The National Gallery of Art

Washington Travel Blog

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The entrance I entered. In retrospect, there were a lot of dutch painters.
I have decided to also include many of my DC excursions here.
Summer is long enough that I thought an impromptu trip to an art museum was required. The next thing I knew, I was in front of the National Gallery of Art.
I remember when I was still in Beijing and was complaining to Sara about my disappointment towards the 798 Art District there, she mentioned I must be spoiled by the NY art scene. Finishing the tour in the Gallery, I must say the statement remains valid. One should not come to DC solely for the appreciation of visual arts. Not that it was terrible, but one might as well take a bus to NYC for some truly impressive works of art.
Back to the Gallery, I believed I have visited most of the highlighted exhibitions, which includes Medieval artifacts to modern day abstract art to photography.
They were also a few works from Da Vinci, Monet and Van Gogh, artists whom I (recognized) recalled, but most others might only sound familiar to art historians. Of course, this is not to say that art itself is any inferior to famed artists.
What I like about the Gallery is its vast collection of visual arts. I stood in front of art varying from strictly religious, 2-D, dark Medieval paintings, to Renaissance humanistic, soul-moving paintings, to obviously I-pay-you-to-paint-me portraits, to the Impressionistic Monet (there are surprisingly many Monet's pieces, and they are all internationally acclaimed pieces, too. Or maybe I spent the most time in front of them) and Van Gogh, to abstractionism, randomly lined "paintings", to, as mentioned, photography. There are also other forms of non-conventional art, such as sculpture (least impressive of all), artifacts from Europe and China, benches from 500 years ago, medallions etc.
THE Van Gogh
If I can spend more time there, I don't think I would feel overloaded in the end because of the variety of the art.
What I like least is the structure of the museum itself. I think it is constructed based on the expectation that visitors walk leisurely, without a specific room or exihibition in mind. In the beginning of my tour, I was still taking time walking into all these different galleries, and it works out perfectly because looks like I can get from gallery 34 to 35 to 36 effortlessly. However, towards the end when I must begin rushing to finish the visit (I need to make it to the stake musical rehearsal in time!), I was so lost and thus spent a lot of time looking at the map in my hand. Naturally, this is only a minor problem.
It is not to say that the National Gallery of Art is not worth a visit; by all means, visit if you have time. However, do not come to Washington for an art museum. That is what New York is for.

Here are the links:
National Gallery of Art main page:
East building highlight:
This is the "TOUR" I took:
Vlindeke says:
I had a great day in this museum in September 2007.
Posted on: Jun 29, 2009
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The entrance I entered. In retrosp…
The entrance I entered. In retros…
THE Van Gogh
THE Van Gogh
Im rich so paint me!
I'm rich so paint me!
These cows look... square?
These cows look... square?
Bench that is 400-500 years old. C…
Bench that is 400-500 years old. …
My favorite room in the whole muse…
My favorite room in the whole mus…
stained glass
stained glass
Dont they look perfect to pose fo…
Don't they look perfect to pose f…
Black and white painting from 2 or…
Black and white painting from 2 o…
Please tell me this horse looks fa…
Please tell me this horse looks f…
Water fountain
Water fountain
photo by: b93sp