The National Gallery of Art
Washington Travel Blog› entry 4 of 13 › view all entries
June 11th, 2009 – by: musicidot
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.
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.
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: http://www.nga.gov/
East building highlight: http://www.nga.gov/collection/pdf/ebhighlights.pdf
This is the "TOUR" I took: http://www.nga.gov/collection/pdf/wbhighlights.pdf
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