Art and Nature in Washington DC

During our recent trip to the District of Columbia we made time to see some great art. Nature was a little harder to come by. But our first stop was the National Museum of Natural History which is pretty much a combination of nature and art. 

A statue/idol from Easter Island who greets you as you enter the museum...

A statue/idol from Easter Island who greets you as you enter the museum...

But this guy in the lobby is more iconic. 

But this guy in the lobby is more iconic. 

I hadn't been to the Smithsonian Museums in many many years, and my husband had never been to visit them, so it was a great adventure. He was very keen to see the Hope Diamond, which I had forgotten is blue. I didn't get a good picture, unfortunately, so you will have to visit it for your selves!

We loved visiting the big gems and meteorites! I hope, one day, to own one! Can you imagine owning a piece of outer space?

We loved visiting the big gems and meteorites! I hope, one day, to own one! Can you imagine owning a piece of outer space?

There was a great live bug exhibit that culminated with a butterfly garden. We skipped the butterflies bc it cost extra and we were short of time. I love a good bug zoo, so we fully explored the other bugs. They were fascinating, interesting, and not a little creepy. We left feeling a bit itchy. 

Gorgeous colors. 

Gorgeous colors. 

Armor plated. 

Armor plated. 

We popped into the National Gallery of Art and saw a few favorites. 

I think Seurat and I would've gotten along. He seems to love the Shore. 

I think Seurat and I would've gotten along. He seems to love the Shore. 

This is a detail from The Wind by Felix Vallotton. I had never heard of him before but really enjoyed this painting. It seems like he is someone I will have to research. 

This is a detail from The Wind by Felix Vallotton. I had never heard of him before but really enjoyed this painting. It seems like he is someone I will have to research. 

I always love Wyeth's muted tones, bleak but beautiful. 

I always love Wyeth's muted tones, bleak but beautiful. 

There's an underground passage way connecting the two wings of the art museum. The highlight of which is an amazing light walkway. I'm not sure who the artist is, but it was clearly a fan favorite judging by all the people snapping pics.

One of the things that I find really thrilling about all these museums is that they are free. The ease  of entering is a shocking contrast to doing just about anything in NYC. Bc one doesn't pay to get in, there is only a small security table, only for checking larger bags, etc... It makes it quick to enter but it also makes it feel so much more accessable. I could certainly picture people popping in on their lunch break, or walk home. And it must be spectacular for people with kids. All of the education, fun and excitement of the museum in an easy and affordable way. I sometimes marvel that families can pay what it takes to go somewhere like the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, where one trip for a family of four might cost upwards of $100. 

One of my IG friends recognized this spot in a photo from all the way in Cleveland, OH. It leaves an impression. 

One of my IG friends recognized this spot in a photo from all the way in Cleveland, OH. It leaves an impression. 

Something that I was not thrilled with was that a lot of museums, exhibits and exhibitions seemed to be closed, some permanently. Upon entering the Modern wing of the Gallery of Art, we realized that there were only a very few pieces on view and these only in the lobby. All the galleries were closed.  

The few things that were on view were pretty great, though. On display was work by some of our favorites, including Serra (not pictured), Ernst, Calder, and Goldsworthy.   

The largest Calder mobile was sadly tied and not allowed to turn. 

The largest Calder mobile was sadly tied and not allowed to turn. 

We are fans of Max Ernst's paintings and print work and were happy to discover this sculpture. 

We are fans of Max Ernst's paintings and print work and were happy to discover this sculpture. 

It's pretty rare to find Goldsworthy's work in galleries or museums. I always feel lucky if I stumble onto it. Unfortunately you could get no closer to it than this as the doors out to the patio were locked and the windows to look down on it were very dirty. 

It's pretty rare to find Goldsworthy's work in galleries or museums. I always feel lucky if I stumble onto it. Unfortunately you could get no closer to it than this as the doors out to the patio were locked and the windows to look down on it were very dirty. 

Walking out on the National Mall is very similar to being in a sculpture garden or museum bc of all the monuments and memorials. I covered some of what we saw in a previous post about this trip, so I won't go into it again. But it was also nice to see some "wildlife" on our walk as well. 

washingon blk squirrel.jpg
washingotn squirrel.jpg
washington duck butt.jpg

One of the things that I really really wanted to do was go to the National Zoo. We ran out of time for it on this trip... So I guess we will have to go back!