The Visual Arts in Washington, D.C.

A History Since 1900


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SKU: 9781476687025 Category: Tag:

About the Book

The first comprehensive book about the Washington, D.C., art world, this study features humorous and unique stories about the artists and art districts of one of the U.S.’s most visited cities. The city’s many firsts include are the first modern art museum, the first African-American gallery, and the first art fair. Important in the feminist art movement, it hosted the opening of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Chapters are arranged by decade beginning with 1900, and highlight trends in portraits and landscapes, galleries and museums, nonprofits, cooperatives, art fairs, family stories and the Artomatic experience.

About the Author(s)

Brett L. Abrams has written five books about sports, popular culture, and the Washington, D.C., region. He works as an electronic records archivist for the federal government in the nation’s capital.

Bibliographic Details

Brett L. Abrams

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 318
Bibliographic Info: 61 photos (19 in color), notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8702-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4529-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction: Washington’s Innovative Visual Arts Community 3
1. The 1900s: The Society of Washington Artists’ Portraits, Landscapes, and Still Lifes 7
2. The 1910s: Art as a Family Business 21
3. The 1920s: The Corcoran’s ­Successful-to-Failed Expansion 32
4. The 1920s Again: The Phillips, Continuity of Art 55
5. The 1930s: Little Galleries and Intimate Bookstores 67
6. The 1940s: The ­­­Cross-Pollinators, Franz Bader and ­­­Barnett-Aden 81
7. The 1950s: The Workshop Center of the Arts 95
Between pages 106 and 107 are 12 color plates containing 19 photographs
8. The 1960s: “The P Street Strip” 107
9. The 1970s: The Cooperatives and Entertainment Places in D.C. 131
10. The 1980s: The Seventh Street Promise 160
11. The 1990s: Two Gallery Clusters and Several Regional Nonprofits 179
12. The 2000s: ­Art-O-Matic and Democratic Art 201
13. The 2010s: The Triumph of the Art Fairs 217
14. The 2020s: Federal City Art 229
Chapter Notes 255
Bibliography 289
Index 293

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “You’ve done a marvelous job!…[I] can’t figure out how you did such intensive research. You’re like a homicide detective no stone unturned.”—Clark Fox, active in the D.C. art scene for over 60 years