Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Virginia and I spent another whole day in Washington D.C. during my recent visit.

On this day, we took the Metro to Metro Center for our first stop: The New York Avenue Sculpture Project. As a member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, which is responsible for this project, I have been following the progress of this outdoor sculpture project which they are creating. The first phase of the project is four enormous sculptures by French-born artist Niki de Saint Phalle.

The sculptures have been placed on the median on the block of New York Avenue (between 12th abd 13th Streets) right outside the Museum. Three more phases of the New York Avenue Sculpture Project, all featuring works by women artists, are planned so that outdoor art will line New York Avenue all the way to 9th Street.

We had a lot of fun viewing and walking around the fanciful Niki de Saint Phalle works.

Then we went into the Museum to view works by some of our some of our favorite artists which include

Frida Kahlo

and Camille Claudel.

It is believed, Camille, who was Rodin's mistress as well as student, did much of Rodin's work with no credit.

We stayed for lunch in their restaurant. This photo is from the museum's restaurant and shows the museum reflected in the building across the street.

From here we walked back toward the Mall to the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery where I wanted to see the "Echoes of Elvis" exhibit.

There are several Elvis exhibits at various D.C. museums to celebrate that Elvis would have turned 75 years old this year.

The National Portrait Gallery shares a building with the National American Art Museum. As is the case with all Smithsonian museums, I often come in to view a specific exhibit but always find other exhibits that catch my attention. After wandering through the Portrait Gallery, we took what we thought would be a quick peek at the American Art, and wound up spending the rest of the afternoon there.

The "Remembering The Running Fence" exhibit brought back memories of when Christo and Jeanne-Claude ran their fabric fence through 24 1/2 miles of Sonoma and Marin Counties, working on it from 1972 to 1976.

We admired the beauty of the American Art's Great Hall

and enjoyed other works of art as well.

It seemed that throughout my visit to D.C. and Virginia, I was running into fellow Californians and things California. My biggest California surprise was on our way to the Portrait Gallery when we discovered the Cowgirl Creamery in the Penn Quarter neighborhood.

Cowgirl Creamery began in Point Reyes Station, California (west Marin County) in 1997 when owners Sue Conley and Peggy Smith started making hand-crafted cheese. From their beginning I've been a fan of their cheese and often take out of towners to their Point Reyes Station location to sample cheese, have a sandwich, and watch cheese being made. At the Ferry Plaza Marketplace in San Francisco, they have a second cheese shop. So, we made a stop at the D.C. shop, a delightful place with lots of cheese and other fancy food items. As is the case at all Cowgirl Creamery shops, you can sample many of the cheeses. While I was surprised to find the shop in D.C., I was enlightened that Sue Conley is originally from the D.C. area and much of her family is still in Washington and Maryland. And, Peggy Smith was raised in Northern Virginia. So both owners have reason to keep their roots in the D.C. area.

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