Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mrs. Deeds Goes to Washington

I have just returned from a 4-day art jaunt to our nation's capitol. I took the train from Red Bank to NYC then to DC. Trains have always said "journey" more to me than planes or cars--not sure why, they just do.

While I was there, the region experienced some of the hottest weather on record. It was like being inside a giant crape myrtle terrarium populated by me and 20,000 Boy Scouts. Yes, you heard correctly--this weekend scouts from across the US converged in DC to celebrate 100 years of scouting. It was the biggest boy scout jamboree you ever could see complete with pine box derby in the marbled halls of the National Portrait Gallery and a major parade down Constitution Avenue on Sunday afternoon complete with floats, marching bands, and other costumed groups that made the weekend even more surreal than it otherwise would have been.

This was a cathartic trip in many ways and, even though there was no formal "learning" component, I learned much--or recalled things I learned once a long time ago.

I hardly thought about my job at all--except when I passed the National Aquarium, saw Copley's Watson and the Shark at the Corcoran and, on the very last afteroon, passed the offices of the EPA. Oh, and there was a series of really interesting prints in the National Museum of Women in the Arts by an artist called Andrea Zittel called Sprawl--based on site plans for surburban subdivisions. I'm sure our conservation people will find them interesting (and frightening).

I did not bring a camera (purposefully). Neither did I bring a cellphone (not on purpose). I prefer to spend my time really looking at the art than taking photos of it. So any photos that I display, I will have culled from the www after the fact.

If I had a laptop, I would have blogged these notes in the hotel in the evenings. Instead I spent the evenings reading and jotted these musings on the fly into a little notebook purchased at a local CVS. I will post these notes over several days. More to come.