Friday, February 25, 2011

Smithsonian Museums - Renwick Gallery

One of the few days where a thin jacket was warm enough. We need spring to get here! and soon!

Renwick Gallery (Smithsonian American Art Museum)

The Renwick Gallery is located virtually across the street from the north side of the White House. Given it's prime location, it should pull in huge numbers of visitors, yet I imagine most people have the same response I did. "Who wants to visit a museum dedicated to American craft and decorative arts?" If it wasn't for my completist personality, I probably wouldn't have gone.

  • The gallery is currently under renovations, so only the upper floor is open. I apologize to all artists with work on display on the first floor. I'm sorry I can't talk about your art. It's not my fault, honest.
  • The museum has one giant gallery and several smaller rooms surrounding a grand stair case. Most of the art is more traditional and not as "crafty" as I expected.
  • Here are a couple of our favorite pieces:
If I was the Most Interesting Man in the World, I would definitely touch this art.

It's hard to see at this scale, but this "game fish" is covered in all sorts of old toys and game pieces. It's one of the more talked about pieces in the museum and a lot cooler than it sounds.

This sculpture left the biggest impression on us, by far. It's called "Ghost Clock" by Wendell Castle. It's a solid piece of mahogany carved to look like a Grandfather clock under a sheet. The sheet is part of the wood (!!), and it's quite a trick on the eyes (even when you're up close).


  1. I agree that the name of the museum is a little blah, but overall it seems like it had a pretty solid collection of works. I typically get bored at museums (odd, since I chose Art History as a major), but this one may hold my attention, especially since only half of the building is open.

    I thoroughly enjoy your blogs. You should make them into a travel guide for the DC area when you are through.


  2. Hey thanks Kori. If you know anyone who will give me a book deal, I'm all ears.