Friday, May 2, 2014

Am I Blue?

This has to be quite a short post.  I've just gotten back from a trip to Baltimore and Washington D.C.  The Baltimore portion of the trip went really well, though I was disappointed to find there are apparently no Chase banks in that part of the world.  I did find one ATM that didn't have out-of-network fees.  It was particularly good that I managed to have much of the day to myself on Sunday, walking around taking photos and then going to both the Walters Art Museum (for the first time) and the Baltimore Museum of Art (for the second time).  Monday it started to rain and it just got worse and worse on Tuesday.  I wasn't going, but some folks I was with had wanted to go to Camden Yards to see the Orioles Tuesday evening, but the game was called off.

But that was nothing compared to the rain in D.C. on Wed.  It just would not stop.  I got soaked, then would get into another museum to dry off, then go out again and get soaked again.  Apparently, Wed. did set some single day records for rain.  On top of everything else, the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art (where all the modern art is displayed) was closed for renovation.  That was a big blow.  And half of the Hirshhorn was closed, so that was another blow.  I'm not entirely sure I would have made the trip had I known about these closings as well as the torrential rains.  I probably would have been better off just flying home on Wed.  Of course, given my luck my flight would have been cancelled.

Of the few modern art works on display at the NGA was this Rothko.

Rothko -- No. 14
It kind of summed up my feelings at the time, various shades of blue.

However, I did have time to check out the Sackler/Freer Galleries.  While I sadly was a few days too early to catch the Whistler and the Thames exhibit, I did see a very nice exhibit on a Japanese artist Kobayashi Kiyochika, who was known for woodblock prints of twilight and night scenes. This was quite a nice exhibit.  Appropriately enough, a few featured rainy evenings.  More information here.

Kiyochika -- Rainy Night at Yanagiwara
Kiyochika -- Kudanzaka at Night in Early Summer

I wasn't quite done (nor was the rain), and I went to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which is open later.  It was worth the visit, though I was disturbed by an unusually large and noisy group of school children with too few chaperones.  The rain was finally slowing as I got to the hotel, and Thurs. was actually quite a nice day, but I had to head to the airport.  I'll try to write a bit more about this eventful last week over the weekend.

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