YOU HAVE JUST TWO WEEKS left to catch "Pierre Bonnard: Early and Late," an overview of the Frenchman's career that includes more than 130 of his works in all media. Normally, I'd suggest rushing over to the Phillips right away. In this case, however, you might want to wait until the very end of the run. That way the artist's achievement will be fresh in your mind's eye when, on the day the Bonnard closes, the National Gallery launches its landmark survey of the work of Edouard Vuillard. Vuillard was Bonnard's close colleague in the Nabis movement of 1890s Paris and his lasting art-historical rival. Generally speaking, I tend to be in Vuillard's corner, but I'm reserving judgment until I've seen these two shows back-to-back.

-- Blake Gopnik

At the Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW, through Jan. 19. Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday noon to 7 p.m. Closed New Year's Day. $10 for adults; $8 for seniors and students; free for visitors 18 and under, and members. Call 202-387-2151 or visit

QUEEN VICTORIA'S TREND-SETTING piety whetted her subjects' appetites for all things biblical. Scottish artist David Roberts, recognizing a burgeoning market for artful renditions of holy spots, set sail in the late 1830s on an eight-month journey to sketch Egypt and the Holy Land. After docking in Alexandria, he ventured up the Nile, across the Sinai Peninsula, into Jordan and up through what's now Israel, drawing significant sites, temples and pyramids along the way. Back in England, Roberts hooked up with Belgian lithographer Louis Haghe; the printmaker transformed nearly 250 of Roberts's sketches into editions of lithographs released between 1842 and 1849, selections of which are on view at St. Luke's Gallery. Roberts's romantic renditions of the landscape and its people -- Nubian slaves resting under a palm grove, noble statuary in Thebes, grand arches in Petra -- are nearly impossible to reconcile with today's nightmarish headlines.

-- Jessica Dawson

At St. Luke's Gallery, 1715 Q St. NW, through Saturday. Open Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 202-328-2424.


BORN IN THE BASEMENT of the Ephesus Church in 1968, the Harlem Boys Choir has grown into an institution under the care and direction of founder Walter Turnbull, whose idea was not merely to make music but to shape character as well. Whatever else Turnbull's taught them, these kids learn to sing, and over the years they've performed on a couple of Grammy-winning records and toured around the world. On any given night, an audience is treated to a handful of styles, including classical, Broadway tunes and a cappella versions of classic spirituals like "Elijah Rock." The choir recently released a collection of patriotic songs, so expect plenty of "United We Stand" material. Safe bet, too, that you won't hear any of their forays into more contemporary material. You'll find the choir in the credits for "Harlem World," an album by a now-retired rapper named Mase, and, oddly enough, in the massive box set released last year by Kiss.

-- David Segal

At the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tuesday at 8 p.m. $20-$65. Call 202-467-4600 or visit


FOR A WHILE, THE FRENCH tried to be like us. That was in the '20s, when the French movie studios turned out glitzy romantic melodramas in the Hollywood mold. Zzzzzzz-zzzzzz. One man saw through that, the filmmaker Marcel L'Herbier, who may have been from the future. In any event, his films were marked with a stylistic adventurism all but unknown in its time, and the National Gallery of Art will be showing four of these obscure beauties beginning on Saturday. L'Herbier's hallmarks were avant-garde set design, inventive camera moves and rapid-fire editing rhythms. The first film is "L'Argent," based on the novel by Zola.

-- Stephen Hunter

At the National Gallery of Art through Jan. 19. Free. For showtimes call 202-842-6799 or visit