{USA} National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

April 3, 2013


On our first day in Washington, D.C., we headed down to the National Mall full of enthusiasm to take on the Smithsonian and all its museums. #MuseumBaby had voiced a preference to “go see the animals”, so we were heading for the National Museum of Natural History, but shortly before we arrived he was overcome with jetlag so we took a stroll around the National Gallery of Art Sculpture garden while he had a wee snooze. The Sculpture Garden includes “seventeen works from the Gallery’s growing collection as well as loans for special exhibitions” and is located on a block of around 6 acres next to the National Gallery. Alongside the artworks are “new plantings of native American species of canopy trees, flowering trees, shrubs, ground covers, and perennials”, though just one day after D.C.’s latest snow fall the vegetation was still recovering from its winter hibernation. There was also some work being done in the centre of the Sculpture Garden, which we surmised was the fountain that serves as an ice-rink during the winter months. Here is a selection of some of my favourite pieces:

Cheval Rouge (Red Horse), 1974, by Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976)

Graft, 2008-2009, by Roxy Paine (American, born 1966)

House I, 1996/1998, by Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997)

Four-Sided Pyramid, first installation 1997/ fabricated 1999, by Sol Lewitt (American, 1928-2007)

Thinker on a rock, 1997, by Barry Flanagan (British, born 1941)

Typewriter Eraser, Scale X, 1998/ fabricated 1999, by Claes Oldenburg (American, born 1929) and Coosje van Bruggen (American, 1942-2009)

Entrance to the Métropolitain, conceived 1902, fabricated 1902/1913, by Hector Guimard (French, 1867-1942)

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