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Posts from the ‘USA’ Category

Re-Opening the Renwick and the Morning After

The quiet child of the Smithsonian family of museums re-opened this November with a surprisingly bold statement.  The aptly named Wonder exhibit is well worth a visit for its truly impressive installation pieces.  While I’m happy to have the Renwick Gallery back, this re-birthday party feels overly flashy, just a bit narcissistic, and certainly out of character for a museum dedicated to decorative arts.  While an entertaining show, I am left wondering about the future of this museum and the potential for a reinvented purpose.

Renwick Gallery facade

The “new” Renwick Gallery at dusk

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12 Days of Colonial Christmas

The day after Halloween, the Christmas decorations went up in my neighborhood.  Then right after Boxing Day, there were already Valentine’s Day candies in stores.  As someone who really enjoys the holiday season, this early decoration overkill and immediate disappearance seems like both too much and too little.  That’s why I appreciate some historical perspective on the season.

colonials on the street

Just some locals in Williamsburg enjoying the holidays.

18th century Americans didn’t decorate until Christmas Day and then spent the next 12 days celebrating with parties, dancing, weddings, and lots of eating and drinking.  To take in the classic (and not so classic) wreaths, greens, and holiday trimmings essential for the holiday spirit, I spent a few days in Jamestown and Williamsburg, two living history museums in Virginia.

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A Day in Old San Juan

As the weather cools and Fall takes over, folks in the north start to daydream about the Caribbean for a sun-filled weekend away.  While I’ve never been much of a beach person, I recently took a quick trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico and enjoyed it.  The old town was lovely to wander through, I enjoyed the historic fortresses, and the public beaches were relaxing.  While Puerto Rico’s status as an American territory makes travel there easier, the unique local culture and cuisine made it feel like I was exploring another country.

beach, San Juan, PR

Pretty and relaxing beach in San Juan

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Celebrating Peru at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

I’ve had such a busy summer that I totally forgot to tell you about my “visit” to Peru.  Instead of flying to South America, the art, music, and culture of Peru came to me as part of the 2015 Smithsonian Folklife festival on the National Mall in Washington DC.

Back-strap loom, Peru

Beautiful textile in progress on this back-strap loom.

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Slow Art Day 2015: Two Nanny Paintings

One of the most amazing things about museums is that every visit can bring you a new discovery.  I decided to spend Slow Art Day 2015 with the National Gallery of Art.  Even though the NGA and I are old friends, I still found some amazing pieces, examined overlooked details and learned about a new artist.  In the spirit of the Slow Art movement, let me show you just a piece of what I found when I decided to limit myself to looking at 5 paintings in the whole museum.

national gallery of art in Spring

The National Gallery of Art Rotunda decorated for Spring

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