Saturday, November 24, 2007

The East Wing of the National Gallery of Art

Melody and I tried to see the Hopper show at the National Gallery of Art this afternoon, but there was an enormous, Disneyland-size line to get in. So we checked out some old favorites in the permanent collection instead (the Flavin fluorescent light Monuments to V. Tatlin (similar to this) and Anselm Kiefer's Angel of History (a four-engined airplane made out of lead, which looks like a B-58 Hustler).

We also got a chance to look at the interior of the East Wing of the National Gallery itself. Both Melody and I thought that the central atrium is one of the most impressive interior spaces in DC (with the atrium of the World Bank). Looking at this shot, the inside of the museum looks like an Apollonian city of the future.


Zedder said...

What about the National Building Museum interior?!?

I do like the East Wing's atrium, especially the way concrete and stone are seamlessly combined.

My favorite part of the National Gallery, though, is the much smaller quasi-conservatory in the West Wing. In the winter, during the week and when there are absolutely no tourists in town, you can practically have the whole room to yourself, and just sit by the plants and relax.

On a different topic, why the hell do people wait in those long lines, either at art galleries or at Disneyland? I just don't get it. I've never waited in one of those lines and thought to myself, 'Oh, that was really worth it!'.

That said, I do like being in a crowded art gallery when everyone's standing in front of some painting listening to the curator on their headphones and the only sound in the room is a murmur of artspeak in the background.

Nat Hansen said...

Yeah, I forgot about the National Building Museum. But I think I like both the East Wing of the National Gallery and the World Bank Atrium more than the interior of the NBM.

Are you talking about the part of the West Wing with the fountain? That is nice. When I visited DC in high school I spent all afternoon in there reading PJ O'Rourke while my parents looked at the art.

I can't offer a good explanation of the line behavior. Melody and I skipped out when we saw how long the wait was. Maybe it builds up your anticipation so the experience itself is more enjoyable. Waiting for hours at Knob Creek certainly enhanced the final experience.