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The ice rink in the sculpture garden may be thawed and drained, but across the street there’s no shortage of diminutive Dutchmen skating their way across Dutch canals, playing what appears to be golf but is actually colf—an addled forerunner of ice hockey—and occasionally exposing their fundaments to the chill wind of an Amsterdam January. “Hendrick Avercamp: The Little Ice Age” in the West building of the National Gallery combines the precious, delicate etchings you expect from the daintier Dutch Masters with Advent-calendar-style surprises—peek into any corner of “Winter Landscape With a Peat Boat” and you’re as likely to find a canoodling couple as a pickpocket divesting funny-hatted individuals of their lunch money. It’s a refreshing, if frothy, exhibit—and, along with the museum’s excellent air-conditioning system, will prove an even more crucial tonic come June.
THE EXHIBITION IS ON VIEW 10 A.M. TO 5 P.M. MONDAY TO SATURDAY AND 10 A.M. TO 6 P.M. SUNDAY TO JULY 5 AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART, 401 CONSTITUTION AVE. NW. FREE. (202) 842-6190.