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Past Exhibitions

Drink and Prosper

April 1–August 24, 2015 | This special exhibition juxtaposes similar and strikingly different shapes and highlights commonalities and variations in drinking traditions across many centuries and cultures.

Architectural Contrasts

February 2, 2013–January 5, 2014 | This exhibition displays original drawings, photographs, and models in order to demonstrate the details of these architectural contrasts as envisioned by Dumbarton Oaks under the patronage of Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss.

50 Years of Pre-Columbian Art

January 15, 2013–January 5, 2014 | Dumbarton Oaks celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the Robert Woods Bliss Collection of Pre-Columbian Art in the Pre-Columbian Gallery.

Cross References

March 26–July 31, 2011 | The exhibition presents comparisons between crosses and cross-like designs, exploring relationships between form and meaning, inviting the visitor to follow the story of the cross and its transformations over the first one and one-half thousand years of Christianity.

Flights of Fancy: Birds in Pre-Columbian Art

October 1, 2009–February 28, 2010 | Birds abound in the arts of the ancient Americas, and artists’ creations demonstrate a tremendous power of observation and an enduring fascination with feathered flying creatures of this world and beyond.

Radiance: Light in Byzantium

April 7–August 31, 2009 | This exhibit examines different aspects and realms of light—divine, artificial, and natural light—and how each informed both visual artistic interpretation and the pragmatic considerations of church and domestic lighting.

Coinage of the Byzantine Empire

March 20, 1999–January 2, 2000 | This exhibit offers insights into the numismatic holdings at Dumbarton Oaks that, with the exception of some spectacular late Roman gold and silver medallions, are only rarely on public display.

Ceremonies of Death in Byzantium

April 30, 1999–May 2, 1999 | This exhibition focuses on images of death—including those of Christ, the Virgin, holy men, clergy, and laymen—which were increasingly developed during the middle and late Byzantine periods.

Indigenous Art of the Americas

April 18, 1947–June 1962 | The Robert Woods Bliss Collection of Pre-Columbian Art was first exhibited at the National Gallery of Art and was the first semipermanent exhibition of Pre-Columbian objects at an art museum in the United States.