Favorite art museum still shut down? These 10 are open — and worth visiting
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With the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian museums in lockdown as a result of the government shutdown, art-seeking tourists and locals alike must recalibrate their itineraries. Fortunately, Washington has many exhibition spaces that don’t close their doors whenever the president and the Congress can’t play nice. And don’t forget Baltimore, where, at the end of a short MARC train ride, you’ll find even more to see.
Here are 10 of the worthiest options, all of which are open — thank you very much. Several are even free.
NATIONAL BUILDING MUSEUM
Flickering Treasures: Rediscovering Baltimore's Forgotten Movie Theaters (through Oct. 14)
Since the advent of moving pictures, Baltimore has seen some 240 theaters come and (more often) go. Baltimore Sun photojournalist Amy Davis documented 72 of these buildings, many now adapted to other uses or simply abandoned. This exhibition of photographs from Davis’s book of the same name surveys the handiwork of such theater architects as Baltimorean John J. Zink, who also designed the District’s Uptown and Atlas theaters (the latter now a performing arts center). It also celebrates the revival of such movie palaces as 1914’s Hippodrome (also remade for live performances in 2004) and the 1915 Parkway, which reopened in 2017.
401 F St. NW. Admission $10; ages 3-17, students, seniors and AARP members $7. Free admission for any federal employee with a valid government ID during the shutdown. nbm.org .
Nordic Impressions: Art From Aland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, 1821-2018 (through Sunday)
Nordic art is not widely shown in the United States. Perhaps the most famous artist in this survey exhibition is August Strindberg, who’s better known as a playwright (“Miss Julie”). Strindberg’s impressionistic 1894 oil-on-paper “Wonderland” is a highlight of the impressive if slightly lumpy show, which covers seven countries and nearly two centuries. The work ranges from 19th-century studio painting, which reveals the influence of France and the Netherlands, to contemporary video art, which could have been from anywhere that has electricity.
1600 21st St. NW. Admission $12; students and seniors $10; ages 18 and under free. Free admission for any federal employee with a valid government ID during the shutdown. phillipscollection.org.
ART MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAS
Roberto Huarcaya: Amazogramas (through Jan. 27)
Strolling through this enveloping show is a bit like walking through a dense jungle — except here, the foliage is all black-and-white. In an Amazonian nature preserve in his native Peru, photographer Roberto Huarcaya made photograms — or contact prints — of plants and fish, placing the objects directly on photographic paper and, without the use of a camera or lens, exposing the paper to light. (A video explains the process.) Many of the images are made on 115-yard-long scrolls of paper, displayed in darkened galleries that are illuminated only by small spotlights. The simulated bioluminescence evokes the strangeness of a deeply shadowed rain forest.
201 18th St. NW. Free. museum.oas.org.
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