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Exhibition Title


Destination Moon
2020 TBA – Permanent

A new, state-of-the-art exhibition called Destination Moon will replace the Apollo to the Moon gallery. Destination Moon will feature many of the key artifacts in the old exhibition, as well as some now in other locations or in storage.

Air and Space Museum
Bill Traylor: Retrospective Bill Traylor: Retrospective
Spring 2018 –

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is organizing a major retrospective on the art of Bill Traylor. Traylor was born into slavery in 1853 on an Alabama cotton plantation near the town of Benton. After the Civil War, Traylor remained in service on the Traylor plantation until 1929 when he moved to Montgomery. In his eighties, Traylor began to draw and paint. He died in 1949 and left behind more than a thousand works of art.

American Art Museum
American Democracy: The Great Leap of Faith American Democracy: The Great Leap of Faith
Summer 2017 – Ongoing

Explores how a nation committed to the principles of popular sovereignty debated how to make this idealistic vision work and what living in a democracy really means.

American History Museum
Many Voices, One Nation
Opens Summer 2017 – Permanent

Presents the five-hundred-year journey of how many distinct peoples and cultures met, mingled, and created the culture of the United States.

American History Museum
Executive Order 9066 Executive Order 9066
February 2017 – Closing TBA

In 1942, Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 and, with a stroke of a pen, reshaped the history of Americans of Japanese descent and upset the delicate balance between the rights of the citizen and the power of the State. In the post-9/11 world, the United States continues to wrestle with the tension between personal freedom and national security.

American History Museum
Permanent Collection Reinstallation
July 1, 2016 – Indefinitely

A new installation of artworks from the Renwick’s permanent collection opens seven months after the building reopens. Curated by by Nora Atkinson, the Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft, it highlights new acquisitions, updating the presentation of crafts and decorative arts for the 21st century.

Renwick Gallery
100 Years of America's National Parks 100 Years of America's National Parks
June 9, 2016 – March 25, 2018

Featuring original postage stamp art from the United States Postal Service and artifacts loaned by the National Park Service, the exhibition will explore the myriad—and sometimes surprising—ways that mail moves to, through and from our national parks.

Postal Museum
Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions
May 27, 2016 – September 5, 2016

Martin Puryear (b. 1945) is one of the leading sculptors of his generation, whose work is recognized internationally for its evocative forms and exquisite craftsmanship. The exhibition explores reoccurring forms across time and medium in Puryear’s sculptures, drawings, and prints.

American Art Museum
Painting with Words: Gentleman Artists of the Ming Dynasty Painting with Words: Gentleman Artists of the Ming Dynasty
April 16, 2016 – July 24, 2016

Poetry, painting, and calligraphy: Known as the “Three Perfections,” these genres were regarded as the ultimate expressions of Chinese literati culture during the Ming dynasty (1369–1644). Painting with Words celebrates Wu School works, examining the relationship between their imagery, brushstrokes, and, especially, words.

Sackler Gallery
Robert Irwin: All the Rules Will Change Robert Irwin: All the Rules Will Change
April 7, 2016 – September 5, 2016

Robert Irwin: All the Rules Will Change is a major exhibition by one of the leading postwar American artists. It is the first museum survey devoted to Irwin’s work in the pivotal decade of the 1960s.

Hirshhorn Museum
Symbolic Cities: The Photography of Ahmed Mater Symbolic Cities: The Photography of Ahmed Mater
March 19, 2016 – September 18, 2016

Born in 1970 in southern Saudi Arabia and trained as a medical doctor, Ahmed Mater has been a practicing artist since the early 1990s, creating works that offer an unparalleled perspective on contemporary Saudi Arabia.

Sackler Gallery
Unbound: Narrative Art of the Plains Unbound: Narrative Art of the Plains
March 12, 2016 – December 4, 2016

This exhibition reflects the dynamic tradition of narrative art among Native nations from the Great Plains. The exhibition traces the evolution of the art form from historic hides, muslins, and ledger books to more than 50 contemporary works commissioned by the museum.

American Indian Museum Heye Center
Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2016
March 12, 2016 – January 8, 2017

Every three years the National Portrait Gallery invites artists from across the nation to submit their best works of portrayal. Jurors select the finest works that showcase mastery and innovation in the form.

Portrait Gallery
March 2016 – TBD

What can we discover in just a cubic foot of ocean? Enter the small worlds of marine biocubes to find out!

Natural History Museum
Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan
March 5, 2016 – January 29, 2017

The exhibition by the Freer and Sackler Galleries transforms the International Gallery into an Afghan caravanserai, complete with artisan stalls and demonstrations of woodwork, calligraphy, ceramics, and jewelry.

Ripley Center
Heart of an Empire: Herzfeld's Discovery of Pasargadae Heart of an Empire: Herzfeld's Discovery of Pasargadae
February 13, 2016 – July 31, 2016

Located in the dasht-i murghab, or “plain of the water bird,” in southwestern Iran, Pasargadae was the first capital of the ancient Achaemenid Persian Empire (circa 540 BCE) and the last resting place of Cyrus the Great. Featuring selections from the Freer|Sackler Archives’ rich holdings of Ernst Herzfeld’s drawings, notes, and photographs—among the world’s largest collections of archival materials on Pasargadae—this exhibition illuminates one of the most important sites of the ancient world.

Sackler Gallery
Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial
February 12, 2016 – August 21, 2016

Cooper Hewitt’s renowned Triennial exhibition series showcases some of the most exciting, provocative, and innovative design created around the globe during the previous three years. The 2015 presentation will include a range of works from all areas of design including fashion, product design, interactive design, architecture, scent design, graphics and communications, and more.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Suspended Animation Suspended Animation
February 10, 2016 –

The exhibition brings together six artists who use computer animation in their work: Ed Atkins, Antoine Catala, Ian Cheng, Josh Kline, Helen Marten and Agnieszka Polska.

Hirshhorn Museum
Emeka Ogboh’s Market Symphony
February 3, 2016 –

Nigerian artist Emeka Ogboh brings his internationally recognized sound art to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in the new work Market Symphony.

African Art Museum
Body of Devotion: The Cosmic Buddha in 3D Body of Devotion: The Cosmic Buddha in 3D
January 30, 2016 – December 2016

Like all Buddhas (fully enlightened beings), the Cosmic Buddha, a life-size limestone figure of Vairochana, is wrapped in the simple robe of a monk. Body of Devotion is an interactive installation that explores not only the work itself, but also the evolving means and methods of studying sculpture, from rubbings and photographs to the technological possibilities of today.

Sackler Gallery

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