Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Utopian Projects @ Hirshhorn Museum 
Sep 7 2017 – Mar 4 2018 all-day

Married, Russian-born American artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov create installations inspired by hardships they endured while living in the Soviet Union. Spanning 1985 to the present, maquettes and whimsical models create mini-environments with the help of lights, motors, text and music. Monuments, allegorical narratives, architectural structures and commissioned outdoor works are part of the exhibit.

The Box Project: Uncommon Threads @ Textile Museum at George Washington University
Sep 30 2017 – Jan 29 2018 all-day

Former Textile Museum trustee and collector Lloyd Cotsen challenged 36 leading fiber artists from around the world to push the boundaries of classic fiber art. Tasked with creating three-dimensional works sized to fit within a 14-by-23-inch box, the artists produced the innovative, dynamic pieces that will be on display.

Renoir and Friends: Luncheon of the Boating Party @ The Phillips Collection
Oct 7 2017 – Jan 7 2018 all-day

French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s iconic painting (c.1880) is the focus of this exhibit, which explores the process by which he created the masterpiece and examines the diverse circle of friends and patrons who inspired his efforts. More than 40 paintings, drawings, pastels, watercolors and photographs from collections worldwide will be on view.

Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today @ National Museum of Women in the Arts
Oct 13 2017 – Jan 21 2018 all-day

The museum’s 30th-anniversary celebration includes this first-of-its-kind exhibit, exploring abstract works in a range of media by more than 20 African American women artists, focusing on how abstraction can convey personal iconography and universal themes. Works by Mavis Pusey, Alma Woodsey and Shinique Smith, among others, will be showcased.

Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice Across Asia @ Freer | Sackler 
Oct 14 2017 – Oct 1 2020 all-day

Fresh from a major renovation of its interiors, the Freer|Sackler reopens on October 14 with a weekend celebration of Asian art, food and culture. Four special exhibitions also kick off—including one that examines Buddhism in Asian art through objects and immersive spaces.

Spiral Play: Loving in the ’80s @ Baltimore Museum of Art
Oct 18 2017 – Apr 15 2018 all-day

The late African-American artist Al Loving created abstract expressionist works, experimenting in a range of media. In the 1980s, he used heavy rag paper to create colorful, three-dimensional collages employing spiral motifs; “Spiral Play” features 12 of these works, some of which are monumental in scale.

Lumia: Thomas Wilfred and the Art of Light @ Smithsonian American Art Museum
Oct 20 2017 @ 6:44 pm – Jan 7 2018 @ 7:44 pm

Light-art pioneer Thomas Wilfred was considered radical for his mid-20th-century works fusing light and technology. Now, an exhibition of his art, which he termed “lumia,” resurrects his work—long relegated to storage because of difficulty maintaining it. Fifteen light compositions are displayed in their 
original form.

Subodh Gupta: Terminal @ Freer | Sackler
Oct 20 2017 @ 6:50 pm – Jun 24 2018 @ 7:50 pm

The Freer | Sackler celebrates its October 2017 reopening with an installation by artist Subodh Gupta (above), who transforms utilitarian vessels found in India into monumental structures. Comprised of about 30 towers of brass containers from one to 15 feet in height, 
“Terminal” evokes a dense urban landscape.

Arts of Asia @ The Walters Art Museum
Oct 20 2017 @ 6:51 pm – Sep 20 2020 @ 7:51 pm

This seminal exhibit highlights the artistic diversity of Asia, showcasing an array of objects from India, Nepal, Tibet Korea, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia.

Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting @ National Gallery of Art
Oct 22 2017 @ 6:48 pm – Jan 21 2018 @ 7:48 pm

This exhibition brings together nearly 70 Flemish paintings dating from the mid-1650s to about 1680. Works by Johannes Vermeer (A Lady Writing is above) and contemporaries such as Jan Steen and Gerard ter Borch are juxtaposed by theme, motif and composition, and illustrate the rivalry that existed among the artists.