Sunday, May 20, 2012

Smithsonian Exhibit on the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Where: Smithsonian Castle

When: through May 20, 2012

This exhibit opened Wednesday and closes today, for reasons that escape me.  I would think that there would be a fair amount of interest in the plans for the new African American museum and that visitors to the current museums would be eager to see what will be available to them should they choose to come back to DC in a few years.  Oh well, I check the exhibit listings frequently for exactly this reason - so that I don't miss something good that's only around for a short time!

The new museum was in the design process for four years, will be located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue (on the other side of the American History Museum) and will open in November 2015 - in other words, it will be a while yet before I'm blogging about shows I see there!  Outside of the museum, there will be an area called a "reading grove."  I don't know exactly what this is, but I like the sound of it.  It appears that the entrance to the museum will lead to a large open space, which reminded me of the American Indian museum.  It also seems that a really impressive water feature will be part of the design, and since I'm a sucker for a good fountain, I was glad to see this.

In addition to the plans for the museum, results of recent excavations were also on display, mostly pottery and some glass shards.  I could not help but be reminded of the Riseholme Museum described by E. F. Benson in his novel, Lucia in London - filled with items that the characters no longer wanted, but couldn't bring themselves to discard.

Verdict: One can only hope that perhaps this exhibit will appear again, closer to the time of opening - it's a wonderful way to whet one's appetite for the exhibits to come.

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