Thursday, November 29, 2007

Weekend In Washington

Andrew and I are going to Washington this weekend. It will be our first time back in Washington since the early summer of 2006, shortly after our graduations.

Neither of us misses the place, especially me. I hated Washington.

It will only be a 48-hour trip for us. We are going to D.C. in order to visit one of Andrew’s former roommates, who remained in Washington after law school. We will fly out early tomorrow evening and return late Sunday night.

We plan to visit a few museums, mostly. We definitely plan to visit the Holocaust Museum and the Air and Space Museum.

There are also three temporary art exhibitions in Washington that we may try to visit. One is an Edward Hopper exhibition at The National Gallery Of Art. The second is a J.M.W. Turner exhibition at The National Gallery. The third is at The Smithsonian Museum Of American Art: an exhibition about Spain and its ties with the United States during the Revolutionary Period. The latter exhibition includes seven Goya paintings, privately owned, that are very rarely loaned, as well as numerous other paintings, all portraits, by Gilbert Stuart, Joseph-Siffred Duplessis, the great Anton Raphael Mengs (a painter almost totally unknown in the United States) and others.

I am not especially keen to view another round of Turner paintings, since we spent half a day in September wading through the world’s largest collection of Turner paintings at Tate Britain. I do not understand Turner, and I do not respond to his works.

Andrew is not a big fan of Turner, either, but the Washington exhibition includes about 80 Turner paintings we have never seen, including an entire series of Turner’s marine paintings portraying naval events from The Napoleonic Wars. Many of these are privately owned, or seldom on view at their home museums, and Andrew and I may never have another chance to see these masterworks again—and certainly never have another chance to see them all at one time in one location.

A friend of Andrew’s who was an art history major told us that the exhibition is a must-see, an unforgettable experience. She GUARANTEED that we will love the marine paintings if nothing else.

We may have to hold her to her word.


  1. Joshua, I wish you and Andrew a good visit to Washington. I always liked Washington. I would go down two or three times a year on weekends when I worked in NYC. Washington is your finest museum city. Have fun--but skip the Turners if they are not to your liking. CC