One of the good things about living in the DC area is that there are many wonderful museums and galleries to enjoy! On Sunday Pepperay spent the afternoon on the National Mall at the Sackler Gallery and the National Gallery. Exhibitions were seen, interesting conversations overheard and gelato was eaten.

We decided to drive into DC thinking the parking wouldn’t be so bad on a Sunday. Anna was kind enough to drive and we found a parking spot fairly easily. On our walk from the car to the Sackler Gallery we passed through a lovely garden filled with Tulips and other beautiful flowers.20130421_132805

At the Sackler Gallery we wanted to see the Cyrus Cylinder which is on loan from the British Museum. “It is a clay cylinder covered with Babylonian cuneiform, that announced Cyrus’s victory and his intention to allow freedom of worship to communities displaced by the defeated ruler Nabonidus.” More here. Our main reason to see the stone is because we have been studying the book of Ezra where Cyrus is mentioned. He releases the Israelites from their captivity in Babylon and allows them to return to their land to rebuild their temple. Also in the gallery we got to see many Chinese and Iranian artifacts and art.

The Cyrus Cylinder. Clay, Babylon, Mesopotamia, after 539 BCE; D x H: 7.8-10 x 21.9-22.8 cm; British Museum, London, ME 90920. Photo: ©The Trustees of the British Museum

Next we headed to the National Gallery to see several different Exhibition. While trying to find the Pre-Raphaelite Exhibit we stopped to see one of my favorite paintings by Jean-Honore Fragonard, A Young Girl Reading. We learned that “The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, formed in 1848, shook the art world of mid-19th-century Britain by rejecting traditional approaches to painting. Combining scientific precision, an innovative approach to subject matter, and brilliant, clear colors, Pre-Raphaelitism was Britain’s first avant-garde art movement.” More here. I enjoyed the whole exhibit, but my favorite part was seeing William Morris’ work. He was an English textile designer who was also part of the Arts and Craft Movement. He is an amazing designer and I loved seeing his work.

William Morris, Wall Paper Design

Then we went to an exhibit of Early American Furniture, mainly from the Queen Anne period. The wood work was beautiful and left me wanting a highboy, nesting tables and harp back chairs. 

Color, Line, Light: French Drawings, Watercolors, and Pastels from Delacroix to Signac is an exhibit of over 100 drawings and watercolors from James T. Dyke’s private collection. It always amazes me how great artists can make even a simple sketch with only a few lines look like a masterpiece.

Eugène Delacroix : Les Falaises de Normandie

After stopping for some gelato, we shared a double scoop of chocolate and salted caramel, so yummy, we were ready for one more exhibit. We heading down the light-show underground moving walkway from the West to the East building.

Albrecht Dürer: The Great Piece of Turf

Last was an exhibit of Albrecht Durer’s drawings, watercolors, woodcuts and etchings. Also a wonderful exhibit, I really enjoyed seeing his amazing drawings of hands and the process of his etchings.

It was a wonderful day, and I now feel very cultured.

~ Rachel