Saturday, December 28, 2013
A Visit to the Newseum
Yesterday, I took a trip over to the Newseum, a museum that's been around for quite some time, but which I had never visited before. The entrance fee had dissuaded me from going - why pay to go to a museum, when there are so many here in DC that are free? However, a friend of mine had given me a free pass, so I decided to check it out.
It's a very large place, with lots to see, so if you're planning a visit, allow a full day to see everything. In addition to the exhibits, there are several films and interactive displays. It's a very nice space - everything looks brand new, although it's been in this location for years now. My criticism (which I trust is constructive) is that it's rather confusing to move around. The elevators are tucked away in almost hidden locations, and the stairs don't go all the way to the top or bottom. I think you're probably best off to take the express elevator to the top floor and work your way down from there.
I didn't realize this, and was working off a list of "top 10 things to see at the Newseum" that I'd pulled from their website, so was trying to move up and down to hit everything on the list. Not so easy to do.
I didn't see everything (not by a long shot), but the highlights for me were: the Berlin Wall Gallery, the 9/11 exhibit and the Pulitzer Prize photograph collections. All of these were moving and very well done. Also of interest were some artifacts from Watergate (perhaps the high water mark of DC journalism). My favorite piece was a picture of Gerald Ford, with the caption: "I got my job through the Washington Post." Hilarious.
I also made time to see the Anchorman exhibit, which is only there temporarily. Lots of fun, if you've seen the movie(s). They had a listing of other fictitious newscasters which I thought was great: Ted Baxter, Roseanne Roseannadanna, Murphy Brown and Kent Brockman. Along with pictures were quotes, which brought them to life very well.
Verdict: If you're willing to shell out some cash to visit a museum in DC, this is a great one to choose. It's across the street from the National Gallery, so you needn't stray too far from the Mall, and it's got an excellent collection of news-related objects. Plenty for kids to do, as well as things to keep adults interested.