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Monday, January 9, 2017

A Few More Days in Washington D.C.

Here's a tip for all you fellow-travelers: don't use your camera on the bus tour around D.C. in the winter.

The windows are heavy plastic curtains to keep out a little of the cold and still allow you to see things, but clarity definitely takes a hit. It is still interesting to learn about all the buildings and things, but you'll have to get out to get decent photos. Or buy a book of pictures.
U.S. Capitol
Jefferson Memorial

Anyway, here are the photos we took, the first few on the bus, then a lot when we got off at the Lincoln Memorial.
Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial ceiling

Washington Monument
from the Lincoln Memorial

Shuttle to Arlington 

We took a shuttle from there to Arlington National Cemetery. As we crossed the Potomac River, Marine One flew over us and we yelled "HI!" to the President, but apparently he wasn't paying attention. What could have been more important than to wave back? Hm. We had a lovely tour around the cemetery in a bus with glass windows, so the photos are decent. Too bad we ran out of time and could not get out for the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The President flies over us and we are ignored!
Arlington visitor's center
Arlington National Cemetery
Custiss-Lee Mansion
Lincoln Memorial
The Lockkeeper's Cottage
As close as we got to the White House (with the National Christmas tree)
National Archives

We spent a full day at the National Gallery of Art, but I'll spare you every photo I took. Here are some of my favorites.
I ran up to the corner to take a better picture of the Capitol before entering the Gallery
National Gallery of Art
Come in here to sit and rest
The gorgeous rotunda
I spent quite a while among Dutch masters
This is a painting of a subject I'd love to photograph
Happy self portrait
The back of a tryptich
Back when children were just miniature adults
Albrecht Durer!!
Another Albrecht Durer!!!
My favorite--Jan Van Eyck
The garden court where I finally
caught up with my family
A whole room full of El Greco!
El Greco
I started a Christmas theme, looking for Madonna and Christ Child
One of the trees in the rotunda
Byzantine Madonna and Child
Pisan Madonna
14th Century Madonna and Child
Fra Filippo Lippi - Madonna and Child
Hold your breath!
The lone Leonardo da Vinci
permanently in the USA
Boticelli - Madonna and Child

Next we go to the French Impressionists, and then to see English 19th Century paintings and American paintings.
Mary Cassatt
Edouard Manet
Georges Seurat
A Claude Monet that is not a garden scene. Ha.
Auguste Renoir
Here are my favorite English painters: JMW Turner and John Constable

Turner's Grand Canal
A more typical Turner with the impression of light
Constable - The White Horse
One of Constable's many paintings of Salisbury Cathedral
A typical Constable with those clouds, and the cows, and water
I've always liked Gainsborough portraits
This George Romney is especially attractive, I thought
In this one I was fascinated by the moon rising behind the mill
Gainsborough portrait of Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan

I have to tell what happened to this painter who was copying this famous painting. She would paint a little, and then she would step back and look from various positions in the room, and then she would go back and put a few more brush strokes on. Into this room came a family from another country, a father who spoke a little English, a mother who spoke no English, and two very small children, maybe ages three and five. The children were running around freely, and, the painter being down the gallery a ways, they made a beeline for her paints and brushes and tools and things. She erupted in shouts, running as fast as she could to rescue her things from the tiny marauders. The parents, seeing her charging and shouting, made a beeline for their children. Two guards came running in, and they all shouted, "Hold on to your children's hands! You must NOT let go of children's hands!" The painter was shouting, "Keep them away from my things!" and the mother was shouting in whatever Asian language she spoke and the father was trying to calm everyone down. The children began screaming and it was a glorious uproar. The family exited quickly, followed by one of the guards, insisting on continuing a lecture about children and art galleries and the control necessary to the conjunction of the two. I kept watching the painter, who, with the utmost calm, returned to her work. I admired her ability to focus and keep painting after the confrontation and excitement. I would have been trembling and would have had to retire at once to a sofa, preferably with chocolate, before I could have continued such work.

Gilbert Stuart's skating portrait of William Grant
The Washington Family by Savage
George and Martha Washington, two of her grandchildren, and a slave
Forest in the Morning Light
by Asher Brown Durand
I would like to walk into this painting . . .
I'm a sucker for anything by Frederic Edwin Church
Same goes for Albert Bierstadt
I was delighted by one of my family members saying this painting of
Niagara Falls  by Frederic Church seems to show too much water . . .
I like this Church painting especially for the plants at bottom left and for the light
Everybody who knows me knows why I HAD to have
a permanent image of this painting for myself
The Simplon Pass by John Singer Sargent
I had to study this because first, the sky looks like home and isn't;
and second, I studied Wordsworth's poem about the Simplon Pass
Doesn't she look like someone you would rather not know
personally unless you were possessed of great courage?
I think she looks most intimidating.
She is Mrs. Henry White, painted by John Singer Sargent
Memorial to the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth Regiment by August Saint-Gaudens:
read about it below
Abraham Lincoln by
George Peter Alexander Healy
Click and read about the Memorial--very interesting
A Winslow Homer
The White Girl by James McNeill Whistler
One of the museum staff was giving a talk about this painting
and said that Whistler used his mistress as the model and
deliberately painted her a little translucent so that she would
appear just a bit ghostly.

Afterwards when we passed the old Post Office that is now a Trump International Hotel, I thought I ought to photograph it as an acknowledgment that the world I know is about to change from something old and rather graceful to something I can't even imagine. Yikes.

View from Harry's Restaurant
Harry's is decorated for the season
Our time here is over. We walk through the halls of the Washington Reagan airport at 5 a.m. (Why were we always having to travel so early in the morning? I don't know what I was thinking when I booked all the tickets and things.)

We take off just before sunrise 
and bid Washington D.C. farewell.

Several hours later, we come out of the clouds over Utah Valley, with snowy Mt. Timpanogos out the window surrounded by the lesser peaks of the Wasatch Mountains.

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