September 13, 2008.
Yesterday we took the Circulator bus uptown to the museum area. The bus runs several different intersecting routes and you can transfer from one to another as often as you like all for the initial purchase price of a buck. Bargain.
It was threatening to rain so we ducked inside the Museum of Natural History. Once inside we decided to take in a movie at the IMAX theater. It was a forty minute flick dealing with the life cycle of some amphibious reptiles from back in the age of dinosaurs. It was really interesting and very entertaining as well.
After that the skies had cleared so we went for an outdoor walk through one of Washington’s sculpture gardens. Modern art in the wild. I was allowed to take plenty of pictures so I’ve posted some for you to enjoy as well. This one was a simple pile of cinder blocks, that’s art?
What amazed me more was that on the other side of the pile there was a guy with a video camera taking video of this pile of cement.
This one had us both a little confused is it a construction site, is it performance art, is it modern art, can you feel the sense of hope that the artist is trying to convey? Was it just time for lunch? WTH?
After our walk it was time for a quick lunch and then a stroll down the mall. We arrived in front of the Freer Gallery and decided to head inside. This gallery houses a huge collection of Middle Eastern and Asian art. It held no real appeal for us until we walked in. There was one room after another of beautiful scrolls, statues, pottery, metalwork, paintings and glass.
Most of the items on display were part of the personal collection of Charles Freer. He donated over 26,000 pieces to the museum and this large building can only display about 8 percent of his collection at one time.
It was hard to grasp just how old some of these pieces were. There were pieces that dated back more than a thousand years BC. The colors on some of these pieces were as vivid as if they had been created yesterday, it was an amazing display.
There was the only known surviving example of a certain type of canteen. It was made in Afghanistan when that country was predominately a Christian land. It featured the likeness of the Virgin Mary with her child. The thing once hung from a camel’s saddle and was almost 2 feet in diameter. The workmanship was amazing.
The one common denominator in most of these works of art was the detail involved. It was hard to imagine an artisan living 500 or 3000 years ago creating things that were still so beautiful.
After retiring to the boat for dinner we decided to rendezvous with some other crews from the anchorage up at the yacht club bar. It was a great evening spent listening and telling some funny stories.