Dipping Toes at the National Gallery of Art

We recently spent the weekend in Northern Virginia in order to visit our Number One Son at George Mason University.  Mr. Garner and #1  Son competed in a card tournament on Saturday, so GraceNotes and I decided to head to Washington D.C.

My daughter has a deep affinity for running water, creeks, streams and brooks
and a sparkling affection for fountains.

Imagine her joy…
after a really crowded 30 minute Metro ride,
and a hot walk across the crowded Mall dodging mobs of people
with enormous pink C-Span Book Bags
(there was a Book Fair going on at the Washington D.C. Mall)
and feeling slightly ambiguous towards Mom’s Plan
to visit the National Gallery of Art,
to turn the corner and catch a glimpse
of an enormous circular fountain
featuring 8 different jets spraying coolness into the light breeze,
surrounded by smooth stone benches shaded by trees,
with people of all ages casually sitting on the edge of the reflecting pool,
shoes at their side or on the pavement,
and their feet in the water!  

Really.  Permissible Toe Dippage! Yay!

While it is a somewhat different experience than the hushed, formal setting of the Early Italian galleries, I could not have asked for a better introduction to the National Gallery of Art!

We chose to enter through the Constitution Ave entrance to the Sculpture Garden, it’s actually across 7th St. to the West of the National Gallery of Art building.  The National Archives is to the North across Constitution Ave.   So in a few of the images you’ll see the Archive’s classic Greek architecture in the background.  We took a few photos of our favorite sculptures too.

The first is the Four-Sided Pyramid by Sol LeWitt.  The artist was alluding to the ziggurats of Ancient Mesopotamia, and interestingly enough that was what we thought, before we read the  brochure!  We also found ourselves enjoying the whimsy of the Thinker On A Rock, by Barry Flanagan.  And we have to show you the piece that Flanagan is paying homage to, or perhaps gently satirizing – Rodin’s The Thinker, who is pondering in the West Wing Sculpture Gallery at the NGA.

Here are a few resources for the National Gallery of Art:

National Gallery of Art

National Gallery of Art for Kids website

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

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Have you been to the National Gallery of Art?  What was your favorite work?

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