Around the World in 80 Paper Models

November 14, 2017 all-day
National Building Museum
401 F St NW
Washington, DC 20001

Drawing from a magnificent 4,500-piece collection recently donated to the Museum, the architectural paper models represent buildings, cultures, and countries from Austria to Wales. The collection includes examples of hand-drawn castles, intricate cathedrals with water-colored gardens, and micro-models smaller than a postcard. Some are viewed flat; others are copied and constructed in 3-D.

In keeping with the “around the world” theme, the exhibition displays a wide variety of structures exploring how states and countries are represented through paper models. Architectural representation sometimes showcases iconic grandeur—the Dome of the Rock, the Roman Baths, a World Cup soccer stadium in South Korea—and sometimes devolves into a patronizing primitivism, in which cultures disappear into myth. Viewing a selection of paper models from the 1950s, for example, visitors will recognize that unfortunate stereotypes are often linked to a limited architectural understanding of foreign cultures.

Monday–Saturday: 10 am–5 pm
Sunday: 11 am–5 pm

4 blocks from the National Mall