Sunday, July 22, 2007

Art for Art's Sake

Sometimes I think we forget to take advantage of the things surrounding us. I am completely embarrassed to admit that in the 11 months that I have been here, the only Smithsonian museum I've visited is the National Portrait Gallery. Hello! For some reason the Potomac River has became an impassable barrier... at least for art. I go into the District all the time to meet friends for dinner, or for a movie, or to eat pizza behind the Lincoln Monument, or to go running along the tidal basin or the National Mall. But for some unexplainable reason I haven't embraced the Smithsonian.

Yesterday I met a friend in the District. We had hoped to see the exhibit at the Ripley Center on the French and Indian War, but alas, neither one of us had looked at the fine print (it closed 15 July). Instead we wandered through two museums that otherwise I probably would have never visited. First stop was the Freer Gallery--Asian Art. I loved the soothing calm of the Buddhas and the tranquil scenes on Japanese silk screens. And the James Whistler Peacock Room was incredibly rich and ornate.

Then we headed over to the Hirshorn Museum. Josh told me I'd probably hate it because it's contemporary art. Some of it, it's true, I didn't really understand. But there were some fascinating photographs and invigorating art--the kind that inspires conversation and questions and intrigue with color and texture. My favorite was this giant canvas of stripes--the colors were great and I loved the different shades and varying widths. There wasn't any more than that--but I was completely drawn in by the colors playing off of each other in very straight, linear ways.

So I really do need to take more advantage of everything around me...

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