When America came of age as a nation in the early 19th century, its citizens started collecting art and building the new country’s museums. After two wars, British work was seemingly off limits and American artists had yet to fully develop their styles, so they gravitated toward French paintings. As a result, museums across the nation, from Phoenix to Birmingham, now have works by painters like François Boucher and Jacques Louis David in their permanent collections. In its latest exhibition, the National Gallery of Art brings together many of those pieces and attempts to explain the art preferences of early Americans. Read more >>> The exhibition is on view Mondays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., to Aug. 20, at the National Gallery of Art, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. nga.gov. (Caroline Jones)

EAT THIS

Visit Maketto tonight for a Channing Daughters wine dinner. New York winemaker Christopher Tracy will pour wines to complement six courses. Dishes include grilled shrimp in a tamarind glaze, fried whole fish with chili sauce and wok veggies, and soy sauce chicken. Choose between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. seatings. Tickets are $115 including tax and gratuity. Maketto, 1351 H St. NE. (202) 838-9972. maketto1351.com. (Laura Hayes)

OH AND ALSO

Scena Theatre hosts an industry night performance of its latest production, Fear Eats the Soul, about a German cleaning lady who falls in love with a Moroccan immigrant, at Atlas Performing Arts Center. 8 p.m. at 1333 H St. NE. $10–$35.

If you’re interested in Swedish heavy metal, head to the Fillmore, where Sabaton takes the stage with Leaves’ Eyes and Battle Beast. 8 p.m. at 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $29.

Biographer Jean R. Freedman reads from her new book, Peggy Seeger: A Life of Music, Love, and Politics, which examines the folk singer’s activism as well as her musical gifts, at Kramerbooks. 6:30 p.m. at 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.

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