jorge otero pailos sculpture

Introducing Treaties on De-Fences with Jorge Otero-Pailos

5:00 pm

In Person


On Tuesday, June 4, join us for a private viewing of the exhibition Treaties on De-Fences and a panel discussion with the artist.

Treaties on De-Fences is an exhibition of work by artist Jorge Otero-Pailos. In 2017, the U.S. government decommissioned the Eero Saarinen-designed
Cold War-era Embassy in Oslo, Norway. This exhibition explores Otero-Pailos’ artistic intervention on this modernist masterpiece, a landmark he has helped preserve.

On display are sculptures created by Otero-Pailos using the steel fence that once guarded the Embassy, an artifact the artist considered historically significant and that would have otherwise been destined for the scrapyard. It also showcases a book containing 51 limited edition prints, some of which are framed and displayed on the walls. The prints are inspired by the diplomatic treaties signed between the United States and Norway. The titles of the sculptures are also derived from these historical documents.

The panel discussion will feature artist Jorge Otero-Pailos and author David B. Peterson, moderated by Eugene Robinson, Associate Editor of The Washington Post.

The program will begin with a reception at 5:00 pm, followed by the panel discussion at 6:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

This exhibition is in partnership with the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE), thanks to the generous support from the Ford Foundation and the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Please RSVP by May 31, 2024.

About Jorge Otero-Pailos

Jorge Otero-Pailos is an American-Spanish artist, preservation architect, scholar, and educator renowned for pioneering experimental preservation practices. He employs artistic methods, informed by advanced technologies, materials research, and interdisciplinary collaborations to expand the range of objects that are valued as cultural heritage and to develop new ways of caring for those objects. His wide-ranging artistic practice finds expression through materials like airborne atmospheric dust, smells, sounds, and architectural fragments.

About the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE)

The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) is a public-private partnership dedicated to providing permanent works of American art for U.S. embassies worldwide. For 38 years, FAPE has contributed to the U.S. Department of State’s mission of cultural diplomacy by partnering with American artists whose works encourage cross-cultural understanding within the diplomatic community and the international public.

Arrival Instructions

NMAD is located at 330 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20006, in the Harry S Truman Building. Visitors must enter at the 21st Street entrance to the U.S. Department of State (the glass building on 21st Street between D Street and C Street, NW).

A government-issued photo ID is required for entry (e.g. passport, U.S. driver’s license).

For further information or if you require reasonable accommodations to attend the event, please contact Emma Guyette (