April 8-12, 2019
The Smithsonian Craft Show is the most prestigious juried show and sale of American fine craft in the country. Each year, 120 premier artists representing all facets of contemporary design are selected from more than 1,000 artists in a nationwide competition. Gain special access to meet the artists and be among the first to see and buy fine crafts at the show’s exclusive Preview Night. At the Smithsonian American Art Museum, enjoy a tour of the Renwick Gallery led by a curator and a tour of the Luce Foundation Center accompanied by an artist. Explore the city’s burgeoning art scene as you meet prominent gallery owners, see craft artists at work in their studios, and visit the home of a private collector. Plus, enjoy specially arranged meetings with Craft Show artists during this exclusive tour.
Dr. Oscar Fitzgerald served as Director of the Navy Museum in Washington, DC, and curator for Tingey House, the oldest residence in the Navy, until he decided to pursue fulltime his passion as a furniture historian and decorative arts consultant. In 2004 he was awarded the prestigious James Renwick Research Fellowship that funded research for a seminal analysis of the studio furniture movement which appeared in the 2005 issue of Furniture Studio. Among his recent project was an interview with Wendell Castle as part of a series of DVDs on Woodworking Legends distributed by Popular Woodworking. His book Four Centuries of American Furniture has been through four printings and has become the standard reference work in the field. His latest book, American Furniture: 1650 to the Present was published this year. In recognition of his knowledge of contemporary craft, he has been selected to serve as a judge for the Baltimore Craft Show and Smithsonian Craft Show multiple times.
Day 1 — Arrive in Washington, D.C.
Welcome to Washington D.C.! Check-in at your hotel by mid-afternoon and join your fellow travelers and Smithsonian expert for a tour of one of Georgetown’s hidden gems. Spend the late afternoon visiting Jewelers’ Werk Galerie on a private tour with the owner, Ellen Reiben. Tucked away in Georgetown’s charming Cady’s Alley, this gallery hosts a permanent collection and new exhibits focused on European jewelry.
Cap off the evening with a welcome reception and dinner at a local restaurant before returning to the hotel. (R,D)
Day 2 — Inside the Artist’s Studio
After breakfast, transfer to the Luce Foundation Center, part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Renovated in July 2006, this study center and visual art storage space occupies 24,000 square feet with 3,000 artworks. Take a guided tour of the Center, accompanied by the featured glass-blowing artist, Tim Tate, who will explain displayed items.
Afterward, join Tim for lunch at a local restaurant, and transfer to the studio he co-founded, Washington Glass Works Studio. Explore the inner workings of an operating glass-studio with live artist demonstrations. Visit the neighboring artists’ spaces to see woodworking, ceramic, metalwork and other craft demonstrations in this art collective. Talk to artists and learn about their work, the challenges they face, and hear about emerging trends. Dinner this evening is at your leisure. (B,L)
Day 3 — Behind the Scenes at the Smithsonian Craft Show
Today begins with a curator-led tour of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, the first building designed to be an art museum in the United States. A National Historic Landmark, The Renwick Gallery was designed by James Renwick, Jr. and originally housed William Wilson Corcoran’s art collection. This gallery is home to one of the finest collections of contemporary craft and represents American individuality, expression, and innovation.
Enjoy lunch at your leisure before transferring to the home of a private collector of wooden craft art. In the late afternoon, return to your hotel for some time to refresh before the 2019 Craft Show Preview Night Gala. Dress to the nines and enjoy a fashionable night in D.C. with featured artists and collectors, while getting first access to the best the Craft Show has to offer! (B,R)
Day 4 — The 2019 Smithsonian Craft Show
This morning is the official first day of the 37th Annual 2019 Smithsonian Craft Show. Receive a special welcome from the event’s organizers. Take time to walk through the aisles and soak in your favorite crafts – basketry, mixed media, wearable art, or decorative fiber – there will be no shortage of American and international craft. Whether you decide to shop or stop by an artist giving a presentation, creativity fills the air.
Mid-morning, gather for a private discussion with a featured Smithsonian Craft Show Artist. Learn about his/her craft, process, and what inspires the artist. Later this afternoon, tour the Cross MacKenzie Gallery. This intimate gallery focuses on emerging contemporary sculpture and is owned by local artists Rebecca Cross, a painter and sculptor with works in The Renwick Gallery, and Max McKenzie, an architectural photographer and artist whose works are displayed in the Library of Congress and embassies across the world.
Tonight, gather together for a farewell dinner at a local D.C. restaurant. (B,D)
Day 5 – Depart D.C.
This morning, join your fellow travelers for breakfast with one of Smithsonian’s featured Craft Show Artists at the National Building Museum. You may choose to further explore the Craft Show or return to your hotel for check-out. (B)
*Please note: Transport on select days will be by metro which is the most efficient method. Passengers will be provided a metro card and accompanied on these short transfers.
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Washington, D.C., United States
A historic jewel located steps away from The White House in the center of Washington D.C., The Hamilton Hotel was selected for its location, convenience, and comfort. Originally constructed in 1922, it features Beaux Arts and Art Deco styles. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and guest rooms with plush bedding and thoughtful amenities.
Number of nights: 4