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Alper Initiative for Washington Art

A home for Washington art at the American University Museum, established 2016.

The Alper Initiative for Washington Art is dedicated to preserving, presenting, and creating Washington’s art history through three annual exhibitions, a salon-style gallery talk series, a library of 200+ Washington art books, and a database of Washington artist proposals made available to guest curators.

The Alper Initiative for Washington Art was made possible through a generous endowment from American University alumna, artist, and art advocate, Carolyn Small Alper (1927-2020). According to her vision, the Alper provides the space and resources to fulfill one of the American University Museum's primary objectives and the region's greatest needs: promote an understanding and appreciation of our region's art and artists from our past, present, and future. The Alper is an exhibition space and a center for study and research, but primarily a meeting place for people and ideas.


Spring '24 Exhibition: A Drawing Like No Other: Marilyn Brought Back to Life in 9,000,000 Marks

View our current Alper exhibition:
A Drawing Like No Other from artist Billy Pappas, February 7 through May 19

Billy Pappas, Marilyn Monroe (detail), 2003

Image: Billy Pappas, Marilyn Monroe (detail), 2003. Graphite on paper; 25 x 28 inches. Courtesy of the artist. Digital image provided courtesy of William A. Christens-Barry, Chief Scientist, Equipoise Imaging, LLC.

Submit Your 
Art Project

We review submissions from Washington-area artists for Alper exhibitions on a rolling basis. Learn more about the Alper Initiative and make a submission.