Wednesday, October 12, 2005

National Gallery of Art

I took my wife to the National Gallery of Art yesterday. We only spent about three hours, so we only saw about 10% of the West building. Being the cultural Neaderthal that I am, I didn't recognize many of the works. I did immediately recognized one painting as a Rembrandt (Portrait of a Man in a Tall Hat). Initially, I did not know one of the featured artists, Rodin, but when I saw The Thinker, I realized who he was. (A side note: I expected The Thinker to be much larger-- it was only about 2 feet tall.)

One very interesting thing about the way NGA displayed the art may be incorporated into my present home. Generally, when one hangs a picture, they bang a nail in the wall, toss it up there, and hope its level. The NGA had tracks embedded in the walls where they joined the ceiling, and would run cables from the tracks to suspend the art. Thus, no wholes in the walls to repair. Given the fact that the art is moved, this seemed very efficient. As I have only recently moved, none of our art is in place.

In retospect, I think the main thing I took from NGA was the understanding of why some art is worth millions of dollars. I'm not certain that I've ever seen a 300 year old masterpiece before, but there is absolutly no comparison to what is sold commercially. The attention to detail, color, and lighting was incredible.

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