Occasionally when I am downtown, I’ll stumble upon something that causes me to exclaim incredulously, “I didn’t know this was here!” Even though it really is no wonder considering how expertly I take my own town for granted (See “Bad hostess“). And upon discovering this new “hidden” gem, it inspires me to truly make an effort to explore my surroundings and reminds me that they are special and interesting places, despite being a mere Metro ride away. Case in point: The Costume Collection at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. The collection contains over 30,000 garments from the 17th century to the present. How can I not know about this? Fashion? History? Seriously?? The thing is, I actually love museums. I love the rich history and old buildings. I love the smell of them and what they represent. So, it really is astounding.
Anyways, in an attempt to remedy that last weekend, The Greek and I paid a visit to the newly renovated Renwick Gallery. Part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, we attended their reopening festival and were among the first people to see the tremendous new exhibition we had heard about: WONDER. [<- Click on that. You will not be disappointed.] It features nine installations from nine contemporary artists in which everyday materials are transformed into something extraordinary…including my personal favorite, a rainbow made of hundreds of strands of embroidery thread by an artist named Gabriel Dawe (see left).
It’s even more beautiful in person. And so ethereal and lifelike, it seemed like I could put my hand out and my fingers would pass right through it. [This is not naughty, by the way; pictures were encouraged.] I highly recommend a visit: it doesn’t take a lot of effort (you can be in and out in an hour) and is an exemplary opportunity to see beauty, something we should try never to pass up.