Get Out: ‘Ai Weiwei: According to What?’

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Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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Web: thetasteofdc.org/.

Culture: Library of Congress Main Reading Room Open House

On Oct. 8, we honor Christopher Columbus, who, as schoolchildren learn, got lost while sailing from Spain to India and came upon the New World. This Columbus Day, the Library of Congress invites you to get lost in a book and explore the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. Typically reserved for research purposes, the soaring Main Reading Room will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for demonstrations of the library’s resources and readings for children. The Jefferson Building, including the Young Reader’s Center and the exhibitions, also will be open until 4:30 p.m. Children of all ages will enjoy the vast collection of children’s literature, while history buffs will want to visit the “Exploring the Early Americas” exhibit featuring rare maps, documents, artwork and artifacts from 500 years ago.

Monday at the Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE.

Phone: 202/707-5000.

Web: loc.gov.

Exhibit: Fashioning the New Woman, 1890-1925

Turn-of-the-century fashion is enjoying a moment, due in part to the popularity of “Downton Abbey,” the British public television period drama about the lives of a wealthy family and their servants in the early 1900s. The show is an unexpected hit — and so, too, is the era’s fashion, with midi hemlines and drop waists, rich brocades and velvets, and even cloche hats and evening gloves all over the Fall 2012 runways. Ralph Lauren even showed British tweeds and flapper-style beading set to the show’s soundtrack. Catching up with the trend, the Daughters of the American Revolution is showing a collection of real fashion from the era, from the last of the Victorian bustle to the rising hemlines of the suffragettes. Visitors likely will be surprised at the timelessness of these silhouettes, which were fresh then but remain in fashion today.

Through Aug. 31, 2013, at the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum, 1776 D St. NW.

Phone: 202/628-1776.

Web: dar.org.

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