Back in the desert now, with time to post some final DC moments. In between majestic museum visits I needed to make space for space. If I could live in a parallel universe I would have loved to have been a scientist, alas I am just a space cadet in this one. Little known fact is I’ve always wanted to see space junk and there’s nowhere better than the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
For space oddities like me, this little beauty is the big draw card – the command module from Apollo 11😁. I try to imagine Collins sitting in this mad contraption—with less technology than the phone I’m posting from—on his own, while Armstrong and Aldrin do their first steps thang. Phhhrt, whatever eh? Collins kept this baby runnin’ and it is the only part of the spacecraft that returned to Earth. What leaps of faith.
And the greens and neutral colour palette continued to delight as I rocketed around the displays, keen to move back to an art museum. This one from the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) by Joan Mitchell. Titled Sale Neige which translates to Dirty Snow, it’s a beautiful crossover of movement and space.
All these trips into space had momentarily taken my mind off the need for feet transplants so I booked self onto a Monuments by Moonlight tour. This still involved stair climbing and perambulating and a very special sky appeared around the Washington Monument. Black space.
And coloured space in Aurora Borealis by Frederick Edwin Church 1865 Oil on Canvas. The didactic commented that people of the day thought the occurrence of the auroras was Gods way of showing anger about slavery. A fitting idea after seeing the Martin Luther King memorial that night.
The accompanying text declares that Albert Bierstadt was a hard working entrepreneur with a talent for self promotion. The unveiling of one of his canvases was a theatrical event. He sold tickets and planted news stories, strategies that one critic described as the “vast machinery of advertisement and puffery”.
Apparently a Boston critic of the day recognised the landscape as fictitious and based on Bierstadt’s sketches (nothing wrong with that) and stated that his work was “what our scenery ought to be, if it is not so in reality”. 😀