Friday, January 1, 2016
Good-bye to the Freer and to 2015
It was with a heavy heart that I went to the Freer on the last day of 2015, as it was my good-bye to one of my favorite parts of the Smithsonian. I always say I relax just by walking in the door, and truly, I can feel my tension melt away as I walk up the steps to the main floor.
As if the Freer and its collection of beautiful things beautifully displayed were not enough, 2015 brought a Thursday meditation workshop to the museum. I became a regular participant and am heartily sorry to see that come to an end.
Why all the gloom and doom? The Freer is closing for two years in order to renovate. My understanding is that long-needed upgrades to their HVAC system and other infrastructure are on their agenda, so this is clearly necessary. Still, it's a wrench to see it close.
I walked through the entire main floor and gazed at everything. It's a small museum, so it didn't take long to make the circuit. I discovered a wonderful display of Korean inlay ceramics, which I will assuredly revisit when the museum reopens. I also went out briefly into the courtyard, which is a lovely space. Perhaps I'll bring a book and read there during the fine weather in future.
Of course, it's not just my trips to the Freer which are coming to an end, but 2015 as well. I'm writing this on January 1, 2016 - starting my year off with blogging! I saw many wonderful things in 2015, both here in DC and in other cities. I'm hoping this year will offer me more opportunities to widen my horizons.
Next fall will bring the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and if their exhibits are as good as the ones they've put up at the American History Museum, they will be excellent. Plus, the East Building of the National Gallery is scheduled to reopen in fall as well. I'll be glad (as I'm sure the curators will be too) to have their big exhibit space back again. I like the West Building, but it's cramped for anything really large. I'm very eager to see the rooftop garden as well - the views should be great. I'm also planning to head to the Renwick, as it re-opened recently. The show "Wonder" sounds great, and I confess, I'd like to see those neon signs that have generated such controversy. 2016 should be a banner year!
Verdict: Good-bye Freer - I shall miss you in 2016 and 2017, and look forward to seeing you again in 2018.