washington DC art museum musings

When you only have an afternoon to fit in as many museums as you can in Washington DC,  it helps to stay in a hotel near the White House and have great walking shoes.  Even with the appropriate shoes,  a five mile walk  – a distance carefully calculated only after the fact (thank goodness)  –  was a challenge on cement.  Here’s what we were able to fit in:

Lunch at the Pavilion Café, National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden   A delightful glass enclosed art nouveau building on the National Mall.  Well worth a return visit during warmer months where sitting in the grass among  Oldenburg’s Typewriter Eraser,  Lichtenstein’s House,  and listening to a jazz concert would delight anyone.  This time of year,  a view of an active ice skating rink opposite the restaurant provided great dining entertainment.

The Hirshhorn Museum  Gravity’s Edge,  artworks from 1959-1978  showing shifts in color and abstraction.  Some of my favorite images were Lynda Benglis’ corner piece and some of Paul Jenkins’ transparency work.

The National Portrait Gallery  A real gem of a museum.   Dancing the Dream,  images of American choreographers and performers from Ginger Rogers to Beyonce was mesmerizing.  The Kogod Courtyard was a breathtaking light-filled space with an elegant glass canopy.   All I needed was more time to soak it all in.   Much more to see in this most amazing museum.   And free to the public as are all the Smithsonian museums.  (Yay!)

Le Pain Quotidien  An indirect art-related find was this charming restaurant.   Fresh,  seasonal,  organic food to nourish and restore our bodies.     So said their postcard,  and they really lived up to it.  Their breakfast was a fabulous start to the day.  How soon can we get one in Boston…?!