The Friends Went to Washington DC

If you missed out on the Art and Architecture Tour – here’s a recap of the fun four day trip!

Mr. Smith went to Washington and so did the Friends 2018 Art and Architecture trip. Pictured here at the Supreme Court building.

Mr. Smith went to Washington and so did the Friends 2018 Art and Architecture trip.  The group had more fun than Mr. Smith and saw a much better side of Washington than he did.

Here’s just a taste of what the tour did:

The group of 19 started with a private cocktail reception at the Willard InterContinental Hotel followed by a lecture filling us in on all the little secrets of the historical hotel. Every President since before Lincoln has stayed at this historic place.  Did you know the word Lobbyist was coined at the Willard Hotel?  The story goes that President Ulysses S. Grant would go to the Willard for some peace and quiet—to sit in a comfy chair and smoke a cigar only to find that Washington’s power brokers were waiting for him, to  sway him towards their agendas.

Washington DC boasts many excellent museums, one for every day of the month.  The group enjoyed private docent-led tours at some of the best during our 4-day trip.   At the National Gallery we saw the only other Lucretia by Rembrandt (their painting shows her contemplating the stabbing, whereas ours depicts Lucretia after she has stabbed herself).   We also saw one of the three portraits Leonardo DaVinci painted during his lifetime (the Louvre’s Mona Lisa) is another one of the three.  The Gallery also hosted a special exhibit by Cezanne.

Friends attended a fascinating docent lecture and tour of the Supreme Court and later heard a private lecture by Dr. Richard Kurin, Executive Director at the Smithsonian’s Sackler and Freer Galleries and enjoyed a tour of their vaults to watch their conservation procedures.  We all know conservation is an integral part of any art museum and it was here the group received a thorough explanation as to how artwork is conserved with the latest technology, good old-fashioned hard work and a lot of time.

The group was able to get out of Washington proal workings of the National Cathedral and learn about its architectural style, historical quirks and contributions to the city.  Did you know there is a gargoyle in the shape of a video camera that points directly at the Russian Embassy building?

Friends also discovered a little-known gem in the Kreeger Museum, once the private collection of the late Mr. and Mrs. Kreeger.  The collection is exhibited in their former home. The highlight of this tour were the three Monet paintings that showed the same scene with differing light (morning, midday and late afternoon).  It was remarkable to experience what Monet envisioned, all on one wall.

Katie Remole, President of the Friends, will help plan another excellent trip in 2019 with the help of the Art and Architecture board members.  Keep your eyes peeled for dates and details in the Friends newsletter. Don’t miss out on this fun educational travel event!