A Visit to the National Gallery of Art | The Washington Center

A Visit to the National Gallery of Art

This weekend, fellow blogger Zach and I went to the National Gallery of Art. Like any Saturday in D.C., the National Mall was bustling with buses of tourists, joggers, students and dogs. And for the first time in a few days, the sun was shining brightly. Even so, we shivered as we made the fifteen minute walk from NoMA (where TWC's Residential & Academic Facility is located) to the gallery.

 

(Blogger Zach was excited to get up close to the Pollock.)

 

Since my first trip to D.C. in 2013, the National Gallery of Art has been one of my favorite places. Filled with masterworks by Monet, Rembrandt, Raphael, Van Gogh, Rodin and Picasso - not to mention a Da Vinci! - the museum is a wonder in and of itself. Walking through the main entrance, it is impossible not be struck by the beauty and symmetry of the great rotunda, below which sits a large fountain. Under the high ceilings, above the marble floors, hang the main attractions: hundreds of paintings lining the walls in a maze of rooms and anterooms.

 

(It's as though someone did a still life of my dresser at TWC...)

 

Most visitors - under normal touristic time constraints - grab the "highlights" pamphlet and rush through the museum, running from Rembrandt to Rodin, trying their best to check everything off the list in two hours or less. And that's a very good way to see a lot of wonderful art in a single afternoon. Yet for those of us who have the luxury of staying in D.C. for a while, this is entirely the wrong approach.


The National Gallery of Art offers a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the daily work commute. It's a place to sit down, relax and take in a few works of art in moderation. I enjoy myself the most when I feel no pressure to hurry and see it all. I take my time in a few rooms, sit in the atrium and leave when I'm bored - it's a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. And it's one of the least crowded museums on the Mall.

Happy exploring!

-T

 

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