Things to Do

Editor’s Picks: Art Openings, Museum Exhibitions, Gallery Shows, and Other December Events in Washington

Holiday cards made by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, quilts from the Brooklyn Museum, Lincoln’s DC, and more art to experience this month.

A holiday card handmade by Ed Bisese for Herbert Waide Hemphill Jr., 1992. Image courtesy of Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.


Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture
Through January 5, the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art presents “Handmade Holiday Cards,” an exhibition featuring 60 personal greetings cards made by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Alexander Calder, Milton Avery, and more.

Anacostia Community Museum
“Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence” and “Home Sewn: Quilts from the Lower Mississippi Valley” go on display December 4, revealing tapestries made by women in rural South Africa and quilts from the museum’s permanent collection.

Corcoran Gallery of Art
“Question Bridge: Black Males,” opening December 7, explores notions of contemporary blackness and male identity.

Freer Gallery of Art
“The Nile and Ancient Egypt,” opening December 7, displays artifacts from the Freer’s collection to trace the River Nile’s history and significance.

National Portrait Gallery
“Mr. Lincoln’s Washington: A Civil War Portfolio” opens December 13 and features large-scale reproductions of photos taken of the District of Columbia a century and a half ago.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
“In Focus: Ara Guler’s Anatolia” presents photographs by Guler, known as “the eye of Istanbul” for his images of the Turkish city taken in the ’50s and ’60s. Opens December 14.

National Museum of Women in the Arts
“Workt by Hand: Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts” opens December 20 and comes from the Brooklyn Museum. The show examines the art of quilting and its importance to the women’s movement.


Alicia Eggert: Everything You Are Looking For runs through February 2 at Artisphere and is the electronic sculpture artist and TED fellow’s largest solo exhibition to date.

Through January 5, the DC Arts Center presents “Emancipation: Meditations on Freedom.”

December 6 through 23, Hillyer Art Space presents work by Washington’s Sherry Zvares Sanabria and Baltimore’s Annie Farrar.


Art Yards, the installation on the exterior of an old government building at First and M streets, Southeast, continues through December 14, with a light show and final unveiling December 12 through 14.

Art Soiree’s fourth annual Winter Wonderland is December 6 at Echostage in Northeast DC.

December 5, the National Building Museum hosts talk about the New York City AIDS Memorial by urban planners Christopher Tepper and Paul Kelterborn and architect Mateo Pavia.

December 7, Artisphere hosts Grump, a holiday-oriented local craft fair.

December 11, the Corcoran hosts a Create at the Corcoran happy hour focusing on sculpture.

The monthly Bethesda Art Walk is December 13.

December 13 through 20, Georgetown presents public art and light installations for the holidays in Fête des Lumières.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts hosts a museum shop trunk show December 18 through 20.

Corcoran Uncorked: A Campy Holiday is December 18.