Cultural Tourism DC Calendar
When caravans transported commodities to the Mediterranean world and Indian subcontinent, cities along trade routes like Timna (in today’s Yemen) became known for artistic production. Fine alabaster figures, impressive metal work, and funerary busts became hallmark’s of Yemen’s ancient cultural traditions. Long-distance trade with the Greeks, Romans, and Persians introduced artistic and cultural traditions to ancient Arabia. A Glimpse of Ancient Yemen highlights a selection of objects excavated from the region by the pioneer archaeologist Wendell Phillips and his team in 1950 and 1951. See this exhibit on display at the Freer|Sackler until August 2019.
Trained in traditional Indian and Persian miniature painting, Pakistani-American artist Ambreen Butt reimagines the genre to feature contemporary female protagonists and political subject matter. Her content tackles global issues of oppression and the role of art as social commentary. This exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts explores Butt’s art through her range of techniques, including drawing, stitching, staining, etching, and gluing. This exhibit is on display though April 14, 2019.
On view December 7, 2018–April 14, 2019
Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for visitors 65 and over and students, and free for NMWA members and youth 18 years and younger.
We are proud to offer our newest, affordable sightseeing option – AUDIO TOURS. Can’t make one of our guided tours? Well, we have recorded some of our best tour guides giving their tours and put them on a GPS enabled app. We’ve also included downloadable PDF maps of each walk, so that you don’t need to have GPS maps running with the app (save your battery).
- Download our free app on (iTunes) or (Android)
- Download any audio tour (Free – $1.99/each)
- Enjoy the tour
Even if you don’t download any tours, you will still have access to valuable information on sightseeing, eating and playing in the Washington, D.C.
- Arlington National Cemetery
- Historic Georgetown
- Georgetown University
The Smithsonian American Art Museum present the first major retrospective on an artist born into slavery with this fascinating look into the work of Bill Traylor. Born in Alabama in 1853, Traylor lived through enslavement, the Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws and the Great Migration. He painted and drew striking pieces that covered a gamut of subjects, from the political to the racial to the powerful, delivering a stunning interpretation of African American life. You’ll be able to view 155 of Traylor’s most important paintings and drawings in this exhibit.
SEPTEMBER 28, 2018 – MARCH 17, 2019
Silhouettes—cut paper profiles—were a hugely popular and democratic form of portraiture in the 19th century, offering virtually instantaneous likenesses of everyone from presidents to those who were enslaved. The exhibition “Black Out: Silhouettes Then and Now” explores this relatively unstudied art form by examining its rich historical roots and considering its forceful contemporary presence. The show features works from the Portrait Gallery’s extensive collection of silhouettes, such as those by Auguste Edouart, who captured the likenesses of such notable figures as John Quincy Adams and Lydia Maria Child, and at the same time, the exhibition reveals how contemporary artists are reimagining silhouettes in bold and unforgettable ways.
Charline Von Heyl, one of the most revered contemporary painters, receives her largest U.S. museum survey yet. Snake Eyes will feature more than 30 large-scale paintings by Von Heyl, showing her incredible influence on the modern art landscape. Her inventive style incorporates a range of influences, from literature to pop culture to metaphysics. Prepare to see truly unique works from one of the most visionary artists of our time.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Free admission
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, 7th Street & Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560
This exhibit is on display Nov. 8 – Jan. 27, 2019
A form of printing in the 16th century, chiaroscuro woodcuts were made using a technique that involved the successive printing of multiple wood blocks. Designs by leading artists such as Raphael and Titian were interpreted and distributed. However, a shroud of mystery still surrounds the process, from the creation of the pieces to their sequencing to their necessity. This exhibit, which will feature new research and interpretations, attempts to erase the mystery surrounding this historical phenomenon in printmaking.
Oct. 14 – Jan. 20, 2019
There are many other bus tours currently running. Be sure to read our comparison post on Washington, D.C. bus tours to help you navigate all the different bus tour options available to you, from open-top double-deckers to small group sprinter vans, from day trips to night tours. We cover it all and provide you with the insight necessary to choose what is best for you.
Movie theaters are where our culture’s dreams and desires have been projected since the arrival of nickelodeons, providing an enchanting portal into a world where moviegoers could escape their everyday lives. Yet many historic theaters have not escaped the impact of social and technological change, nor the abandonment that has diminished our aging cities. Baltimore, thriving at the dawn of the cinema age, has been home to more than 240 theaters since its first Nickelodeon opened in 1905. Only a handful still function as theaters, but many survive in some form—ghosts on the gritty main streets of Charm City.
NOVEMBER 17, 2018 – OCTOBER 14, 2019
When photography arrived in Japan in the mid-nineteenth century, traditional woodblock printmakers were forced to adapt their craft to keep pace with the new medium. In the decades that followed, major upheavals—a new system of government, a devastating earthquake, and the onset of world war—continued to influence Japanese prints. This exhibition explores Japanese artists’ reactions to the challenges of modernity from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century. It first examines the collapse of the traditional woodblock-printmaking industry in the face of the printing press and photography. Then, it traces the medium’s resurrection as an art form, through which printmakers recorded scenes of their changing country in striking new ways. Complemented by Japan Modern: Photography from the Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck Collection
On display September 7, 2018 — February 3, 2019
John Lennon’s boyhood stamp album—including 565 stamps on more than 150 pages is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. The exhibition coincides with the U.S. Postal Service’s issuance of the John Lennon Forever stamp, honoring the legendary singer and songwriter. The stamp is part of the USPS’ Music Icons series.
Lennon’s older cousin, Stanley Parkes, inspired the future Beatle’s interest in stamp collecting and gave him the album. Lennon rubbed out Parkes’s name and address on the album’s flyleaf, replacing it with his own signature and the address at Mendips, the home he shared with his aunt Mary (“Mimi”) Smith and her husband George. Already a budding artist, Lennon sketched beards and mustaches in blue ink of the likenesses of Queen Victoria and King George VI on the album’s title page.
Mark Bradford’s new work at the Hirshhorn spans roughly 400 linear feet inside the cutting-edge Smithsonian museum. Pickett’s Charge is a series of eight abstract paintings that depict the final charge of the Battle of Gettysburg, commonly noted as the most important battle of the Civil War. The result is a thought-provoking rumination on how we interpret history and the complexities of war. Bradford’s installation will also suggest issues faced by the American people today.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Free admission
Each year in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, a city of more than 75,000 people rises out of the dust for a single week. During that time, enormous experimental art installations are erected and many are ritually burned to the ground. The thriving temporary metropolis known as Burning Man is a hotbed of artistic ingenuity, driving innovation through its principles of radical self-expression, decommodification, communal participation, and reverence for the handmade. Both a cultural movement and an annual event, Burning Man remains one of the most influential phenomenons in contemporary American art and culture.
No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man brings the large-scale, participatory work from this desert gathering to the nation’s capital for the first time. The exhibition takes over the entire Renwick Gallery building and surrounding neighborhood, bringing alive the maker culture and creative spirit of this cultural movement.
As part of a series of installations celebrating its golden anniversary, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will present “One Year: 1968, An American Odyssey,” a one-room exhibition that looks back at an extraordinarily important and memorable time in American history. The show relies on some thirty portraits to tell the story of 1968, the year when the Vietnam War reached a turning point, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law, and television sets displayed everything from the Olympic Games to the first manned orbit of the moon. Memorably, it was also the year that the Portrait Gallery first opened its doors. The subjects featured in the exhibition continue to resonate in our collective memory. Representations of Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard M. Nixon will share the walls with portraits of cultural figures such as Peggy Fleming, Arthur Ashe, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Depictions of other significant personalities, notably the Apollo 8 astronauts, will round out the exhibition.
June 29, 2018 – May 19, 2019
On display until May 27, 2019
In addition to its permanent exhibition on the nation’s airmail service, the Postal Museum has a temporary exhibition, Postmen of the Skies.
In 1918 the first regularly scheduled airmail service began operations. Planes carried mail between Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City. The nation greeted the new service with enthusiasm. Crowds surrounded airfields in all three cities, eager to watch history in action. The nation became more enamored with their postal pilots as the service grew. By September 8, 1920 mail was flying between New York and San Francisco.
The Post Office operated the service until 1927, having begun in 1925 to turn over some routes to private airlines. The new airlines built their businesses on the postal routes, infrastructure and pilots. Over the next decade, airmail contracts financed the fledgling airlines, serving to help build the nation’s commercial aviation industry.
Interested in taking a private walking tour? If you’re flexible with your timing and can book a private tour at the time listed, we can offer a discounted rate! These tours are offered at 10am-12pm or 2pm-4pm or 7pm-9pm.
You can choose either our National Mall tour, Lincoln Assassination or Arlington National Cemetery Walking Tour. We also offer a 7pm private option to take one of evening tours – Ghosts of Georgetown, Haunted Georgetown (Adults Only) or White House at Night (Secrets and Scandals – Adults Only)
No adjustments or customizations, please. If you need a customized tour or different time, please contact us at email@example.com. Any of our tours are available for private bookings but our online booking at this discounted rate is only available for our three most popular tours.
Rate: $195 for up to 10 persons. Groups larger than 10 must contact us first.
Tour must be booked at least two days in advance. Last minute tours may be accommodated but must be booked via emailing us to check on availability.
Nov. 1 – April 28, 2019
Innovative Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer will bring the largest interactive technology exhibition to the Hirshhorn in the museum’s history starting Nov. 1. Pulse will take up the entire Second Level, with three major installations using heart-rate sensors to create audiovisual experiences from visitors’ biometric data. Together, the biometric signatures will create spellbinding sequences of soundscapes, lights and animations.
The first fashion exhibition organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts will focus on Rodarte, a luxury fashion house founded by sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy. Visitors will be able to view more than 90 complete looks as they were presented on the runway. The exhibit will also explore the design principles, themes and material concerns of Rodarte and how they fit into the contemporary fashion landscape.
Rodarte on view November 10, 2018–February 10, 2019
The President Woodrow Wilson House is the home to which President and Mrs. Wilson retired from the White House in 1921. President Wilson lived here until his death in 1924, and Mrs. (Edith) Wilson lived in the home until her death in 1961, at which time she bequeathed the home and its furnishings to the National Trust for Historic Preservation to serve as a monument to President Wilson. The House is shown by guided tour on the hour.
Tours last approximately 1 hour. The first tour each day will begin at 10 am, and the last at 3 pm.
Thru Thursday, January 31, 2019
March – December
10:00 am to 4:00 pm Wednesday – Saturday
12:00 pm to 4:00 pm Tuesday & Sunday
$10 Adults; $8 Seniors (62 and Above); $5 Students; Children under age 12 – free
Members of National Trust for Historic Preservation – $5
Victor Lundy: Educating an Architect + Preservation of Modern Architecture
December 6, 2018-February 28, 2019
Experience an exhibit featuring the work of architect and artist Victor Lundy, FAIA, before it’s catalogued by the Library of Congress. An immersive gallery showcases drawings, images, and works from his Beaux Arts and Bauhaus education, his service during WWII, and featured works from his career, including the US Tax Court Building and US Embassy in Sri Lanka.