Saturday, March 19, 2016

While Waiting for the Rooftop Garden

Where: National Gallery of Art

When:  through June 3, 2016

Another trip to the East Building library; another opportunity to see the area in which all that modern art currently wedged into the West Building should really be hanging.  I've long been a critic of the East Building, but having seen what Calder and Rothko look like in the West Building, well, I take it all back.  The newly renovated space is scheduled to reopen this fall, and I'm eager to see the new tower and the roof garden - the views!  the views!

The current display in the library (which is open during the renovations, just in case you need to do some art research) is on catalogs for art supplies.  It's a reminder that it's not just the artists that make art, it's the materials they work with as well.  And how do artists obtain those materials?  By purchasing them from art supply houses.  Hence, the display.

Art catalogs have been around for hundreds of years; some on display date back to the 1700s.  My favorite was a catalog from Henry Brooks & Co., "Painters' Brushware," which was printed in London around 1850.  I'm no artist, but the drawings were so lovely, I wanted to go right out and buy brushes!

Verdict: Yet another nice little display.  If you happen to be wandering around the East Building atrium during the week, have a look.

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