A Day at the Smithsonian
SNAPSHOTS Mini-challenge: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
For anyone who is unaware, the Smithsonian is actually comprised of something like 19 museums (along with some other things), all in the center of Washington, DC and covering a wide variety of collections and topics. If you ever make it to DC, you need to plan on several days at the Smithsonian, as they are huge, they are amazing, and they are free! We did “old” this past weekend at the Natural History Museum (above images).
The dinosaurs have been shoved into a corner for the past couple years while their space is being redone; I’m sure it will be wonderful when they get there, but the current space is rather insulting. However, bovid fan that I am, I was glad to see that the ancient Egyptians worshiped bulls! And the curious stone figures from Easter Island? I love a good anthropological mystery.
The American Art Museum is more contemporary, and connects with the Portrait Gallery. It was hard picking images here, as there are so many wonderful options.
I am a big fan of Romare Bearden, and although this piece is much newer than his works, there is a definite similarity with a lot of his collages and, of course, the focus on African American themes.
Oh my gawd this piece is so good! Toni Morrison is my favorite author of all time, and this painting really does her justice. Larger than life and perfectly rendered, you feel as if you’re in her presence. I almost bowed down!
Those who have been to the Portrait Gallery know that there are official portraits of all of the presidents hanging there — as well as many of the first ladies in other areas. You might remember the uproar when the Obamas’ portraits were revealed last year. They’re so different! They were painted by African Americans! They’re so…black! (Okay, nobody outright said that last part, but we know what they meant.) Based on the comments, my expectation was that all of their predecessors would have very staid, formal portraits, but that was not the case — a few of the others were very modern and stylized. I guess all of the hubbub was just good, old fashioned racism.
The lady in red is my (second) Spanish daughter, and a wonderful human being. One of the main reasons we go to DC every year is to show the nation’s capital to our exchange students.
Unfortunately, Spain is calling…they want her back. With any luck, we will get to visit her there someday.
And, Duh, Something Blue…
Back to the Museum of Natural History! I skipped showing the Hope Diamond, which is actually blue but seemed a little too easy here. You can see a lil’ bit of me reflected in the butterflies below, but I wasn’t feeling particularly blue at that moment. ;-)