Summer Exhibitions at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

By Editorial Team on June 9, 2015

Sat, 13 June 2015 - Sun, 16 August 2015

Hiroshima Panel I Ghost, Iri & Toshi Maruki, 1950, 180cm*720cm, Paper, Indian Ink. Courtesy of the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center.
Hiroshima Panel I Ghost, Iri & Toshi Maruki, 1950, 180cm*720cm, Paper, Indian Ink. Courtesy of the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center.


Openings: June 13, 2015


Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition
The exhibit opens June 13 and closes August 16.

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, AU Museum presents Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition. The exhibit will showcase 20 artifacts collected from the debris of the bombings, six large folding screens that depict the horrors of the bombings, and a collection of drawings by Japanese children created two years after the war ended.

The cornerstone of the exhibit, the folding screens, will be on display in Washington for the first time. Beginning in 1950, husband-and-wife artists Iri and Toshi Maruki created a total of 15 screens over 32 years depicting the horrors of the twin bombings and other nuclear disasters of the 20th century.

In 1947, Arthur Powell Davies, a minister with All Souls Church Unitarian (Washington, D.C.), asked the children of the church’s school to collect art supplies to donate to Honkawa Elementary School in Japan. As a gesture of gratitude for the supplies, the Honkawa students made drawings for the All Souls children that tell a story of peace and connection between the two countries.

The exhibition organizers hope this thought-provoking exhibition deepens viewers’ understanding of the devastation wrought by nuclear weapons and inspires peace. Exhibition sponsors include the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, Maruki Gallery, and All Souls Church Unitarian.

Exhibits Opening June 13 and Closing July 26:

Travels in the Imagination
Travels in the Imagination shows the work of Visvaldis Ziediņš, a Latvian artist who lived and worked during the Soviet era but was not discovered until 2009, two years after Ziediņš’ death. The work changes the perception of the nature of Latvian art during the Soviet era, and refutes the commonly held idea that Latvia did not produce non-conformist art. Ziediņš resisted the formulaic Soviet realism mandated by Soviet officialdom, instead creating personal, poetic and playful work. On display are sculptures, installations, paintings and collages. Most of the works were fashioned using found objects.

Realism Transformed: John Winslow’s Wild New World
Realism Transformed: John Winslow’s Wild New World presents the first comprehensive survey of the later works of Washington artist John Winslow. Winslow, one of Washington’s foremost realist painters, underwent a transformation as an artist in the 1980s. In his work, defined spaces became ambiguous, right angles became swooping curves, and once-static figures left gravity behind to dance gracefully and crazily through the air.

Michael Gross: Abstraction
Michael Gross: Abstraction features the vibrant paintings and monoprints of Washington artist, Michael Gross. According to curator Myrtis Bedolla, “Gross invites us into his world and it is easy to succumb to the magnetism of his acrylic paintings. His rhythmic brushstrokes, punctuated with mark-making and intentionally laid drippings of paint are hypnotic. Through spatial separation and planes of color, Gross achieves a dynamism and lyricism in the work that is enticing.”

Outliers: Kurt Godwin and Betsy Packard
The exhibit Outliers: Kurt Godwin and Betsy Packard is intended as a “sampler” of three decades’ worth of work of two Washington artists, Betsy Packard and Kurt Godwin. Each artist has worked in a variety of media, from painting to quilting, from found-object sculptures to printmaking, all of which are featured in this show. Both Packard and Godwin practice a kind of speculative symbolism and what’s most vital is their instinctive commitment to their own free imaginations, very much on display at AU Museum.

Museum Information:
The American University Museum is a three-story public museum and sculpture garden located within the university’s Katzen Arts Center. The region’s largest university facility for exhibiting art, the museum has a permanent collection that highlights the donors’ holdings and AU’s Watkins Collection and Rothfeld Collection. Rotating exhibitions emphasize regional, national, and international contemporary art.

The Katzen Museum Store is open during museum hours plus one hour before select special events. Visitors may purchase books, catalogs, and prints related to past and current exhibitions, as well as fine crafts and other one-of-a-kind objects by predominantly local artisans.

The Katzen Arts Center, named for Washington-area benefactors Dr. and Mrs. Cyrus Katzen, brings all the visual and performing arts programs at AU into one space. Designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in the arts, the Katzen includes the museum, the Abramson Family Recital Hall, the Studio Theatre, a dance studio, an electronics studio, artists’ studios, rehearsal space, and classrooms.

Center Hours:

  • Tuesday through Sunday: 11am to 4pm

The Katzen Arts Center located at 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. For more information, call 202-885-1300 or look on the Web at