Monday, November 1, 2010

Smithsonian Museums - Art Galleries

Looks can be deceiving - this isn't a tiny museum.

National Museum of African Art
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Freer Gallery of Art

This trifecta of subterranean art museums gave me the chance to click off several rounds of mandatory Smithsonian visits. I originally thought I was going to walk around a tiny African Art museum, but I was surprised to learn that the building is actually a giant, underground space. As I wondered through the exhibits and up and down stairs, I slowly found myself in other museums. The Sackler and Freer Galleries are connected through tunnels (read: hallways), making it easy to seamlessly flow from museum to museum.
  • The best part of the African Art museum was, ironically, an exhibit on sweet grass basket weaving in the Low Country region of South Carolina.
  • The Freer Gallery has a collection of Asian and Middle Eastern art. It's perhaps the best collection of art put together by a retired rail car manufacturer in the world.
  • The Sackler Gallery is also a pretty expansive collection of Asian art. I think they should follow the American Indian museum's lead and put in a Panda Express or maybe I'm the only one who started craving Chinese food.

I'm always a big fan of ivory carvings. Old ones anyway, don't go making new ones.

Before I realized I changed museums, I thought, "I can't believe this is African."

This is the Bodizapha, the original inspiration for Patrick Swayze's character in Point Break.

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