The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme. This month we are returning to a classic topic – artists! You can find links below for the rest of the group’s posts. I’m sticking closer to home this month and focusing on one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century. With vibrant colors and dramatic figures, Jacob Lawrence brought to life the spirit of Harlem, the blue-collar worker and our American history.
Posts tagged ‘Washington DC’
I am spoiled in Washington D.C. with wonderful, free museums that I can visit on a regular basis. (Current government shut down not withstanding!) So for Museum Day last Saturday, I visited the smaller Dumbarton Oaks Gardens. Since we had some pleasant late summer weather, I thought I would show you around the grounds and take a look a the current contemporary art installation there.
As if the 4th of July weren’t exciting enough in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian host the annual Folklife Festival that week on the National Mall. Bringing together international musicians, storytellers and craftspeople, the Festival celebrates culture and the preservation of traditional arts throughout the world. Every year, three themes are selected for the festival and usually include a country, region, or collective community experience. This year the themes were 1) Hungary, 2) Endangered Languages and 3) African-American fashion.
The Hungarian Village section of the festival sought to celebrate traditional music, dance and crafts as well as the people who are revitalizing that culture today. There were informative museum-like exhibits, artisan demonstrations and lots of concerts. Ever the international traveler, I was so excited to explore the Hungarian portion of the festival!
I personally love artworks with a little mystery and what could be better than an unfinished sculpture by Michelangelo? His David-Apollo is currently on display at the National Gallery of Art in DC until March 3rd, on loan from the Museo del Bargello in Florence. The sculpture is so named because there is no real consensus on whom it depicts. In 1530, Michelangelo started a small marble of David. It has been speculated that he abandoned this symbol of Florence and tried to adapt it to a classical Apollo but ultimately left the piece unfinished. To me, there is no evidence to suggest that this figure was ever meant to be an Apollo. More likely, it was a victim of Michelangelo’s legendary perfectionism. The beauty of unfinished pieces is that one can walk around them, examine the carvings and try to understand the master’s thought process up close.