Upon moving to Washington D.C. my father, a graduate of Georgetown Law School, suggested I go to one museum, gallery, or other cultural site, every week. He assured me that I could last years doing this, never revisiting the same place. The Smithsonian Institution consists of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoo, and nine research facilities alone, making it a very tempting place to start. However, a friend and avid photographer heard a story on NPR about a war photography exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery and insisted I check it out.
The first stop on the arts tour was now set, The Corcoran Gallery. On a sunny Saturday morning I set off on the easy walk to the Corcoran and was pleasantly surprised to find that Summer Saturdays at the Corcoran are free! With a new spring in my step I entered the gorgeous, cavernous, marble foyer that carried a certain lightness and ease. Now to the exhibit! War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath was powerful, extensive, and told the chilling story of the history of war. Walking through the various rooms was like traveling through one big photo journal essay. I was very impressed with the myriad of topics covered in the exhibit, my only critique would be that the exhibition could have seen a touch more editing– there were over 200 photographs in the gallery.
The second exhibit I explored was The Alien’s Guide to the Ruins of Washington D.C. This was a very humorous tongue-and-cheek exhibit. The story of our post-apocalyptic capitol proved to be quite thought-provoking as well.
To finish off my visit I took a spin around the permanent modern art collection at the Corcoran. This included some of my favorite modern artists and I was particularly fond of the piece Mao by Andy Warhol.
I’d say the first cultural outing was an overall grand success.