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A metalic sculpture sits outside over a rectangual water fountain in front of office windows. The sculpture rises up and interlocks between the left side and right side in abstract shapes.

Walking Around Art in DC

 A Self-Guided Tour

As follow-up to last fall’s DC Art Walk, we invite you to check out historic spots and public artwork as you stroll or bike through your neighborhood. This time, we’ve included a couple of sites in nearby Virginia and Maryland communities. Many of these were suggested in comments on social media posts about the previous walking tour.

Now that the National Gallery has reopened, we hope that you will visit to see works by the artists listed below. While some of these artists are included in the National Gallery’s collection, their works or studios might be just outside your door. Experiencing art and history can be as simple as venturing outside or exploring the many digital resources linked below.


Washington, DC

Anacostia

Martha Jackson Jarvis, River Spirits of the Anacostia, Anacostia Metro Station, 1101 Howard Road SE

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, supported in part by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, commissioned Martha Jackson Jarvis to create this public artwork at the Anacostia Metro Station for its Art in Transit program. To learn more about Jackson Jarvis, check out the National Gallery of Art Library’s digitized holdings.

Downtown

Richard Hunt, Build-Grow, Branching Column, Four Growth Columns, Swan Column Fountain, 700 11th Street NW

Richard Hunt is a leading abstract sculptor and public artist. Hunt remains an active artist in Chicago, his hometown, but you can find his work across the country and here in DC. (Check out his sculptures at Howard University later in this post.) Hunt is a skilled printmaker, and the National Gallery owns many of his lithographs.

Louise Nevelson, Sky Landscape, 1101 Vermont Avenue NW

Known primarily for her large-scale monochromatic sculptures in wood, Louise Nevelson worked in steel to create this monumental 30-foot-tall abstract sculpture that the American Medical Association commissioned for the plaza outside its headquarters.

Dupont Circle

Anne Truitt, Twining Court NW

Sculptor Anne Truitt worked in this former carriage house in an alley off Dupont Circle from 1962 to 1964. While living in Washington, she moved between several studios; they were thoroughly mapped in the National Gallery’s 2017 exhibition on Truitt.

The Workshop Inc., 2640 16th Street NW

Founded by Lou and Di Stovall in 1968, The Workshop Inc. took over the space of the former Washington Gallery of Modern Art. The screenprinting workshop expanded from creating community posters to working with renowned artists, translating their styles into screenprint. The building is now the Polish Embassy, but The Workshop Inc. is still in operation.

Jacob Lawrence, New York in Transit I, 1998

Jacob Lawrence, New York in Transit I, 1998, color screenprint on wove paper, Reba and Dave Williams Collection, Gift of the Print Research Foundation, 2008.115.427

Howard University

Richard Hunt, A Bridge Across and Beyond, Blackburn University Center, 2397 6th Street NW

Symbiosis, Howard University Libraries System, 500 Howard Place NW

Freedmen’s Column, Howard University, Cramton Auditorium, 2455 6th Street NW

Waddy B. Wood, Latvian Embassy. Washington (D.C.)., 1902, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Department of Image Collections

Kalorama

Alice Pike Barney Studio House, 2306 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Painter Alice Pike Barney was active in Washington around the turn of the 20th century. Barney designed her home and studio to be an arts center, where she hosted salons and promoted her artistic lifestyle to her guests. The building is now home to the Latvian Embassy, but you can explore the Alice Pike Barney Studio House through the National Gallery’s image collections.

Woodley Park

William Christenberry, 2606 Connecticut Avenue NW

William Christenberry, pioneering color photographer who taught at the Corcoran School of Art, photographed the blue finial that adorned the rooftop of this brightly painted ribs place formerly known as Arbaugh’s Restaurant.

Virginia

Alexandria

Hilda Shapiro Thorpe’s Studio, 200 King Street

Hilda Shapiro Thorpe worked in this studio for nearly 40 years, first moving in when Old Town Alexandria was, according to Thorpe, “a no-man’s land.” Initially working on all floors of the building, she moved her studio to the third floor when a children’s clothing store bought the building. She often hosted her students in her studio and spoke about the importance of one’s artistic space. Explore ephemera related to Thorpe through the National Gallery of Art Library’s digital collection DMV Women.

Maryland

Bethesda

Rockne Krebs, Crystal Willow, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue

Rockne Krebs was a pioneer in laser and light art installations. This abstracted willow armature in steel includes over 100 pieces of laminated glass and more than 400 prisms glued to the glass, which refract sunlight into rainbows. “Collaborations with the sun are a very humbling experience,” said Krebs. At night the sculpture is lit from below by two searchlights

 

Banner image by Slowking4, made available on Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license