Here’s Where to Catch Freer Gallery Events During Renovation

As of this month, the Freer Gallery is closing for renovations with reopening slated for early 2017. But the temporary closing doesn’t mean the Freer’s annual slate of events won’t be taking place.

The same weekend the museum closed its doors, the 20th annual Iranian Film Festival launched at the National Gallery of Art in Northwest and AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Md., bringing to D.C. some of Iran’s greatest and most innovative films.

Other exhibits and events are also scheduled to take place in locations around the city, ensuring that fans and patrons will be able to enjoy the Freer’s unique programming throughout the year.

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Photo Credit: Freer Gallery

The show must go on: Just because the Freer is temporarily closing doesn’t mean its regular events won’t continue as scheduled. (Freer Gallery)

Celebrating two decades with two months of weekend showings, the Iranian Film Festival’s theme this year is “Reseeing Iran,” and the slate of films selected explore culture, politics and personal life. The festival features works from the past two years as well as restored classics.

Films being shown in January and February include “Monir” (2015; screening on Feb. 13), a documentary about art legend Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, and “The President” (2014; screening on Jan. 17), a satirical film about a deposed dictator forced to hide in plain sight when his regime is toppled by protesters.

Along with a showing of her latest film, “Avalanche” (2015), acclaimed actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya will be discussing her career in person on January 31. The closing film of the festival, showing at AFI on February 28, is “Atomic Heart” (2015), a surreal exploration of contemporary Tehran.

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Although the rest of the year’s film schedule isn’t yet available, the museum has a handful of other events slated to take place at other locations throughout the Smithsonian system. The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will be hosting Whistler’s unfinished “The Three Girls” from January 16 to May 30, offering gallery visitors the chance to see the work outside of the Peacock Room for the first time since 1904. The “Lost Symphony: Whistler and the Perfection of Art” exhibit is part of the continued “Peacock Room REMIX,” inspired by the Freer’s installation of their namesake’s dining room. The final exhibit in that series, “Chinamania,” will follow “Lost Symphony.”

In late spring, The International Gallery will be hosting an immersive exhibit exploring contemporary Afghani art, “Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan.” Opening on March 5, the exhibit features vendors, a recreated Silk Road caravanserai (a type of roadside inn), and an interactive map of Afghanistan. The exhibit is named for the Turquoise Mountain NGO founded at the request of Prince Charles, which has led to the revitalization of Kabul’s Murad Khani neighborhood.

To learn more about Freer programming throughout the year and where to find it around the city, visit the museum’s events page.

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Bridey Heing

Bridey Heing is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C., and a staff writer at Hello Giggles. You can view more of her work here.

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