There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
A young Asian woman in a high-necked silk dress sits in a garden, idly plucking a biwa, a traditional Chinese instrument. Her chin-length hair, curled in what my granny called a “marcell wave,” and brilliant red lips bring to mind Anna May Wong. Suddenly I have a craving for…Sun-Maid raisins. See a confluence of Asian art traditions and Western products at “Selling Happiness in China,” an exhibition of early-20th-century advertising posters on the George Washington University campus. Ads for Colgate toothpaste and Eveready batteries reflect the presence of Western companies in China from the 1900s through the late ’30s. Many include calendars, a feature that stems from the Asian tradition of New Year paintings. While pretty girls are supposed to suggest good fortune, here they give the willies in light of a future that would include China’s War of Resistance Against Japan and the subsequent civil war. The exhibition is on display through April 29, by appointment only, at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E St. NW, Lindner Family Commons, Room 602. Free. (202) 994-1650. (Hetty Lipscomb)