August 10th, 2009

green little review

Poem for Monday

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We spent Sunday downtown at the Newseum and the National Gallery of Art, both of which have temporary exhibits that we wanted to see before they closed. The Newseum has half-price admission this month for anyone who mentions WTOP while buying tickets, and we wanted to see Woodstock at 40, celebrated both with a photo/souvenir display and a montage in the Robert H. and Clarice Smith Big Screen Theater with music and interviews, plus G-Men and Journalists, a brief history of the FBI and the news with such artifacts as the electric chair where Lindbergh's son's kidnapper died and Patty Hearst's gun.

There is always much more to do at the Newseum than can be done in a single visit. We went to the documentary retrospective on Walter Cronkite narrated by Nick Clooney, the sports journalism theater, the News History gallery, the 4D film, the map of freedom of the press, the 9/11 gallery, and the First Amendment exhibit. We also had late afternoon ice cream, and watched on the giant screen spanning several floors above the lobby while Woodstock organizer Michael Lang talked about organizing the concert and why it had the impact that it did.

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When the Newseum closed, we walked to the National Gallery, where we went to Heaven On Earth, a display of medieval manuscript illuminations, plus The Art of Power, a wonderful exhibit on the Spanish Royal Armory that displays both the armor worn by Holy Roman Emperors Maximilian I and Charles V and Spanish Kings Philip II and King Philip III, plus paintings by Rubens and others of the rulers in their armor. We also saw the Beffi Triptych -- rescued from Abruzzo after the Italian earthquake last April and loaned to the National Gallery in gratitude for assistance preserving other artistic treasures -- and the small exhibit on the designers of the Lincoln Memorial and the statue carved by Daniel Chester French.