An artist day with myself in the Capital-Washington, D.C

This week I found myself with a day to myself in our Capital!  So I decided to "feed my soul" and visit some museums all by myself.  {See the series How to Feed Your Soul, #1 in this blog, }

Below are some things that caught my eye and things that I noticed  during my time without schedule or agenda.  After spending so much time with my new puppy Ike, the break was so welcome and the free time never felt so free!

 First spotted the Capital, on my way to the National Gallery of Art.

Inside the Gallery, a pause....

There was a special exhibit of Verocchio, one of the fathers of the Renaissance in Florence.  His students were many and went on to found their own studios and own Leonardo DaVinci, Botticelli,  and Ghirlandaio.  He was such a hands on teacher, many of his works have blurred lines where his works stops and his students begin, the sign of a self-less teacher.

Then, passing through the sculpture gallery, who new the actress Sarah Bernhardt from the early 1900's was a sculptor??

Then, I scouted around for the Vermeer and other Dutch painters....

Found the MONETS and discovered someone learning by copying!!

Degas in Longchamps


Van Gogh

That was all in the West Building.  So, I took the underground tunnel and discovered this fountain creating beauty underground....

In the East Building of the National Gallery of Art I found the Czech painter Kupka




Back outside again, it was such freedom to walk around among all of the Smithsonian Museum buildings, where Societies of Gardeners want to beautify the space for us.

Then, into the Freer Museum of Asian Art because I wanted to see the Peacock Room. It was originally designed as a library in London to display a blue and white collection of Chinese porcelain.  It has since been sold, shipped and reassembled to Detroit and then sold, shipped and reassembled by Freer who was a collector and admirer of Winslow Homer.  Winslow did the original design and color scheme, but the London owner hated it and discredited Winslow's career. Winslow chose the peacock blue wall color as well as the gold peacock design to highlight the porcelain.

After Winslow Homer was maligned for this magnificent work, he felt that his reputation was destroyed and needed to reinvent himself.  He chose watercolor to experiment  and went to France and Italy. He came back with 30 paintings to sell and reestablish his career.  What an amazing story of reinvention!

After the Freer Gallery, I spent time in the new African American Museum and then walked through the moving war memorials.  They all are stunning!  The care and placement of our National War Memorials along with the undulating landscape where each one is given space and cannot be seen from the other.  I overheard someone describing the landscape as similar to war and going over a hill that you don't know what is ahead, and then the landscape flattens and the dead are remembered.

The new World War II Memorial

The Korean War Memorial

"Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met."

And we remember..."Freedom is not free"


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