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Past Exhibitions

Lasting Impressions: People, Power, Piety

November 23, 2021–December 4, 2022 | This exhibition explores individual stories and family histories, the concept of status, developments in popular piety, and the inner workings of the state as shown through the intricate impressions on lead seals.

A Century in the Gardens Exhibit

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Beatrix Farrand’s design of the Dumbarton Oaks landscape, the exhibit includes archival images, as well as newly commissioned photographs, selections from the Rare Book Collection, and a design timeline.

Margaret Mee: Portraits of Plants

September 21, 2021–January 9, 2022 | Centered on the paintings of botanical artist Margaret Mee, this exhibit explores the traditions of women botanical artists and illustrators primarily using materials from the Rare Book Collection.

Woven Interiors: Furnishing Early Medieval Egypt

August 31, 2019–January 5, 2020 | This exhibit provides insight into the decoration of interior spaces, inviting the viewer to experience stunning tapestries featuring mythical beings and intriguing iconography alongside household objects and luxurious gold jewelry.

Juggling the Middle Ages

October 16, 2018–March 3, 2019 | See how one tale has transformed over time, captivating medieval and modern audiences alike with its enduring messages. Art is miraculous!

Outside/IN: Martha Jackson Jarvis at Dumbarton Oaks

February 20–September 2, 2018 (museum) and March 15–December 16, 2018 (gardens) | This installation of mixed-media sculpture and works on paper, all inspired by natural forms and materials, by noted Washington artist Martha Jackson Jarvis, bridges the institution’s historic gardens and museum collections.

Seeing Cherries

March 14–July 2018 | Drawing from the Rare Book and Ephemera Collections, this exhibit traces the story of cherry blossoms in Japan and the United States and their place in the changing relationship between the two nations over the past century.

Women in Art, 1850–1910

April 27, 2017–February 1, 2018 | This exhibit examines the fashionably dressed urban woman of the late nineteenth century in works collected by the Blisses, who admired the art of the Impressionists.