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The Exhibition...

We went downtown this weekend to spend some time in the cold. Well, that wasn't the real reason we went, but anyhow... While we were on the campus of Sarah's grad school, we saw this huge bird fly across our view and land in a tree. We think it was a hawk. It was pretty nifty seeing one that close.

We also went to two exhibits at the National Gallery of Art that I highly recommend going to see before they disappear in early March. The first was Deceptions and Illusions: Five Centuries of Trompe l'Oeil Painting. This was pretty incredible. Though most of them didn't really fool me (since you knew that you were going to be looking at a bunch of stuff that was meant to fool you, the effect was sort of lost), there were many pieces that looked real from a relatively short distance. It was truly amazing how realistic a lot of it was. I can't even imagine having enough talent to faithfully reproduce real life like that. The highlight of the show for me, I think, was the grandfather clock draped with a cloth. Except it wasn't a cloth. The whole thing was cut from one block of mahogany, so the cloth was just bleached wood. Even close up, it looked a lot like cloth.

The other exhibit we saw was Drawing on America's Past: Folk Art, Modernism, and the Index of American Design. This was a very interesting look at a New Deal program that I'd never even heard of before. Artists were hired to do watercolor paintings of various folk art objects including quilts, plates, pottery, store front figures, and various other pieces. In some cases, the original art has been lost and only the watercolor rendering remains. But in others, both still survive and it was fascinating to see not only how realistic the paintings were but also how time has affected the original art. I'd never seen watercolors so detailed and rich in texture. Some of them looked like photographs.

So... if you've got the time, I'd definitely suggest going to the National Gallery and checking these out. If you live anywhere near DC, that is. :P

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 28, 2003 9:45 AM.

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