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Studio House: A Setting for an Ambassador for the Arts

In-Person Program with Reception at the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia

Evening Program

Thursday, March 2, 2023 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1L0506
The Embassy of the Republic of Latvia
2306 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC
Metro: Dupont Circle
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Alice Pike Barney Studio House, 1933 (Library of Congress)

The distinctive Studio House on Washington, D.C.’s Sheridan Circle (currently owned by the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia) was built in 1903 for Alice Pike Barney, an artist, playwright, civic leader, and philanthropist. Born in Ohio in 1857, in the late 1800s she spent time in Paris studying painting and began a salon in the home she rented there.

Alice Barney, who had solo shows at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and other major galleries, dedicated her life in the nation’s capital to the support and promotion of the arts. She held regular salons in the Studio House, where she brought together artists, writers, politicians, diplomats, and other prominent guests in a delightful setting inspired by Mission and Arts and Crafts styles. She passed away in 1931 in Hollywood.  

In 1960, Barney’s daughters Laura and Natalie donated the Studio House to the Smithsonian, and it changed hands several times before it became the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in the United States in 2001.

Join independent researcher Mona Khademi for an evening at the Studio House—now on the National Registry of Historic Places—as she examines its interesting links to history, culture, and creativity.

Khademi shares fascinating stories about the Studio House’s original owner and her notable guests; traces the house’s Smithsonian connections; and looks at its current life as an embassy.

Following the presentation, enjoy a light reception—and imagine yourself as a guest at one of Alice Pike Barney’s salons. 

Khademi is the author of the new biography The Life of Laura Barney, based on 21 years of research, and the director of International Arts Management Consulting in Washington, D.C. Her articles have been published in a variety of journals, magazines, quarterlies, and books.

General Information

  • Registration for this program will end by 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 2, 2023.
  • Due to the historic nature of the building, this program is not accessible. There are two sets of stairs to enter the space, and unfortunately, no elevator. Please let us know if this presents any concerns.
  • Refer to our health and safety information for in-person programs.