Maura Judkis

Reporter, The Washington Post

Washington, D.C.

Maura Judkis

Maura Judkis is a reporter for the Washington Post. She has also written for U.S. News & World Report,, ARTnews, the Washington City Paper, and the Onion A.V. Club. She has appeared on MSNBC, PBS, Al Jazeera and numerous radio programs.


The Renwick is suddenly Instagram famous. But what about the art?

The exhibition is about amazement, marvel and awe. But as droves of Renwick Gallery visitors gape at the large-scale installation art in “Wonder,” the newly reopened museum’s inaugural show, curator-in-charge Nicholas Bell is more amazed by something else: their phones. Thanks to a few well-placed signs announcing “Photography Encouraged,” smartphones are omnipresent when you walk into the Renwick.
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Lost something in the National Building Museum’s beach? It’s not the only phone in the sea.

On the other side of the globe, in a whirl of commingling currents, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the repository for the ocean’s debris. Here in Washington, in a smaller ocean, explorers are on the verge of discovering a similar phenomenon: the National Building Museum’s Great iPhone Vortex. It has happened nearly 100 times this summer: A visitor goes to the museum’s exhibition “The Beach,” an all-white seascape of plastic balls by Snarkitecture, and belly-flops into the “water.”.
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Artisphere: ‘Doomed from the start’

When the arts complex Artisphere opened in 2010, it was envisioned as the savior of culture-starved Rosslyn, a dream space for emerging artists and a millennial-friendly hangout in the Concrete Canyon. “I coined the line that we were proof that there was ‘life after 5’ in Rosslyn,” former Artisphere director Jose Ortiz said.
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Artists are fired up over doughnut shop's use of Cool 'Disco' Dan's name

"I hope you all support my new business venture Ben's Chilly Bowl, serving fro-yo and paying homage to an unaffiliated D.C. icon!" wrote one Facebook commenter. "Check out my new brownie shop, it's called Chuck Brown Brownie House," wrote another. "Now go-go get those brownies!" "It was such a playful, fun name.
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In D.C., private 'bucket list' dreams become public art

Before they die, the citizens of Washington, D.C., would like to achieve things both monumental and minuscule. They want to eat delicious food, travel the globe and - naturally - effect political change. They want to see the Earth from the Moon. They want to meet God.
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The Alexa Meade show

A year ago this week, Alexa Meade went viral. After a photograph of her living paintings, as they're called, was first posted on, it went on to become the top link on Digg and Reddit. It was "liked" on Facebook, and retweeted countless times.

How "The Last Washington Painting" Became "The Lost Washington Painting": On the trail of Alan Sonneman's apocalyptic image of nuclear doom

As portraits of unfathomable destruction go, The Last Washington Painting is a doozy. In the distance, a mushroom cloud rises over the District. In the foreground, cars rush across the Potomac, inbound and straight for the blast. The scene, depicted in photorealistic style, brings to life a prospect that seemed all too possible back in the Cold War year of 1981.
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‘A folk hero’: D.C. street art legend Cool ‘Disco’ Dan dies at 47

Danny Hogg, the prolific Washington street artist who plastered the city with his tag, Cool “Disco” Dan, died of complications from diabetes on Wednesday. He was 47. Hogg’s tag became an enduring symbol for a city that had endured a lot. He was at his most prolific in the late ’80s and early ’90s, an era when D.C. was known as the country’s “murder capital” and then-Mayor Marion Barry was arrested for using crack cocaine.
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The 2015 MacArthur ‘genius grants’ honor — and surprise — 24 fellows

It’s fair to say that both Ta-Nehisi Coates and Lin-Manuel Miranda were already having a pretty impressive 2015. Coates, a journalist lauded for his insights into race, politics and culture, launched his memoir, “Between the World and Me,” straight to the bestseller lists. Miranda, already a Tony-winning composer, wrote and stars in the season’s hottest ticket on Broadway, the genre-crossing musical “Hamilton.”.
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The National Building Museum found $433.24 in loose change at the bottom of ‘The Beach’

When all the white plastic balls had been packed away, the National Building Museum was $433.24 richer. That's how much in cash and coins volunteer coordinator Kristen Sheldon and her troupe of helpers recovered from the bottom of the ball pit ocean once "The Beach," the museum's blockbuster summer art installation that attracted 180,000 visitors, had been removed.
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At the National Building Museum’s beach, you’ll have a ball — or a million of them

Until Labor Day, it’s a place to take the kids when it’s raining and you’ve already seen “Inside Out” twice; where you can lounge in a beach chair and let them blissfully pummel each other with plastic balls despite the posted notice, certain to be ignored: “The beach balls are for swimming only. They are not for throwing.”.
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A painter steps back to look at the big picture

Steven Cushner did the same thing over and over again, until he didn’t. The Washington artist made paintings — some small, some medium-size — with bold, symmetrical, repetitive patterns, utilizing rote gestures to evoke forms both natural and man-made. “If paintings are at all self-expressive, which I think they are, I’m an endlessly repetitive person,” he says.
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Maura Judkis

Maura Judkis is a reporter for the Washington Post, covering culture, food and the arts. She has also written for U.S. News & World Report,, ARTnews, the Washington City Paper, and the Onion A.V. Club. Maura has appeared on local and international TV and radio, including MSNBC, PBS, and Al Jazeera. She is a 2007 graduate of the George Washington University, and a 2011 arts journalism fellow with the National Endowment for the Arts and the University of Southern California.