The working stove, sink and refrigerator are not some postmodern art installation in this house nestled in a quiet residential neighborhood of Brookland. The small but fully operational kitchen is just one of the homey touches in the warren of rooms that is the Wohlfarth Gallery. Located near Catholic University, Wohlfarth is well off the beaten path of the city's three main gallery districts of Dupont Circle, Georgetown and Seventh Street NW. However, it's not so remote that it's totally removed from all vestiges of culture: The gallery is a mere stone's throw from the performing arts stage of Dance Place and the wide selection of microbrewed beers (not to mention chicken wings) at Colonel Brooks' Tavern. Owner Lavinia Wohlfarth fills two floors and a basement with regular solo and group shows of contemporary painting and sculpture, in addition to maintaining a large, ongoing portfolio of photographic prints and paintings in a style she calls "Provincetown Impressionism." These are Wohlfarth's stock-in-trade: large pastel canvases of sea and landscapes, culled mainly from her stable of artists in Provincetown, Mass., where she runs the second branch of her gallery. The down-home ambiance, unpretentious environment and modest prices set the Wohlfarth Gallery apart from its downtown cousins in more than geography. Just don't try to stop into the D.C. location during warm weather. Every summer, Wohlfarth shuts down here and retreats to her haven on the cape, where she caters to the resort community's swelling population of artists and art lovers. -- Michael O'Sullivan
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