In DC, there’s no shortage of awe-inspiring cultural finds, but new summertime arrivals promise plenty more to see. We’re geeking out (or should we say Greek-ing out) that one of DC’s most beloved institutions – the National Geographic Museum – has welcomed an epic exhibit that’s drawing history buffs from near and far. The action doesn’t stop there though.
We’ve rounded up four ways to immerse yourself in capital culture this summer at National Geographic and beyond:
- Feel the beat at free Washington rites of passage like Jazz in the Garden every Friday evening from May 27 to September 2 at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden or the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, happening from June 29 – July 4 & July 7 – 10. The latter also hosts free evening concerts on the National Mall.
- Soak in the beauty of “William Merritt Chase: A Modern Master” at The Phillips Collection from June 4 through September 11. The retrospective, the first in more than three decades, marks the centennial of the death of a great American painter, aesthete and teacher who bridged American Impressionism with Modernism. A creator of charming domestic scenes and Hamptons beaches, Chase proved an influential teacher to artists like Georgia O’Keefe.
- Cool off at the National Building Museum as it becomes home to “ICEBERGS” from July 2 through September 5. With help from James Corner Field Operations who shaped the Presidio of San Francisco and NYC’s The High Line, the museum’s 12,000 plus square foot Great Hall gets transformed into a mesmerizing frozen wonderscape of oversized ‘bergs suspended above and below a faux waterline – some measuring as high as the third-story balcony! Walk around dramatic crags and caves; and indulge in some shaved ice, too.
- “The Greeks – Agamemnon to Alexander the Great” opens at the National Geographic Museum on June 1, for its only East Coast stop. This stunning exhibition spans 5,000 years of history and culture, featuring stories of individuals from Neolithic villages through the conquests of Alexander the Great. While viewing 550-plus artifacts from the national collections of 22 Greek museums, learn how traditions from Bronze Age beginnings to the height of classical civilization still impact our lives today. Curator favorites include: iconic stone figurines from the Cycladic Islands; gold funerary masks and other treasures from Mycenae; and classical marble statues from the Acropolis Museum of Greek poets, athletes, and heroes.
Where to stay? Any of Kimpton’s 13 hotels in DC and Virginia, of course.