When the weather is nice, I never feel like going to a museum: inside, far from the warm rays of the sun. Washington has a vast array of museums, most of which I have never visited, because somehow, the sun is almost always shining when I am there. Same this time. Then, I find the best solution: the National Gallery of Art has a Sculpture Garden, right on the Mall. I arrive from the East; the garden occupies a block between 7th and 9th Street, and Constitution Avenue and Madison Drive, right opposite the National Archives building, and with the National Museum of Natural History and the National Gallery of Art on the west and east side, respectively. There are entrances on all sides. The first work of art I see, is the four-sided pyramid, a white work of art.
From here, I meander through the garden, enjoying a wide array of styles of modern art in the grass of Sculpture Garden. Most are abstract, but even those which are not, make you look twice. One example of such a sculpture is the Thinker. Based on the famous Rodin sculpture of the thinking man, this is a much lighter version of a hare with very long ears and a disproportionally slim body of a hare in the process of thinking. Close by: a typewriter eraser, colourful and so big it stands high above the visitors. There is a pavilion café on one side; behind it, a surprising sign: the art nouveau entrance sign to a subway stop of the Paris Métropolitain. Towering high above everything else in the garden, is Graft, an enormous silver-coloured tree branching out in all directions.
Close to it: House I, unmistakeably Roy Lichtenstein, reminiscent of his famous drawings, with the difference that this is a sculpture. It is when you get closer that it plays tricks with your eyes: it is an illusion of three dimensions, where a corner of the house seems to recede and advance as you walk past it. There are more unique works on this side of the garden: Moondog, and Chair Transformation Number 20B. Behind it all, right at the heart of the Sculpture Garden, is the fountain, where people can take a rest in summer. In winter, it turns into an ice rink - difficult to imagine on this hot summer day where I am looking for a refreshing breath of air to cool me down. But who knows, I might be back on a nice winter day, skating among the precious collection of sculptures on display in this garden.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Sculpture Garden (U.S.A.). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Sculpture Garden.
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