Friday, July 31, 2009
I just got back from a one day trip up to DC. It was great to have a day to get to a few museums to check out what was new. My visit was quick and focused - get to see as much art as I had energy to absorb.
Even though I was told that this summer in DC wasn't as hot as it usually is in July - it was pretty hot and humid. I got tired of walking and jumped into more than one cab. I started in the Textile Museum, on S Street - a small but great museum - they told me that the museum collection was dedicated to tapestries and rugs.
That said, the two exhibitions were on twentieth century Amish quilts on loan from the International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. What a great collection they must have there. These quilts were truly amazing - the use of color and repetition is vibrant, holding attention with an active peacefulness.
The second exhibition presented the Museum's new acquisitions. There were about 20 pieces including a wonderful Indian turban with pleats, folds and twisted cordwork - that was so intricate that it was clear why it was sewn to a felt base - it would have taken all morning to re-wrap it. A wonderful large contemporary batik from Java, the tjanting work is so intricate it is amazing.
Of course, I am always in love with textiles from China and there were two great examples, a wonderful silk woman's robe, and a "rain" coat. The rain coat was made of woven layers of grasses and pounded palm stitched together at the edges and had some wonderful "fringe" on the hem - from the loose fibers.
The Textile Museum is a quick stop near DuPont Circle - and worth the trip.
I also got to the Renwick Gallery on Pennsylvania, very near the White House, and finally ended up in the East Building of the National Gallery - to check out the work "since 1950". Then a train up to Baltimore and back home. An exhausting and inspiring day. -janet