Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Washington, DC

After our sojourn in New York we took the train to Washington.  A pleasant ride, especially interesting when going along or over waterways.   In both cities we took lots of metro/subway rides and were pleased with the quality, safety etc of each.

We took another tour with Free tours by Foot and did the memorial/monument walk.  It was in the evening and because it was so overcast it got dark rather quickly.  

 This is part of the WW2 memorial with the Washington Monument in the background.
 The outside of the Lincoln memorial, and below, the inside!  It was a very impressive edifice.  We also saw the Vietnam memorial, but it was too dark to take pictures.  It was very moving seeing all the names.

 These are some houses in Dupont Circle.  There is some lovely architecture there.  We went to see the Phillips museum which housed a nice variety of American and European impressionist paintings.  Part of it retains the character of the old house that it once was.  There were a number of Rothkos and Klees and the current exhibit was photography by a number of artists including Vuillard, along with the paintings that were based on the photos.  We take using our photos so much for granted today, but even  50 years ago it was a much more labour intensive process.
 This picture was taken coming up out of the Metro and looking at the National Building museum.  Inside is an enormous Great Hall.
 I have been trying to grow this hellebore for some years now, and it refuses to bloom.  So now I know what it's supposed to do!
The Renwick Gallery which is very near the White House is filled with all sorts of crafts, from quilting to pottery, to wood and metal work.  And you can take pictures - which I'll put up next time.
Now I will be able to better appreciate the vantage points of all the news broadcasters when they stand in front of the White House.  It is a humble building in comparison to the museums and government buildings around.

Other things we did that we really enjoyed was the visit to the Sackler gallery to see Hokusai's 36 views of Mount Fuji.  One was the famous Wave, and I was surprised to see how small it was.  Not much bigger than a piece of paper.  We saw the Bill Reid's the Spirit of  Haida Gwaii sculpture outside the Canadian Embassy.   Then I went to the DAR Museum to see the quilts - about 7 Baltimore Album ones.  Quite beautifully done.  On our last evening we went to see a wonderful performance at the Folger Shakespeare museum.  Taming of the Shrew done in a western style with original music.  Great production.

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