Past Exhibits

The Society's permanent exhibit traces the evolution of the built environment of the District of Columbia. Window to Washington

The Historical Society’s Window to Washington featured the Kiplinger Washington Collection. The exhibit explored the development of our nation’s capital, from a sleepy southern town into a modern metropolis, as told through the works of artists who witnessed the city’s changes. The exhibit included some of the collection’s rarest and most iconic artworks and features rotating pieces from other holdings.



For the Record: Changing D.C.
April 15 – July 16, 2016
10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.

For more than 120 years, the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. has helped preserve depictions of the city’s built environment through paintings and photographs. The Historical Society continues the tradition of capturing Washington’s built environment through the arts. For the Record is an annual juried exhibit of artworks that capture Washington’s changing urban landscape.


spandorfFor the Record: The Art of Lily Spandorf
November 21, 2015 – Summer 2016
The George Washington University Museum | The Textile Museum

This exhibition—presented at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum and co-produced and co-curated with the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.—explored the artwork of Austrian-born watercolorist and journalist Lily Spandorf (1914-2000). Working with pen, ink, watercolor, and gouache, Spandorf became known for the news illustrations she created for the Washington Star, the Christian Science Monitor, and Washington Post, among many other periodicals. Late in her career she became celebrated for passionately recording the transformation of Washington, D.C.’s urban landscape, especially the many red-brick, late-19th-century buildings facing demolition, being demolished, or whose historical contexts were erased for modern construction.

ExposedDC2016ShowGraphic2Exposed DC Photography Show
10th Anniversary Exhibition
March 10 March 29, 2016

Exposed DC is celebrating a decade of local photography this year. Since 2006 Exposed DC featured images by D.C.-area photographers who disregard the tourist and political sides of the nation’s capital to reveal the real city we live, love, and work in every day.


For the Record Vertical Logo ThumbnailFor the Record: Artfully Historic D.C.
April – June 2015
More than 100 artists submitted paintings and photographs to For the Record: Artfully Historic D.C..

A panel of nine jurors selected the top 75 artworks that are displayed at the Historical Society’s headquarters in the Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. On display April through June 2015.


Upcoming Events

Sat 29
Sun 30

Save Your History: a Digital Preservation Workshop

April 30 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT
May 06

Mapping and Migration

May 6 @ 10:30 am - 12:30 pm EDT
May 11