First off, my group went to the National Gallery. We explored through for a bit trying to find the nonexistent Armand Hammer collection, all the while discovering all sorts of cool exhibits along the way. It was actually kind of better this way, instead of looking for anything specific at first we just found all sorts of different amazing art and I absolutely loved it. One exhibit we went into showcased early 20th century art, and the variety was amazing. There was everything from crazy, colorful, nonobjective works of art to pieces so detailed and dark you would have completely believed they had been painted during the Baroque era until you looked at the description on the wall. This exploring part was one of my favorite parts of the entire trip, just discovering new, beautiful things.
Later, my group found the French Expressionist exhibit. Always being a fan of Monet, I was super excited, and could have probably spent the entire day in this one exhibit! I absolutely love expressionist painting, the fact that looking at it close up creates an entirely different effect then looking at it from afar is so fascinating to me. I found one painting that I really REALLY loved for a couple reasons. It's called Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, and it is painted by a woman, Mary Cassatt. I always love finding new women artists I love, especially during influential periods like the French Expressionist era. It just shows that even though women have been degraded and looked down upon a lot throughout history, they were still making incredible strides despite the discrimination, in the arts as well as many other fields. I also just feel like this painting somewhat describes my life, and it has a cute dog in it, so I couldn't pass it up!
After lunch, the Art 3 and Digital Art classes walked to the American Art museum a couple blocks from The Mall. I enjoyed walking through the DC streets and seeing all the cute Christmas vendors and getting to experience some more of the city. So many people go to DC and only see the mall, but it has so many incredible places to offer and I loved it!
The American art museum was INCREDIBLE! First, my group went to the "Historical Portrait Gallery" and saw some famous portraits of my man George Washington (painted by another cool guy Gilbert Stuart). Next, we wandered through the exhibits on the second and third floors. The cool thing about the American Art museum, at least as far as the second and third floors went, is that they do not have the art organized by super specific styles, but rather by time period or other connections. I loved being able to walk into any gallery and not know what to expect, there would be a hyperrealist painting and right beside it a nonobjective work. I saw some pieces I recognized (Kehinde Wiley AHHH) and some I didn't, but I loved practically everything the American Art Museum had to offer!
Next my group ventured further back into the American Art museum to explore more! We saw a room full of nonobjective paintings to help us get inspiration for an upcoming project, cool video installations, large sculptures using TV's and neon lights and everything you could possibly imagine (or wouldn't even think to imagine... like birds made of fake nails, wow) This was definitely my favorite museum we visited on the trip, it just had so much variety and something new to look at around every corner. I hope to go back and look around more some day, I'm glad I know it's there!