Sunday, August 30, 2009

Another day in D.C.

Last weekend, we met some friends from Baltimore in D.C., and spent the day at museums and eating yummy food. D.C. never ceases to amaze me with its collection of museums (most with free admission), monuments, history, politics and people. I can't go into that city without seeing something new.

This time, we went to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. I must admit that 85% of modern art goes right over my head--and my experience this time wasn't much different. A good friend told me that experiencing modern art is like crossing a bridge; my problem is that I can't even find the bridge, heh. To be fair, I'll be the first to admit that in my case it's likely not the fault of the art as much as the viewer. Unfortunately, my daughter seems to take after me (that's her below, with her head cocked to the side as she contemplates Rene Magritte's Healer).

Of the 15% I could grasp at some level, I was mesmerized by the museum's Black Box, which featured Guido van der Werve's Nummer Acht (#8) everything is going to be alright, in which the short-film maker walks ahead of a giant ice breaking ship, "a stand-in for everyman who presses on despite all peril" (below, from the museum's web site).

I also really enjoyed their exhibit of metal art (below). My favorite was a piece called The Sorceress (of which I didn't get a good photo but you can see it here).

We also spent some time at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, in which the kids (who'd been there several times) were thrilled to act as tour guides for their dad who was seeing the museum for the first time. My favorite part of that museum remains the space section.

Above is one of several moon rocks, pieces of another world at your fingertips.

And then there are all the artifacts from the moon missions, like the hatch to Apollo 11 above and a capsule below.

I remained in awe that I live within minutes of a place that packs so many museums into such a small space, where you can see everything from collections of ancient dinosaur bones to space capsules and moon rocks. For free. Amazing.

(Images: all are mine except for the Black Box exhibit which is copyrighted by the Hirshhorn)

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