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Renovation Notice

The gardens will be closed to the public from July 10, 2017, until March 15, 2018. A reduced season pass is available.

Special Exhibitions

Now on View

Women in Art tile

Women in Art, 1850–1910

Special Exhibition Hallway, April 25, 2017, to March 2018

The exhibit examines the fashionably dressed, urban woman of the late nineteenth century in thirteen works collected by institution’s founders, Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss. The Blisses admired the art of the French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists and were especially fond of the paintings of the Belgian artist, Alfred Stevens. Five of his paintings in this exhibition are on public display for the first time.


Ancient Bronzes

Ancient Bronzes in the Dumbarton Oaks Collections

Courtyard Gallery, April 25, 2017, to March 2018

The manufacture of copper and its alloys, such as bronze, was well known in Mesopotamia and Egypt in the fifth and fourth millennia BC. The temporary display and juxtaposing of bronze sculptures that span more than fifteen hundred years aims to draw attention to the highly specialized techniques applied by the makers of metal sculpture. It invites to ask questions of craftsmanship, use, and the meaning of these works in bronze.

Early Bliss Acquisition Tile

Early Bliss Acquisitions: Collecting in Paris and London, 1912–1919

Bliss Gallery, April 25, 2017, to March 2018

When the Blisses resided in Paris, they developed their collecting interests and passion and became especially intrigued by “unusual” objects that were newly available at the avant garde art dealers’ shops.

Ancient Textiles

Early Bliss Acquisitions: Collecting Textiles

Textile Gallery, April 25, 2017, to March 2018

The textile rotation features late Roman and early Byzantine hangings and curtains in tapestry weave used in private as well as religious spaces, alongside looped and woven garments from the Andes, where elite individuals displayed their wealth and status by wearing clothing in dazzling colors and patterns.

Imagining the Empress tile

Imagining the Empress: Theodora in Popular Culture, 1882–1922

Orientation Gallery, April 25 to August 31, 2017

This display from the Ephemera Collection shows how a single historical figure—the sixth-century Byzantine empress Theodora—captured the public imagination at the end of the nineteenth century through film, theater, opera, and even buttons.

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City Water/City Life Tile

City Water/City Life

Rare Book Gallery, April 25 to August 31, 2017

This exhibit displays materials from the Rare Book Collection to explore the past and present of three major European cities (Amsterdam, Florence, and Paris).

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