Archive for June 10th, 2015

Thomas_Hart_Benton_-_Achelous_and_Hercules_-_SmithsonianOne of the great things about going down to the DC area is being able to take advantage of the great museums that are part of the Smithsonian Institution.  The nineteen museums that make up what has been called America’s Attic ( I prefer America’s Treasure Chest) see more than 30 million visitors come through their doors each year, all admitted free of charge, to see an incredible collection of  art and artifacts.

Sargent_John_Singer_Spanish_Dancer El JaleoThis year, in the afternoon before the opening of  my show, we made our way to the American Art Museum which is downtown, several blocks off the Capital Mall.  It’s a wonderful collection of American art that runs the gamut from the grandness of Hudson River landscapes to the rawer but no less powerful beauty of folk art.  There are examples to suit every taste and all are exceptional.

I was there primarily to see the great mural, about 5′ by 22′ in size,  shown at the top, Achelous and Hercules from Thomas Hart Benton.  Because of the museum’s location away from the Mall, the crowds are sparser and it was a thrill to be able to stand alone in front of this  grand painting without to have to constantly look around other people.  Just an inspiring piece to see.

There is so much more to take in that our short time there barely scratched the surface.  If you get the chance to get to the DC area, definitely take the time to visit this museum and the others that make up the Smithsonian.  However you feel about the role of government, I think you will be proud of the collection that has been assembled in the name of the American people.

Eastman_Johnson_-_The_Girl_I_Left_Behind_Me_-_Smithsonian Agnes Tait- Skating in Central ParkAlbert_Bierstadt_-_Among_the_Sierra_Nevada,_California_-_Google_Art_Project

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