Best Museum Exhibits this Spring in Washington, D.C.

February 24, 2014 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Spring means not having to hear terms like “polar vortex.” It also means you should be getting out and enjoying all the new and exciting things the city has to offer, including the new exhibits opening at D.C.’s many wonderful museums. These exhibits will finally give you an excuse to take a break from Netflix and get out and enjoy the spring weather.

The Early 60s
American History Museum
1400 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 633-1000

Date: April 25, 2014 to Dec. 2014

The 60s was a decade of major changes around the world and certainly in the United States. From fashion and music to history-making speeches and protests, you can still feel the impact today. One local milestone that occurred was the opening of the National Museum of American History, or what it was originally called, the National Museum of History and Technology. In The Early ’60s takes a look at the era that had such drastic high and lows, and celebrates all that the decade contributed to American culture.

National Gallery of Art
6th & Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20565
(202) 737-4215

Date: May 11, 2014 to Oct. 5, 2014

A masterful painter and artist in general, Edgar Degas is most well known for his paintings of dancers, and for popularizing Impressionism. Mary Cassatt, perhaps not as well known as Degas, was an impressionist who is known for her paintings of mothers and children. The two artists, from different worlds, formed a long-lasting friendship that influenced each other’s work. This exhibit examines the nature of their influences on each other, and delves into just how closely their art was impacted. Regardless of who influenced who and how, the results were beautiful paintings that are still important over a century later.

NEXT At The Corcoran
Corcoran Gallery of the Art
500 17th St. NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 639-1700

Date: April 10, 2014 to May 18, 2014

Matisse, Picasso, Titian, O’Keeffe—they all started somewhere, whether they received formal training or not. Corcoran College of Art and Design strives to mold young artists, not into what they want them to be, but into the artists they can be. “NEXT at the Corcoran” showcases the work of the graduating class, exposing audiences to sometimes utterly raw and uncompromising art. What you will see at this exhibit are the reflections of a new generation of artists on myriad issues. Support the arts and the artists.

Related: Best Art Museums In Washington DC Area

American Cool 
National Portrait Gallery
8th & F Streets NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 633-8300 

Date: Through Sept. 7, 2014

Cool is an objective concept. It was cool to be like Mike, Michael Jordan, for a period of time. It was cool to wear puddle skirts and cardigans at some point. And for a long time, advertising pushed smoking cigarettes as being cool. “American Cool” looks back at the beginning of the cultural origins of “cool” and discusses the significance of the figures who have embodied the meaning. The photographic exhibition features images of originators like Lester Young and Miles Davis, to current trailblazers like Johnny Depp and Jay Z, photographed by cool photographers like Annie Leibovitz and Diane Arbus. This exhibit features works by the cool, of the cool and for the cool.

Kiyochika: Master Of The Night 
Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20560
(202) 633-1000

Date: Mar. 29, 2014 to July, 27, 2014

Imagine going to sleep and waking up in a room decorated completely differently. Besides the initial shock and awe, you might find what you see fascinating. Kobayashi Kiyochika left the city of Edo, Japan, and when he returned it was not only re-named to Tokyo, but it was also practically nothing like the way he left it. By 1874, Tokyo was a modern city, complete with brick buildings, railroads, and gaslights. For Kiyochika, this transformation was inspiration; he decided to create a series based on the modernization of his city. Though he wasn’t able to finish his 100-piece series, what he did finish was groundbreaking.

Related: Weirdest Museums In Washington DC

Folashade Oyegbola is a freelance writer covering all things D.C. Her work can be found on

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