Sunday, November 04, 2007

Tasty Morsels of Culture at the National Gallery

For Zoe's 7th birthday (October 6th) we took her to the Smithsonian to see mummies and dinosaur bones, per her request. When this did not prove to be as thrilling as she expected (she actually said "I thought dinosaurs would be bigger" in a very nonplussed kind of way while we stood beneath the hulking frame of a t-rex) i seized the opportunity and told her we would be peeking into the National Gallery for a minute. We ended up spending the rest of the day there. What a selfish mother I am...but I couldn't help myself, it was like church for me (except without the obligatory uncomfortable clothes.)
The first thing I spotted was this huge Claes Oldenburg typewriter eraser as we were passing by the sculpture garden, so of course we ducked in there first...
Then I suspected I saw a Lichtenstein and practically took off running through the garden to get at it. It was indeed, and I about dropped dead with sheer joy (not for the last time that day...)

When we finally made it inside, there was so much to see that we really didn't even know where to start; we had not planned to go there and we kept promising Zoe that we would only look at a few things.
Here is Van Gogh's self-portrait...the shades of blue are amazingly vibrant. Incidentally, did you know that it is now widely believed that he went insane from the lead in his paints? He cleaned his brushes by sucking the paint off in his mouth as he worked...
We wandered through the old masters, bob had a religious experience with some Rembrandts and a Dali, and i got momentarily distracted by some adorably fashionable Japanese schoolgirls who were giggling together near the rotunda fountain. By this time Zoe was bored and exhausted, but we couldn't leave without seeing the Warhols, so we went to the East building where Zoe took a rest...
And I got to see more Lichtenstein
and two huge canvases by Jackson Pollock (one of my absolute favorite artists, you can literally feel the madness in his works, its incredible)
And then, at last, the Holy Grail...the Andy Warhol room
I didn't know what pieces were there, I just knew they had some. When I saw Marilyn I was utterly speechless. My first instinct was to stuff it in my purse and make a run for the exit, taking down any security guards who tried to stop me with a flying roundhouse kick to the head (did I ever mention I was married to an alcoholic Native American kickboxer for a month? No? Slipped my mind...) Eventually I was able to quell the crazy voices in my head saying "Take it, it SHOULD be yours" and i just stood and stared and sighed.
Oh, Marilyn......

1 comment:

Kiersten said...

Good for people to know.