D.C. Museum Checklist (Phase I)

D.C. Museum Checklist (Phase I)

Washington, D.C. is a city of museums (and they are mostly free to visit)! While you're here for the summer, it is essential to create bucket list of museums to visit, and it is a real challenge to get to them all. Below is a list of my top three:

 

 

Holocaust Museum | forgive but not forget

 

If you’re a fan of The Diary of Anne Frank like me, then the Holocaust Museum is one to check out. (As a side note, the only book I brought with me to D.C. was Anne’s diary, which always brings me courage, faith and gratitude in every stage of life). I’ve even been to a concentration camp in Germany, which was influential and thought-provoking. This museum featured an old-styled elevator where visitors watch a short video, then are given a handbook of a character who suffered in the Holocaust. The museum also had an entire wall filled completely with portraits of victims and showed real clips of the survivors. As the bestselling book, “The Happiness Project” suggests, after reading a story about a miserable part of history, you will regain the power of gratitude and content and rid yourself of any complaining and self-pity. This is exactly how I felt when stepping out of the Holocaust museum. “Forgive but never forget” is the core value of this kind of museum. Back in Taiwan, we have “228 memorial day,"  in which we commemorate the White Terror, a small but cruel holocaust that occurred in 1947. From a personal perspective, we should reflect and record mistakes we make to avoid repeating them again. From a national and international perspective, we should never forget those who fell victim to the Holocaust as we enjoy the democracy and freedom we have today.

 

Hirshhorn Museum | contemporary art for everyone

 

This Hirshhorn Museum is full of fun inside and out, attracting visitors from small kids to adults. The circular form of the huge building (resembling the shape of a donut) is fun in itself and makes the exhibition direction easier to follow. The museum’s special collection of contemporary art ranges from the late 19th century until now, including masterpieces by well-known artists such as Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. The basement was decorated with Barbara Kruger's “Belief+Doubt” texts everywhere. I loved the line “GIVE YOUR BRAIN AS MUCH ATTENTION AS YOU DO YOUR HAIR AND YOU’LL BE A THOUSAND TIMES BETTER OFF." Although I don’t spend much time with make-up or hair, I do pay more attention to my appearance than to my brain. I immediately felt a connection with this text art and couldn’t get rid of the reflection it brought me. Why is this museum for everyone? As you walk through each exhibition room, you’ll find a variety of art, such as mixed interactive media, sculptures and video, making every audience member find their own appreciation of art at the same time. If you always feel dizzy and sleepy in the traditional art gallery, this museum is probably the one that will challenge your idea of an art museum.

 

National Air and Space Museum | flying throughout history

 

If you’ve ever observed the crowds in front of the National Air and Space Museum, you won't find it surprising to learn that it is the BEST museum in D.C. I failed to get in the first time because the waiting line was 3 blocks long!!! Although I am not a huge space or aircraft fan, I am still curious about how they designed this science museum. I was quite surprised when I entered the building and saw airplane models hanging over head. The exhibits span hundreds of years, from the balloons in the first spacecraft to the Apollo mission, satisfying old-fashioned people and tech-fans alike. Some real-sized aircrafts even allow visitors to get in and experience the feeling as a driver. With a whole exhibition area displaying interactive tools to illustrate how airplanes work, it is definitely the best place for children to learn about airplanes. I recommend you come here during weekdays and let the aircrafts bring out the small curious kid hiding in your heart.

 

A Pic A Day, Keep Memory Fresh | 03.24.16 @ Jefferson Lake

 

Cherry blossoms do stick around long, so you should make a plan to see them in the first few days that they bloom. Everyone can be an AMAZING photographer with these too-good-to-be-true cherry blossoms all around the Jefferson Lake. Thanks to the longer sunlight time in spring, we could still enjoy the view during weekdays after work until 7:30! My friend once told me that just the cherry blossoms alone can make the spring semester here in D.C. very worthwhile. Now I understand and could not agree more. Therefore, I've decided to pass this message forward to the future interns :)

 

Read Jill's previous blog posts here

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