Thursday, July 20, 2017

American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery

June 23, 2017

I've previously mentioned my trip to the National Gallery of Art, a space which holds more "traditional" art museum pieces, but I wanted to see something a little different and spent an afternoon at the American Art Museum & National Portrait Gallery, which are two collections housed under the same roof. I'm not usually an American art kind of girl - once you've seen one picture of settlers in the wilderness, you've seen them all - but I was pleasantly surprised at how varied the artwork was in both style and medium. The portrait gallery was exactly what you'd expect from the name, aside from a few weirder pieces like the Bill Clinton piece pictured above and the surprisingly good-looking Lincoln likeness (the woman standing behind me had, ahem, a moment with it). 

My favorite part of the museum was the top floor of the American Art Museum, which was all modern and contemporary pieces. The collection was a mixture of photo essays, neon lights and television screens, sculptures, murals, and in one instance a miniature room filled with mannequins. As is typical with modern art, most of the pieces were used to express an emotion or a feeling, and it was fascinating how these otherwise common ideas were manifested in such different mediums. 

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