What a way to return to in person shows! The Smithsonian’s 2022 craft show was a rousing success. A gala party on Wednesday night, followed by four days of the show. I wasn’t the only one who was happy to get out and back to seeing people in person with no computer screen between. We were all in celebratory mood, like long lost family members reunited.
My booth, in storage for over two years, went up without a problem. What a happy relief to see all my work out of my closets, hung up and ready for viewing.
And what a place for my first show, the Building Museum is a magnificent space.
The ceiling is well over 4 stories high. Fantastic!
The entire show is a fund raiser for the Smithsonian Institute. The gala party on the first night was the perfect way to start things off with a bang.
Then the show. People coming in with friends, family, alone, and in a few cases, with their sweet little dogs.
I was delighted to see my pieced trench coat, sold right at the beginning of the show, back again several days later.
I love that my clothes are out and about, worn and used!
Another one of my pieces in use just days after the show. Nina, on her way to the opera and wearing her brand new coat. Looking fantastic.
I had appliquéd strips onto a very cool kimono silk with bold, oversized, abstracted grass forms.
I admit, I do love to spend time in my studio, so I haven’t been too terribly unhappy during our covid isolation. But boy, I did miss the shows. The Smithsonian Show was the perfect medicine.
Whew! What a rush. At the end, we packed up and were ready to head home.
But we still had a day in the city, the plane was leaving at the end of the day. Perfect! There was time for a trip to the Smithsonian’s, fantastic, magnificent, amazing and glorious National Gallery of Art. As with all Smithsonian museums, free to everyone.
I am a proud museum nerd. I can spend days inside looking at whatever is up and on view. But, wow, they do have some gems.
How about this little grouping? 4 Vermeers in a row.
With only a few other people there at any one time, I cold move in close and look as long as I wanted.
Jan Van Eyck? Another of my favorite artists? Sure. The Annunciation, right over here in this other room.
Standing in front and studying it for as long as I wanted. Painted around 1435. Gabriel’s rainbow colored wings, the wooden floor painted with old testament stories, the lily, the interior of the gothic church, the depiction of the textiles, Gabriel’s beatific smile, Mary’s ultramarine blue gown [at the time, ounce per ounce, more expensive than gold,] all perfect.
Look at the colors in the one below! And the strong geometric shapes and forms. Glorious!
By the ‘Master of the Osservanza’ and painted in the first part of the 1430’s, a tryptic of Saint Anthony distributing his wealth to the poor, leaving his monastery and meeting Saint Paul.
The attention to detail, the quirkiness [can you see the funny little dog [pig?] on the far left? Or the centaur behind the trees at the upper right?], did I mention the colors???
I just about lost it when I saw ‘The Cornell Farm,’ painted in 1848 by Edward Hicks, more than 400 years after the one above.
All the cows and horses, with the landscape behind. I absolutely love it!
Detail, detail, detail, I see a theme here.
So many. So many paintings to see and analyze, study and admire. And I was in just one part of one floor of one museum. If you’ve never been, you must figure out a way to get there. If you’ve been, then return to see all that you’ve missed or forgotten.
At the end of the day, it was time to leave and head back home.
By chance, as I was heading out the door, I found myself in a room with a few paintings of women sewing.
The one above by Gilbert Stuart, painted in 1793. And the one below by Ellen Day Hale from 1893.
The third, by Joseph Rodefer Decamp from 1916.
The perfect way to end my visit to Washington, the whole reason I was there. All because of my journey with sewing, fabrics, clothing and love of art.
And how cool is this? So very, exactly, perfect. As I left the room with the paintings of women sewing, right outside, at the information desk, this woman was bent over, needle in hand, working on her embroidery.
Thank you Smithsonian Women’s Committee and everyone who came to support this wonderful organization! Not to mention all of the artists! We were finally, at long last, out and in public again!
Goodby Washington, I’m already looking forward to coming back again, whenever that may be.