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Galleries and Exhibitions

The Dumbarton Oaks Museum reopened to the public in 2008, following several years of renovation. The redesigned galleries present the collections in several adjacent galleries.

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The Dumbarton Oaks Museum features permanent gallery exhibitions as well as changing special exhibitions. The Byzantine and Pre-Columbian Galleries comprise individual, permanent displays that are home to the two focused collections of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art. The House Collection of western Medieval Art is featured in the Music Room. Additional spaces, including the Special Exhibition Gallery, the Textile Gallery, the Orientation Gallery, and the Rare Book Gallery, house changing exhibitions on themes selected by the curators.

Now on View


75 Years/75 Objects

September 8, 2015–May 22, 2016

May Rotation: Revealing—The act of revealing makes visible what was hidden, it gives away what was unknown before. To witness transformation is the intended and inherent concept of a revealing design that invites wonder and discovery. Both the object and the viewer’s mind become transformed. Most of the works displayed here have a built-in, concealed interior that is not visible at first glance. By operating the object, a transformation occurs, and sometimes the action of revealing exposes an unseen, inner reality. Part of the creative task of exhibitions is to use both interpretive and physical display techniques that invite the visitor to experience these moments of revelation.

On view April 28–May 22. Curator’s Tours: May 6 and 20, 2016 | 3 p.m.

Maya Ruins Past and Present

Stephens & Catherwood Revisited: Maya Ruins and the Passage of Time

From September 1, 2015, in the Orientation and Rare Book Galleries, and in an online exhibit.

October 9, 2015–April 3, 2016 | Textile Gallery Rotation

Clothing for the Afterlife: Textiles from the Pre-Columbian Collection

From October 9, 2015, in the Textile Gallery

Textiles, more than gold and precious stones, marked a person’s social status in the ancient Andes. The sumptuous attire of the ancient Andes offers a glimpse into the cultures’ elite lifestyles and their perceptions of the afterlife.

Loros tile

From Consul to Emperor: The Origins of the Loros

Through May 23, 2016, in the Byzantine Gallery

Porphyry Tile

Porphyry: The Imperial Stone

Through May 23, 2016, in the Bliss Gallery Case

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