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Service Alert

The Bellevue/William O. Lockridge Library is closed temporarily for major repairs to the HVAC system. Work has begun and additional parts have been ordered to complete the repairs. The library will reopen once the repairs are complete. The book drop will be locked. Due dates and hold expiration dates will be extended. 


Arthur Capper TechExpress is closed for critical repairs to the HVAC system. The Department of General Services has completed their assessment, identified the issue and ordered the necessary parts. Once the parts arrive, they will require two days to complete the repairs. The earliest that TechExpress will open is Monday, July 1. The Book Return will remain locked. Available holds have been transferred to the Northeast Library. Expiration dates have been extended.

The DC Public Library celebrates art and exhibits as a source of learning, discovery, growth, and connection. The Art and Exhibits Program at DC Public Library is a portal to the library’s resources and a laboratory for engagement with Washington, D.C.’s past, present and future. The Art and Exhibits program is guided by the criteria outlined in the Library’s Art and Exhibits Policy, in support of the Library’s goal of making arts and culture inclusive for all residents of the District of Columbia.

Download an excerpt of the Library's Art and Exhibits Plan to learn more about the Library's priorities throughout the system. 

Public Art

Public art installations can be found at libraries throughout the system, including permanent works and rotating displays of artwork from District government and private collections. 

Download a self-guided tour of works on loan from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Art Bank collection at the MLK Library.

Exhibits

Exhibits at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library are key to expanding visitors' knowledge of the District’s rich past and are a portal to engagement in the District’s present and future. Exhibits may also be featured at neighborhood libraries.

Exhibits may be curated by the DC Public Library, co-sponsored by a partner organization, or selected through an annual open application process. The next round of exhibition applications will be announced in summer 2023 and reviewed in the fall. Visit this page for updates. 

Explore the links below to learn about current and recent exhibits at the Library. 

Current Exhibits

Planning Washington: Capital and Community

MLK Library, Floor 1 (East)
June 6 – September 2, 2024

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Planning Washington Capital and Community Exhibit logo

 

Undesign the Red Line

Cleveland Park Library
April 12–July 11, 2024
 

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Undesign the Red Line Web Graphic

 

DC & Me

Anacostia Neighborhood Library
June 1–July 24, 2024
 

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DC and Me web banner


Gratitude Powers DC

MLK Library, Floor 1 (East)
May 1–May 30, 2024
 

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Gratitude Powers DC logo

 

We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist D.C.

MLK Library, Floor 1 (West)
Through September 2024

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Logo, We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist D.C. exhibit

 

Up From the People

MLK Library, Floor 4
Ongoing

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decorative

 

Alma Thomas: Life is Color

MLK Library, Floor 2
Ongoing

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Detail of a colorful striped watercolor by Alma Thomas

 

 

Upcoming Exhibits

DC & Me

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
July 26–September 10, 2024 
 

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DC and Me web banner


 

Gratitude Powers DC

June 1 – 30: West End Neighborhood Library
July 1 - 30: Southwest Library
August 1 – 30: Lamond-Riggs (Lillian J. Huff) Library 
 

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Gratitude Powers DC logo


Capital Connections

MLK Library, Floor 5
June 26, 2024 - January 9, 2025

 

Abstract image of artwork related to DC

 

The Negro Motorist Green Book

MLK Library, Great Hall
November 2, 2024 - February 28, 2025 
 

The negro motorist green book

Past Exhibits

In a Moment of Tenderness

MLK Library, Floor 5
April 13 - June 9, 2024

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In a Moment of Tenderness Exhibition Logo with selected works

 

DC & Me

Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library
April 24–May 30, 2024

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DC and Me web banner


 

Let This World Be Beautiful: Celebrating the Life and Art of Alma W. Thomas

MLK Library, Floor 1 (Great Hall)
February 17, —April 14, 2024

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Let This World Be Beautiful: Celebrating the Life and Art of Alma W. Thomas exhibit logo

 

Literary Arts and Urban Journalism Program

MLK Library, Floor 5
November 1, 2024 – April 2024

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Students from Photojournalism class pose in front of the Lemuel Penn Career Development Center

 

Freedom is Not Guaranteed by Xaviera Simmons

MLK Library, 9th and G Corner (Exterior)
Presented as part of Banned Books Week
Through October 2023

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Installation of Freedom is Not Guaranteed by Xaviera Simmons on the MLK Library exterior, 2023

 

Alpha Sorority, Inc.®, Xi Omega Chapter: Centennial Exhibit

MLK Library, Floor 1
Through September 15, 2024

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AKA Xi Omega Centennial logo

 

Todas Las Manos: Commemorating 50 Years Since the Military Coup in Chile

MLK Library, Floor 1 (Great Hall, East)
Through October 22, 2023

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Todas Las Manos exhibit logo

 

 

Imagining the future. Leonardo da Vinci - in the mind of an Italian Genius

MLK Library, The Labs, A Level
Through August 20
 

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Imagining the future. Leonardo da Vinci: In the mind of an Italian genius

 


Leonardo's Lab

MLK Library, Floor 2 (Children's Area)
Through August 30

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A child manipulates gears in the children's exhibit Leonardo's Lab

 

 

 Checkin' Out Mingering Mike: Washington D.C.'s Imaginary Soul Superstar

MLK Library, Floor 1 (Great Hall, West)
Through August 28, 2024
 

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Checkin' Out Mingering Mike title graphic

 

 

 

Doo-Wop in D.C.: From the Street Corner to the Stage

MLK Library, Floor 1 (Great Hall, East)
Through July 23, 2024

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Doo Wop in DC graphic logo

 

Pass the Story On: Shakespeare's First Folio at 400

MLK Library, Floors 4 & 5
April 1-30, 2023

FSL Pass The Story On logo

 

Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See

MLK Library, Great Hall
Jan. 26 – March 12, 2023

Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley Let the World See logo

Apply

The DC Public Library Art and Exhibits Program highlights the history and culture of the District of Columbia through arts and humanities exhibits displayed in the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. The MLK Library hosts temporary exhibits throughout the building, and limited slots are available. Proposals will be considered through an application process each spring and fall. The next deadline will be in Fall 2024.

Exhibit Proposal applications can be submitted anytime via the online form linked below. Applications will be reviewed once a year by the library’s Exhibits Committee. 

Exhibitions that will be considered include: art exhibitions featuring multiple artists as well as themed exhibitions exploring a topic in local history and culture.

Important notes:

Please check this website for updates about the deadline and application process.


Apply here: Application form

 

Library News

Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus to be Displayed in the U.S.

-The DC Public Library is proud to announce that the exhibit "Imagining the Future - Leonardo da Vinci: In the Mind of an Italian Genius" featuring 12 original Leonardo da Vinci drawings from the Codex Atlanticus, will be on display at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Presented by Confindustria, in partnership with Biblioteca Ambrosiana , the exhibit marks the first time the Codex Atlanticus has been displayed in the United States.

Press Release
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Audiences: All Ages
Type: Arts
Large scale mobile of various round shapes and colors hanging from a purple ceiling

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MLK Library Exhibits