HILLWOOD MUSEUM AND GARDENS will host its own Tour de France next weekend at its third annual French festival. The festival, held in recognition of Bastille Day, highlights Hillwood's collection of 18th-century French decorative arts and represents "a day of stepping into the splendor of 18th-century France," as a museum spokeswoman puts it. The New York Baroque Dance Company, led by period-dance diva Catherine Turocy, will perform a harlequinade, "La Boite des Chocolats," and demonstrate the "language of the handkerchief" in period costume. The Violins of Lafayette will also perform. Patrons can learn French country dancing in one of several workshops. The fete's Tour de France includes a stroll through the gardens, the mansion and its trove of art, including furniture commissioned by Marie Antoinette, Sevres porcelain and tapestries.

-- Sarah Kaufman

At 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; next Sunday, noon-6 p.m. Activities rotate throughout the day. Reservations are required. $25 adults, $5 children age 18 and younger. Call 202-686-5807 or visit


THE MUSIC OF J.S. BACH is always welcome, and never more so than in the midst of a long, hot Washington summer. Fortunately the 11th annual Grace Church Bach Festival is in full swing, with performances Wednesday night as well as July 11 and 16. Francine Mate is the organist and music director; on Wednesday she will be joined by soprano Lois Beckwith Johnson, oboist Mary Ann Ruehling and contrabassist Deborah Edge for selections from Bach's "Clavierubung III."

-- Tim Page

At Grace Church, 1041 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. $10 donation is suggested. Call 202-333-7100 or visit for information on other programs. The church will open for seating 45 minutes before the announced starting time of the concerts.


THE ORNATE GRAND SALON at the Renwick Gallery, built in 1859 to house a magnate's art collection, is now hung wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with classic paintings from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, whose main building is still in renovation. The crowded display gives a fascinating sense of how these pictures were shown when they were made. It also leaves you kind of glad that we've now moved on to sparer ways of hanging works. For a less jumbled, more intimate artistic experience, head to the small octagonal room just around the corner from the Salon. There you'll find 10 lovely little Albert Pinkham Ryder pictures -- dark landscapes, brooding farm scenes, careening boats at sea -- that show the expressive punch this eccentric Victorian artist could pack into the smallest space.

-- Blake Gopnik

At the Renwick Gallery, 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. The gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. Call 202-633-2850.