Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Gaman, Wood, Red and Blue, and Otto
And now back to our Thanksgiving trip to Washington DC.
We always have a list of the museum shows we want to see but then there are the ones we think we'll just walk fast through. Of course those shows are the ones that catch us by surprise and make us linger and get behind schedule, the shows that make us wonder why we ever thought we could skip them.
At the Renwick we thought this show would be boring:
The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942-1946.
Gaman: To bear the seemingly unbearable with dignity and patience.
"After Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the infamous executive order 9066 in 1942, some 120,000 Japanese Americans were interned in concentration camps. The Renwick Gallery's Art of Gaman exhibition displays the arts and crafts of people who lost homes, businesses and professions during this dark chapter of World War II history. "
We couldn't have been more wrong about the exhibit. If there is one thing the Renwick does well, it is their signage. We read and looked, looked some more and read more and lingered longer. The small birds shown above are just one example of what the internees ( a polite word for prisoners?) made.
Also showing at the Renwick was:
A Revolution in Wood: The Bresler Collection
I don't do turned or carved wood but Michelle Hofzapfel's pieces (Table Bracelet: Promenade Suite), above and below looked like something I could try to "translate" into clay.
Other pieces interesting pieces were Todd Hoyer's Sphere
and Stoney Lamar's Self Portrait.
Finally, those utility boxes in this last photo are right across from the White House (you can see it in the background) and we've decided they are Red and Blue to represent our Red and Blue states. If you aren't from the US, here's the deal: Based on the majority of the votes received in the last major election, a state is designated either a Red or a Blue state. One means the state is majority Republican, the other means the state is majority Democrat, and I'll be damned if I can remember which is which.
I saw one of our Representatives at Whole Foods the other day and was thinking about shaking his hand and telling him "I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be mad at you or not, and not only that, I'm not sure if it makes a difference anymore." But I let him have his coffee in peace.