The National Gallery of Art is my favorite! It is beautiful, and elegant, and family friendly. I chose to spend my birthday strolling it's many galleries with my family.
Before our trip, I purchased Annie a Ralph Lauren teddy bear sweater. She has a tee shirt with a teddy on it that she loves, and I thought she'd get a kick out of having a sweater with a ted. She liked it so much she wanted me to get one...so I did. We wore them on my b-day...perfect sweater weather!
It added to the fun of the day! Plus...the flag!
We got an early start, beat the traffic, and snagged a parking space right out front.
Mr. MW read the book Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson some time ago and has wanted to see this painting ever since. Meet Ginevra Benci...painted in 1478 in celebration of her marriage. She was sixteen and belonged to a wealthy family. Da Vinci was 23.
The juniper tree surrounding her is a symbol of feminine virtue. This painting is the only Da Vinci displayed in the Western Hemisphere.
She is a small painting...as is Mona Lisa. You can see her up close without glass. When I saw the Mona Lisa, decades ago in Paris, you could view her up close, too. Now she's behind all sorts of barriers and a protective shield. I hope Ginevra does not suffer the same fate in the future.
She has been cut down. It is believed she had her hands showing originally. We're fortunate this much of the portrait has survived.
This is the back of the painting. Again, juniper trees. It's beautiful in it's dark colors. You can see on the bottom of the painting where it was cut down.
Annie enjoyed meeting Ginevra...we have been talking about her for months. The guard in the room was the very best! He and my husband had a long talk about the painting and her history. Fun time!
This beauty was my favorite...black and red with gold. She is beautiful and a good size...
and very old...circa 1240! She's gorgeous!
The favorite gallery for me...the American...the folk art. I'll let you enjoy.
I love all paintings by Edward Hicks...they are wonderful!
Beautiful American style!
The Degas Little Dancer...two of them. They are so beautiful. Their tutus and bodice and shoes are made from linen and covered in beeswax. There are many Little Dancer's by Degas all over the world...a total of 28.
These two...the same model at ages fourteen and sixteen. They are exquisite! Fascinating!
We played tourist and ate hot dogs from a street vender while sitting in the car with this as our view...the Constitution Avenue entrance to the museum. It was cold, but the sun was warm. Perfect.
We popped into every gift shop of all the museums we visited...the National Gallery shop is so fun! I'll share our goodies on another post.
We were anxious to get out of D.C. before the mass exodus to Virginia known as rush hour started. Mr. MW asked what I wanted to do for the rest of the afternoon...all day he said it was my day. What a nice fellow I have had the fortune to spend the last forty years with.
My answer was a trip to George and Martha's. So off we went...back across the river to Virginia. Driving down the George Washington Parkway is a trip down memory lane for me. The picnic areas on the Potomac where I spent many Sundays picnicking with my parents and grandparents are a bittersweet memory for me. It has not changed since those memories were made with loved ones long gone.
I didn't want to tour the house or museum this late in the day. We did that a few years ago and it is highly recommended, but we had already seen it all. Annie was getting tired, too. I just wanted to pick up a few goodies in the gift shop and soak up the ambiance of this wonderful place. Mount Vernon has a fabulous gift shop...two, actually, one more geared to kids and the other higher end collectibles. The books they offer are vast...adult's and children's. Lot and lots of books!
This year my birthday presents came from Mount Vernon...it was a wonderfully perfect day!
Annie and I documenting our bear sweaters...and I proceeded to cover mine up. How many people do you know with pics from inside the ladies room in the National Gallery? What a special birthday!
Whew...that was a long one!
Hope you enjoyed the National Gallery of Art!
Thanks for all the lovely comments so many of you have left on previous posts about our trip. I'm going to try to reply to them all here on the blog. I still have more museums if you are up for it.
Enjoy the day,
p.s. Congrats to UVA!!! Wahoos wah!