DC Museum Marathon: Totally Sublime at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

DSC_0824DSC_0810While I’m still anxiously waiting for my carpal tunnel syndrome  to be vanquished completely, I thought I’d start sharing some of the photos from my amazing trip to Washington, DC: starting with incredible Hudson River School (& beyond!) landscapes from the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Until I regain my full typing stamina, these unbelievably beautiful paintings will have to tell the story for me–but hey, if your average picture is worth at least a thousand words, I’d say these works of art are more on the exchange scale of a million.

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This absolutely stunning Bierstadt (Among the Sierra Nevada, California) nearly brought me to tears. I couldn’t believe a human hand could have possibly created such a vibrant, thrilling, living world with just pigment and canvas. The best part about this landscape is that it truly is a little microcosm that doesn’t exist: it blends together the American West with recognizable European topography. (In other words, we sure don’t get Matterhorns like that ’round these parts…)

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Shipwrecks, arctic twilights, and the Northern Lights? It’s like this painting was made just for me!

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I can’t get over how delicate and detailed these lace motifs are. This dress is giving Ter Borch (widely known as the gown-painting king of Western art) a run for his money!

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I’ve always dreamed of seeing Thomas Cole’s The Subsiding of the Waters of the Deluge: ignoring its Biblical context, it makes me imagine some foreign, water-bound planet, empty but for that single flat boat braving the waters.

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Thomas Moran’s monumental paintings of Yellowstone and other great natural resources were probably my second favorite–who doesn’t love a painting of canyons that’s taller than you are?–but still can’t quite hold a candle to Bierstadt’s Sierra Nevada fantasy…

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2 thoughts on “DC Museum Marathon: Totally Sublime at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

  1. Wow! Those painting are just WOW! I imagine it was exciting to be able to see them in person. Glad to hear you are on the mend! Take care!

  2. Pingback: october wrap-up | inertial confinement

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