February 2010 - January 2011

A traveling exhibition curated by the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum and presented in partnership with the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

East of the River insightfully explores the development of Washington communities east of the Anacostia River from a provocative yet universal perspective: the struggle over land, who owns it, who controls it, who profits from it, and how residents determine their own destiny. The timeline covers the region’s Native Americans’ beginning through the present and into the future.

The exhibition begins with a discussion of the early habitation of the far Southeast region and its people. It focuses on the Nacotchtank people from whom the name “Anacostia” was derived and their interaction with such Europeans as explorer and mapmaker Captain John Smith and beaver fur trader Captain Henry Fleet. Through warfare with other Native Americans and Europeans, the Nacotchtank subsequently lost power and land.

The next three sections—“Early Settlers,” “The Village of Good Hope” and “Anacostia”—cover the resettlement of the area by Europeans; the acquisition of large tracts of land for individual ownership; investment and development; and the introduction ?of the African slave trade.

The final section, “Today and Tomorrow,” highlights the rapid change currently underway in far southeast Washington as high housing costs in the rest of the Washington region makes it one of the most affordable areas in the District.


March 2010 - August 2010
A traveling exhibition curated by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington and presented in partnership with the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

In 1795, shortly after the site of the nation’s capital was selected, the first Jewish resident, Isaac Polock arrived in the new federal district of Washington. Over the next two centuries, he was followed by tens of thousands of Jews, all of whom have become a part of the history that this exhibition chronicles. Their lives and deeds tell a unique story of both a hometown and a capital city.


October 2009 - June 2010
Floyd Coleman, best known for his art historical scholarship and criticism, is also a mixed media artist whose work highlights the vibrancy and complexity of Washington, D.C. 
His approach to canvas and paper echoes his ?diverse interests in politics and race relations, and also reflects the influence of the musical scores of John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, and Ornette Coleman.  Jazz became the muse that inspired Floyd Coleman’s work and as an abstractionist. He used strong hues such as blue, green, yellow, and red in his work to parallel the improvisation of jazz music.  His rapid lines and shapes represent the impulsive nature of the tones and notes in jazz music as he endeavors to “feel the rhythm” and capture the diversity of Washington, D.C.


April 2010 - May 2010

In celebration of Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage month, this exhibition will feature the work of Korean calligrapher, Myoung-won Kwon.  Myoung-won Kwon first picked up a brush at the early age of six, imitating his two elder brothers who were practicing for school. In elementary school, he took up calligraphy as his elective and learned the basics from a school teacher, the only time he had formal lessons in calligraphy. After elementary school, he continued to study calligraphy on his own from books and galleries.

Within his calligraphy, Kwon illustrates the sounds he hears, whether the sounds are small or large or even the noisy chatter of a neighbor. This he accomplishes by writing with different sized brushes to create the effect that he wants.   Not only does he illustrate the sound of the words he writes, but he illustrates the word itself.


April 2010 - August 2010
The story of Metro reveals much about the neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. and how they relate to each other.  The exhibit uses the story of this mass transit system  as a ‘vehicle’ to talk about the changing character of neighborhoods from Georgetown to U Street.  It explores how local businesses and residents have been affected by Metro’s construction or by the lack of Metro, and shows how the creation of this transit system has both reflected and changed the nature of Washington D.C. 

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. • 801 K Street, NW at Mount Vernon Square • Washington, DC 20001 • 202-249-3955 • info@HistoryDC.org