On The Look Out

'War and Pieces' at Hillwood Now

October 16, 2019

Explore Dutch artist Bouke de Vries’s contemporary interpretation of the eighteenth-century banquet table at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens through April 5, 2020. A remarkable ceramic centerpiece, created from thousands of white porcelain fragments, in the form of an epic battle transforms the dining room at Hillwood. Inspired by seventeenth- and eighteenth-century centerpieces crafted in sugar and porcelain, War and Pieces is a contemporary response to this tradition. 


(Photo by: hillwoodmuseaum.org)

In the seventeenth century, wealthy households decorated their tables with extravagant sugar sculptures that replicated allegorical scenes, architectural follies, or classical figures. By the eighteenth century, artists augmented or replaced the decorations with porcelain, including that by Meissen and Sèvres, early porcelain manufacturers who used skilled confectioners as their first modelers. 


War and Pieces comprises seven sculptural vignettes, created in both sugar and porcelain, along with pieces of plastic toys. “It’s a battle between the Ancien Régime of sugar and porcelain with the plastic elements the modern interlopers,” de Vries said of the work. Six of the scenes represent Roman war deities Mars and Minerva doing battle, with Minerva usually dominating and declaring victory. Both figures use table utensils as weapons as they stand among decapitated figures and severed heads–what de Vries calls “Hummels gone wrong”—and the broken remains of ceramic dinner plates. The focal point of the work is a weightless mushroom cloud standing two feet tall and nearly four feet in diameter and surrounded by numerous portrayals of the crucified Christ as well as Guan Yin, the ancient Chinese bodhisattva of mercy. At the top of the cloud, an angel cries. Besides war, chaos, and aggression, the installation also features humor and beauty, undermining classical symbols in a satirical and critical way.


This exhibition marks the second time that the grand dining table at Hillwood features a contemporary interpretation of earlier centerpieces. In 2009 and 2010, as part of the exhibition Sèvres Then and Now, the table featured the Sèvres 1979 centerpiece called Ruins of Egypt, a whimsical take on monuments from antiquity crafted in biscuit porcelain. 

Called a “masterwork” by art critics, War and Pieces has toured venues in Europe and Asia since 2012. Hillwood will become only the third venue in the United States to display the work.


Hillwood Museum, Estate & Gardens is located at 4155 Linnean Ave NW.

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Volta Park Day Oct. 5th

September 11, 2019

Join friends and neighbors on Saturday, October 5, 2019 from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm for Volta Park Day Fall Festival. Bring the kids and enjoy food, carnival games, a petting zoo, Bounce House and face painting. 

Volta Park is a green oasis in the heart of Georgetown. The Friends of Volta Park (FOVP) is a community-based, non-profit organization. Its mission is to work with the neighborhood and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation to maintain, improve and beautify Volta Park's grounds and garden. 

Volta Park is located at 1516 34th Street in Georgetown.

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French Embassy Dance Soiree Aug. 30

August 15, 2019

Come on your own or with friends for an evening of music, French wine, Parisian desserts & dancing at the Embassy of France on August 30, 2019.


Even if you've never danced before, let us show you how to dance the Tango, Viennese Waltz, & Salsa followed by an evening of dancing in the French Embassy ballroom as you meet ICDC members and make new friends.

Prior dance experience not needed to attend! French wine & desserts will be available for purchase at the cash bar (please bring cash). Don't miss this rare opportunity to enjoy a night of dancing at the French Embassy as you meet other ICDC Members!

Please note that dinner is not served at the event and instead delectable French desserts will be available for purchase. Please plan to have dinner before or after the event.

The event is structured as an informal dance soiree to meet, network, and socialize with ICDC members as you enjoy an evening of dancing at the French Embassy. As such kindly note that the event is not presented as a seated event and we kindly ask for your patience and understanding while we work with our event partners to present you a wonderful evening.


Due to enhanced security at the French Embassy, photo ID is REQUIRED for attendance. Please ensure all ticket holders and each guest attending with a ticket holder has valid photo ID. We are unable to issue a refund if you are denied entry due to lack of photo ID. If you purchase more than one ticket, please email us the full names of each of your guests.


7:00 PM Admission commences 
~ Viennese Waltz Dance Lesson 
~ Tango dance lesson 
~ Salsa dance lesson 

8:30 PM Dance Party 
Dance the night away to a mix of ballroom, Latin music, and other recorded dance music. This is a wonderful opportunity to practice your dancing and socialize with other attendees. The instructor will be on hand to give you advice and answer your questions. 

10:30 PM Evening concludes


Purchase tickets here.

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