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American University Museum at the Katzen

Free and open to the public, the AU Museum hosts rotating exhibitions of contemporary art from around the globe and the Alper Initiative, a dedicated research and display space for the art history of Washington, DC.

AU Museum

Located on American University’s main campus at the Katzen Arts Center.
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 11:00AM-4:00PM. Closed Monday. Admission is free.

Yoga in the Galleries held Wednesdays, 10AM.
View our schedule of upcoming docent-led tours.

Special Events

December 5
Free Parking: Christine Neill
December 11
Citizen Lane Film Screening SOLD OUT
December 14
ARCADIA Closing Party
January 25
Winter Exhibitions Open
January 25
Gallery Talk: Robert Franklin Gates
January 25
Winter Opening Reception
View all upcoming events

Fall Exhibitions On view now

Mel Watkin, Cross-Section: Hophornbeam, 2019.

Topographies of Life: Pam Rogers, Lynn Sures, Mel Watkin
Presented by the AU Museum Project Space

Using the medium of drawing to varied and distinctive effect, Rogers, Sures, and Watkin trace human connections to the natural world—across time and varied landscapes. The three artists work from both a consciousness of drawing’s ties to illustration and evidence; and, the medium’s unique ability to transmit the artist’s “hand” and personal response to their subject. From the deserts of Kenya, forests of the Midwest, to the Potomac watershed, these artists are deeply attuned to the mutually affecting relationship between the anthropological and natural worlds.

Learn more about: Topographies of Life: Pam Rogers, Lynn Sures, Mel Watkin

Bernis Von Zur Muehlen, Teri, 1982.

Moves Like Walter: New Curators Open the Corcoran Legacy Collection

Moves like Walter: New Curators Open the Corcoran Legacy Collection is a product of Director and Curator Jack Rasmussen’s spring course on curatorial practice. Upon receipt of the Corcoran Collection, graduate students in art history, arts management, and studio art have curated a playful and provocative interpretation of the 9,000-piece gift. The exhibition is inspired by Walter Hopps, briefly the Director of the Corcoran and an erratic but seminal American curator of contemporary art. The curators have divided their responses into five sub-groups, Boundless: Existing Within Ambiguous SpaceThe Road HomeThe Selfless Spirit: Nature vs. Nurture and the Effects of Motherhood in the Corcoran CollectionAmerican Legacy: Reconsidering Non-Western Subjects in the Corcoran Collection, and Redefining the Gaze: Shifting the Power.

Learn more about: Moves Like Walter: New Curators Open the Corcoran Legacy Collection

Michal Heiman, Mask: detail from “Plate 34” by Dr. Hugh W. Diamond, 1855, 2016.

Radical Link: A New Community of Women, 1855-2020

Radical Link is the latest project by Tel Aviv-based multi-media artist Michal Heiman. Traversing time, space, gender, race, and institutional practices of asylum, Heiman offers a new way to extend solidarity to those who engage in acts of resistance by creating a new community. It includes women who have been subjugated by the Surrey County Asylum in London and the San Servolo Asylum in Venice, asylum seekers, artists, activists, prosecutors, gatekeepers, and those who have suffered under the violence of racism and misogyny. Through the strategies of intervention and the use of archival materials, photographs, films, sound work, and her presence in the gallery, she generates the political, cultural, gendered, and psychic conditions of a potential “radical link.”

Learn more about: Radical Link: A New Community of Women, 1855-2020.

Christine Neill, Disappearing Cavendish, 2017.

Christine Neill: Observations from the Valley Floor
Curated by Mollie Berger Salah
Presented by the Alper Initiative for Washington Art

Christine Neill is a nationally celebrated American artist whose work blends motifs of biological examination with visual processes and techniques. She has exhibited widely while influencing thousands of students over her long tenure as professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art. The effects of environmental changes on human life, and the reaction of the earth’s habitats to these threats underlie her investigations and images.

Learn more about: Christine Neill: Observations from the Valley Floor

Aideen Berry, Not to be Known, 2015.

fair is foul & foul is fair

“Fair is foul and foul is fair” as claimed by the witches in Macbeth describes a world where nothing—no message, no deed—is ethically clear. In Shakespeare’s fair/foul world, evil walks abroad in the guise of good, and all expectations are confounded and confused. In this double exhibition by Alice Maher and Aideen Barry, tropes of what could be considered fair and foul morph into unrecognizable, interchangeable and above all, challenging artworks. Both artists engage at the fault lines of artmaking where sociocultural movements, media, imagery, and language overlap and collapse in order to animate new, personal ways of communicating this semiotic conundrum.

Learn more about: fair is foul & foul is fair

William Woodward panel

ARCADIA: The Clyde’s Murals by William Woodward

William Woodward’s vibrant, 72-foot mural, Arcadia (1980), evokes a landscape of pure painterly invention, a lost world that has inspired poets, artists, and musicians since antiquity. These 11 impressive panels—with scenes influenced by artists from Poussin to N.C. Wyeth and Howard Pyle—these magical forests, naked nymphs and frolicking fauns, satyrs, centaurs, and mystical seashores with mermaids, pirates, and treasure ships—became a success de scandale when they were first unveiled at the now legendary Clyde’s Restaurant of Tyson’s Corner, Virginia.

Learn more about: ARCADIA: The Clyde’s Murals by William Woodward

Frank Hallam Day, Airstream 19331, 2010.

Dark World: Photographs by Frank Hallam Day

This exhibition, as its name implies, examines the distinctive quality of settings in various corners of the world as seen at night, and combines multiple bodies of the artist’s work spanning more than 12 years. The DC-based fine art photographer Frank Hallam Day has worked all over the world, often at night, looking for and in some cases creating a nocturnal mise-en-scène. The images are mysterious, unsettling, and examine the uncertainties, ambiguities, and possibilities of photographs shot at night and with unusual and sometimes unexpected light sources. The exhibition features work from Bangkok, Berlin, and New York as well as from Florida, Myanmar, Cambodia, and elsewhere.

Learn more about: Dark World: Photographs by Frank Hallam Day