I’m crazy about the Smithsonian, which has 19 themes museums and 9 research centres spread across acres of land in the heart of Washington DC. The best part? They’re all absolutely FREE to visit! When I visited in 2013, I couldn’t resist popping into the Cocoran Gallery of Art and the American Art Museum. I remember as a teenager I was filled with a deep longing to see art work I had only seen in pictures or read about in magazines and books. It’s a dream to be surrounded by Salvador Dalis, Van Goghs and others.
Salvador Dali’s ‘Last Supper’, Monet’s ‘Westminster Parliament’ and Marc Chagall’s ‘The Dream’.
Then there are works by American artists like Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keefe and Mark Rothko that just take my breath away. And of course, a Warhol of Michael Jackson. (The Rothko below is from the Phillips collection, also in DC).
Above: ‘Cape Cod evening’ and ‘Cape Cod morning’ by Hopper and a bunch of ‘Untitled’ paintings by Rothko.
A copy of this Renoir (Luncheon of the Boating party) used to hang in our flat and I grew up sitting at our dining table, staring at the lady with the dog to the left of this painting. I was pleased to find this Renoir also at the Philips collection DC.
I’m in a dreamworld, but then I decide to visit a museum I haven’t seen before, simply because I’m curious. I know nothing about Native Americans or their cultural history, so I enter the Museum of the American Indian. I find myself hooked in no time. I write about it in a published article here entitled Guns, Bibles and Gold.
I love the building, the layout, the stories, the displays, the shop, the canteen…basically absolutely everything. My brain in exhausted and overstimulated. But, I’m hooked and return two more times during this DC visit.