Saturday, July 01, 2006


Awash in Washington

Right again, art-lings! I was in Washington, D.C., for the openings of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, now collectively known as the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture. George Washington himself, fetchingly arrayed in his Landsdowne Portrait ensemble, was there to entertain the kiddies while Martha looked on approvingly.

The day before the July 1 public opening, directors Elizabeth Broun (SAAM) and Marc Pachter (NPG) proudly showed me around their spiffed-up digs, while a few blocks away on the Mall, the National Archives was doing round-the-clock pumping and dehumidifying, trying to dry out from last week's serious flooding, due to the torrential rains. (The documents, they say, were not damaged.) Also closed for part of the week were the Natural History Museum, the American History Museum and the National Gallery of Art. The IRS was particularly hard hit, to the dismay of its many fans.

Can't write here about my secret Washington mission, because I've got to save it for the WSJ. But I can tell you what I WILL be entertaining you with!


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