National Gallery of Art

Will Durant’s The Story of Civilization is comprehensive in it’s coverage. Be it religion, literature, science and art, it’s all in there. One can’t live in the D.C. area, read about ancient art, and not build up a craving to see some art. And since there are plenty of museums around, there are plenty to take advantage of.

Today, Kelly and I headed downtown to the National Gallery of Art. It’s a huge place (though the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York dwarfs it) and we only had time for a small fraction of it. But what we saw was great. I got to see some British landscapes. We saw some ancient sculptures. But perhaps the best part was the opportunity we had to the see the Edward Hopper exhibit, which is only around for a few more days. For those who don’t know, Hopper was an American painter, perhaps most famous for “Nighthawks”. We were both surprised, however, with just how vast the exhibit was (taking up two floors) and how varied the subjects were. And while I was really excited to see “Nighthawks”, I think that my favorite painting turned out to be the very last one in the exhibit, called something like “Sun in an Empty Room”.
It had the eerie quality of looking as though something was actually physically removed from the painting. It looked as if a desk or chair or even a person should have been there but was lost, missing. It was quite moving.

That exhibit was, of course, the most crowded of all of them and there were lines to wait in, but it was well worth seeing, especially since January 21 is the last day of the exhibit.

We saw some other impressive art while there. There were sculptures by Rodin, for instance, my favorite of which was “The Sirens”, which of course was taken from the Odyssey. We saw a few Van Gogh’s, and a Gauguin, which was impressive. There were a few Picasso’s as well.

We spent about 2-1/2 hours there (and that included a light lunch in the courtyard) and it was time very well-spent. Afterward, we headed up to my place, stopped on the way to do some grocery shopping, and finally got home. Kelly has been doing laundry and I have been working (yes, I had to do some work from home this weekend), but I’ve wrapped that up now. We’re watching Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.

It’s supposed to be really cold here tomorrow. In the teens and even down into the single digits in the suburbs.


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