptor’s iconic “Crouching Spider,” a nine-foot-high bronze at the entrance to the Hirshhorn. The other 120 sculptures, paintings, and drawings cover almost all of the museum’s second floor. You’ll see Bourgeois’s themes of childhood trauma (there was a love triangle at home in Paris before the family emigrated to New York in 1938) and of feminism, as in the life-size male figure in “Arch of Hysteria,” a sculpture that takes a swipe at Freudian theories about women. Symbolism, Bourgeois has said, comes from the viewer, not the artist. Closes May 17.

Renwick Gallery

“The Art & Craft of Greene & Greene” opens March 13. Charles and Henry Greene were brothers trained in architecture and design at MIT. They made their name in California, particularly Pasadena when it was still a village, by designing bungalows, furniture, and decorative elements such as lamps in the style known as Arts and Crafts or Mission. Closes June 7. 

Textile Museum

“Recent Acquisitions,” an exhibit of textiles the museum has bought or been given, opens March 6. The colors are rich and the fabrics as varied as the countries they come from—China, Java, Russia, Ecuador, and Uzbekistan.

National Gallery of Art West Building

“Pride of Place: Dutch Cityscapes of the Golden Age”—paintings, atlases, illustrated books, and maps—closes May 3. As explorers and traders in the 17th century, the Dutch had few equals. They were ahead of their time in mapmaking and the importation of exotic goods from their colonies. Their success was heralded in paintings by gifted painters, many of them represented in this exhibit.

“Looking In: Robert Frank’s ‘The Americans’ ”freeze-frames a time and a place. In 1955 and 1956, Frank traveled around the United States taking black-and-white pictures of seemingly alienated and lonely people. The results, published as the book The Americans, were controversial at the time but are now considered iconic. Closes April 26. Sixth St. and Constitution Ave., NW; 202-737-4215; nga.gov.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

During the Great Depression, more than 3,000 artists were put to work creating paintings for public buildings. The exhibit “1934: A New Deal for Artists”—opening February 27—includes Earle Richardson’s “Employment of Negroes in Agriculture” and Agnes Tait’s “Skating in Central Park,” which has landed on many mantelpieces in the form of a Christmas card over the last 70 years.

“Graphic Masters I: Highlights From the Smithsonian American Art Museum”—an exhibit of watercolors and pastels by Romaine Brooks, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, John Marin, and Georgia O’Keeffe—closes May 25. Eighth and F sts., NW; 202-633-1000; americanart.si.edu.

National Archives

The archives is celebrating its 75th anniversary (archives.gov/75th). Part of that is the exhibit “Big!,” opening March 13. The archives is rolling out some of the historic holdings that take up space in its storerooms, including a 13-foot-square map of the Gettysburg battlefield made at the time of the Civil War; General Douglas MacArthur’s military records, and basketball player Shaquille O’Neal’s size-22 sneakers. Constitution Ave. at Ninth St., NW; 866-272-6272; archives.gov.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

In “State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda,” dramatic posters, photographs, and movies show the often chilling ability of images and words to sway public sentiment. 100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl., SW; 202-488-0400; ushmm.org.

Phillips Collection

“Morandi: Master of Modern Still Life” closes May 24. Many of these paintings and etchings by Italian artist Giorgio Morandi have never been on display in the United States. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 seniors and students.

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