Things to Do

November Art to See in Washington

Museum exhibits, gallery shows, and more.

"The Traveler's Eye: Scenes of Asia" opens at the Sackler Gallery on November 22. Photograph courtesy of Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.


To mark four centuries since the death of Spanish Renaissance artist El Greco, the National Gallery of Art has augmented its collection of his works—the largest in the US—with contributions from private collectors for a retrospective. November 2 through February 16.

One of four surviving copies of the 800-year-old Magna Carta, on loan from England’s Lincoln Cathedral, comes to the Library of Congress November 6, 75 years after its first visit to DC, on the eve of World War II. “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor” also features historical photographs and documents that explore the charter as the basis for the American Constitution and Bill of Rights. Through January 19.

From November 6 to 20, the Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center offers the first and only chance to see the Ranger spacecraft from Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. The display also includes virtual-reality simulations of what it would be like to be on board.

Comprising 70 works from a private area collector, “The Architectural Image, 1920-1950” focuses on a time when American building styles were rapidly shifting from neoclassicism to modernism thanks to European influences. November 8 through May 3 at the National Building Museum.

Actor/Ben’s Chili Bowl enthusiast Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille, have loaned 300-some rarely seen works by African-American artists to the National Museum of African Art for “Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue,” which integrates the Cosbys’ pieces with thematically related selections from the museum’s permanent archives. November 9 through 2016.

Housed in the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center, “Doris Lee: American Painter and Illustrator” includes sketches, photographs, and other ephemera related to the artist, known for her Logan Purchase Prize-winning 1935 painting, “Thanksgiving.” November 17 through May 8.

Opening November 22 at the Sackler Gallery, “The Traveler’s Eye: Scenes of Asia” focuses on depictions of Asia from a visitor’s point of view through photographs, souvenirs, drawings, maps, and other art and artifacts. Through May 31.

The Freer Gallery’s “Style in Chinese Landscape Painting: The Yuan Legacy” explores six styles of landscape painting developed during the Yuan dynasty in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. November 22 through May 31.

While the main dinosaur hall remains closed for renovation until 2019, the National Museum of Natural History offers a look at the massive lizards that roamed North America 66 million years ago in “The Last American Dinosaurs: Discovering a Lost World.” November 25 through 2015.


Throughout November, Transformer’s storefront displays video works by eight Swedish artists on a 24-hour loop.

November 6 through December 1, Art League presents photographer Michelle Rogers’s “Le Temps Retrouvé/Revisiting the Past,” which showcases eerie works the artist created by combining her own photos with the images on vintage postcards.

Touchstone’s Gallery B showscases “Best of Both Styles,” an exhibit of works by 3D-collage artist David Alfuth. November 7 through 30.

In “Volume” at Honfleur Gallery, see the works of local artist Sheila Crider, which attempt to question the purpose and limitations of decorative and fine art. November 7 through December 19.

Beginning November 21 at Flashpoint is “Martine Workman: Dusk Woods,” in which the artist’s mixed-media sculptures, drawings, and other works transform the gallery into a fantastical forest. Through December 20.

At Strathmore November 22 through January 4 is the annual Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, along with “Pastel Plus: A Mixed Media Approach by the Maryland Pastel Society.”


This month’s Phillips After 5, on November 6, is inspired by the flow of ideas between Paris and Brussels during the Neo-Impressionist period. Reservations ($12) can be made online, and the event includes snacks from chef Spike Mendelsohn.

FotoWeek DC officially runs November 8 through 16, but the week offers a couple of pre-parties: Thursday brings a look at how DC fashion has changed over the years through photographs from the DC Public Library archives; and Friday is a kickoff bash with an open bar, photo booths, and more. See the website for the full schedule of events.

On November 8, 1776 hosts ArtCrank, an exhibit and sale of bicycle-themed posters created by DC artists. Beer from Oskar Blues will be available, and donations benefit the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.

At Torpedo Factory November 13, Jane Franklin Dance performs a site-specific piece designed to travel through the galleries and communicate with the artworks found in each space.

In conjunction with the Natural History Museum’s “Last American Dinosaurs” exhibit (see Museum Exhibits, above), Smithsonian Associates presents a lecture examining the “chicken from hell” and other fossilized creatures discovered in North America. November 18 at the National Museum of African Art.

The annual Sugarloaf Crafts Festival takes place in Gaithersburg November 21 through 23, showcasing the works of more than 400 artisans.

On November 28, Lorton, Virginia’s Workhouse Arts Center hosts a Black Friday celebration featuring art sales, live music, projects for children, and more.