National Gallery of Art

We and our kids visited the National Gallery of Art in December, 1993.  Congress was in recess and in those few days before Christmas, tourists were scarce and metered parking spots were plentiful.  We had a great trip!  We ended it up with an evening in Colonial Williamsburg — they put on a parade and candle show on Christmas Eve — and on the way back we overheard a conversation between a spoiled kid and his parents.   “What do you want for Christmas, David?”  “Santa has my wish list.  And he better know where I am.”

And you thought your offspring are selfish?

The National Gallery has not added anything that we noticed.  This time we only viewed Impressionist art, which makes that a bit more understandable.  Anything better than their permanent collection is going to sell for maybe $40 million, for a small one.  But they have rearranged their art.  And once again, these paintings blew us away.  My goodness, these are paintings we’ve all seen in art books, but now right up close where one can see the brushstrokes, or dots from the Pointillists.  Kat’s photos tell this story better than words, so here we go.

Tommy Moran did the featured image (the one at the top) for this blog.  He was the designated artist on a couple of government sponsored expeditions into the West.  His paintings helped convince the powers that were to enact the National Park thing.

Renoir’s Dancer

My mother had a talent for copying great art.  She did this one, and unless she has sold it, Varie’s Dancer remains with daughter Stephanie today.

Boulevard des Italiens by Camille Pissarro
Edouard Manet … I missed his title, but it looks like a railway station … check out the Service Dog.
Riverbank, by Cezanne

Blow this up as big as your screen will permit, then view from a distance.

Georges Seurrat, Normandy Landscape … not strictly an Impressionist, but a Pointilist
Renoir’s Oarsmen at Chatou

Nobody likes Renoir (above) these days… but I still do.

Robert Gould Shaw Leads the 54th Massachusetts in the Civil War.

Maybe you saw the movie Glory.  Shaw and most of his all black battalion died in that Civil War battle in South Carolina.

Niagara Falls, by Frederick Church

Church is among our foremost Luminists.  They specialize in the effects of light.  Kat wants to see Niagara Falls; but how can it be better than this?

Thomas Moran’s Green River Cliffs, Wyoming 1881

Blow this one up.  There are Indians in the lower left.

4th of July by Childe Hassam

Not one damn MAGA hat in the picture.  How did we live without that orange fool?

If and when you get to D.C. check out the National Gallery of Art.  Spend a day there if your legs allow it.  Like most of the museums here there is no admission charge, and don’t forget:  if you have ever paid a dollar of US Income Tax, you have helped pay for these wonderful collections … of everything.   Go see them!


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