* Wedged into a corridor between the National Museum of Natural History's Hall of Mammals and a shop filled with baseball trinkets is a scattershot look at Sikh culture. Part art history, part anthropology, it provides an opportunity to view 19th-century miniatures alongside contemporary pictures. Much of the 20th-century work, particularly Arpana Caur's self-taught oils, is heartfelt schlock overly indebted to Western kitsch. But the English tag team of Amrita and Rabindra Kaur Singh achieves a pungent synthesis of East and West, old and new. The twins' gold-dusted 1998 gouache "Nineteen Eighty-Four (The Storming of the Golden Temple)," which commemorates the slaying of hundreds of Sikh nationalists by Indian troops that year, melds Punjabi traditions of detail and decoration with the significant gesture of Giotto and the satirical intent of British wartime realism.
"Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab" at the National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. daily through Sept. 6, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily thereafter, 202-633-1000, ongoing.