Wednesday, August 17, 2016

July 23 -- Building Museum


Down on the platform of the Woodley Park/Zoo Metro station.  The red lights flashing along the edge of the platform mean the train is almost here.

The first target on July 23 is the Building Museum.  This was another "first visit" for me.  The building is spectacular.  Arches and pillars (with very fancy Corinthian columns) and tile and bricks.....

The big special exhibit was Icebergs.  Notice blue haze in upper part of the image -- that's the "surface of the water."  Lots of icebergs are floating, the way they really would, and those have most of their mass below the surface of the water (as real icebergs would).  What's up with the ones stuck to the bottom, I do not know.  Or where the lights come from, either.

What I had not realized before I went was that the icebergs thing is really a place for kids to run around.  Such places are surely needed.  Better the hordes of kids should run around in places designed for that, than in places that are really NOT designed to be playgrounds...............


This whole huge open space in the middle of the building was loud Loud LOUD.  Alas.

Let's see if the exhibit rooms scattered around the outside edges of the building are quieter.

Yes.  Yes, they are.  Not *quiet* exactly, but quiet-er.

They have a bunch of bits and pieces from buildings (quite sensible, in a Building Museum).

Love this arched window from the Sumner School.

They had a pic of the school, showing these windows, but I failed to capture it.

Then I went into what turned out to be my favorite exhibit in the place.

They have a whole collection of paper models of buildings (and lots of other stuff).

Hmm.  Perhaps they should say "forge a table-top *story*"?  Which may or may not reflect the past?

I thought this was funny.  Alcatraz?  One would want to build a model of Alcatraz?  The space on top of the oddly beige plastic island thingy was only a few inches long, so the models of the buildings must be really teensy.  Very odd...............

(Digression on beige plastic....  Why was so much cheap plastic stuff from my childhood beige?  I didn't think to wonder about it at the time, but....????   The first time I got suckered into buying something from the tiny ads in a magazine, it was "100 dolls for $1!!!!"  They were about an inch tall, as I recall, and one-piece molded plastic.  Beige, you guessed it.  I guess they may have looked different from each other, and might have looked interesting if painted with model paint or something?  But as they were, they were boring and annoying.  And they probably had so little detail that they would have been boring regardless.  And annoying.   [Digression within digression -- the only other time I got suckered into buying something from that kind of ad was flower bulbs.  I should have known better.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.]   Cheap lessons in "you get what you pay for."  There are much worse ways to become acquainted with that truth!)

Moving on, looking at paper stuff to cut/fold/glue.

How about earrings inspired by architecture?  Interesting, yes?  And lightweight.

Here's our table-top history.....

Ok, I think this is funny.  Fenway Park.  I suppose you could get all the major league ballparks.  Carefully build each one.  And put them in custom plexiglas box frames and hang them on the wall?  You could have less-creative things on the wall, that's for sure.........

Tabletop what?  But then -- if you're totally into Anne's world (or Harry's), why not build it yourself out of teeny weeny bits of paper?

Extra points for interesting display of multiple levels.

Teeny tiny furniture........

Quibble -- there is a long gable over the kitchen (and Matthew's room?).  I think that is where Anne's bedroom should be, rather than in the main part of the upstairs.............

This may be history, I don't know.  Monet's kitchen at Giverny.  I wonder if they had gardens you could build?  Complete with a bridge over the lily pond?  I would think that was cooler than the kitchen.....

Sacre Coeur -- the white church, up on a hill, that is visible from much of Paris.

Some of the models are really big.  This Sears Tower was taller than I am.  Where would one put this, I wonder?  In the corner of one's Sears Tower office?

I had fun looking at all the models.

Then I moved on.  They have the plaster carvings which were made into metal plaques for the WWII Memorial on the Mall.  There are a set of these panels for the Atlantic aspect of the War, and for the Pacific.

This is women getting ready to go off to war.  While one is quietly horrified at their happy expressions, it is nice to see women and their contributions acknowledged.


Closer yet.   (We will look at this panel, in the WWII Memorial, in a few days.)

I went upstairs.  These may be the most comfortable steps I've ever climbed.  Shallow rise, but deep treads.  And they are worn enough that each step is a bit different from the others.  I think my body really likes that.  My feet like cobblestones (each step a bit different), and my whole self liked this staircase.   (See the arches, almost, in that very bright area at the top of the stairs?)

A better look at those arches, and the columns and capitals that hold them up..

And the "ocean", with "icebergs" sticking up through the surface of the "water".........

This is a BIG open space.

There was a dollhouse exhibit, with no photos allowed.  Photo of creepy doll, with huge head and tiny arms (with white-gloved tiny hands), in the "come into the dollhouse exhibit" stuff outside the exhibit space.

I am always annoyed by a "no photos" rule.  Unless the work we are to not photograph is within copyright.

A bunch of old dollhouses?  No pics?  Really?  And they were old, too.

Oddly enough, we were allowed to photograph the end of the exhibit, where artists of now were asked to make a dream room.

Here's a very appealing-to-my eye room.  Sleeping kid, surrounded by T. rexes.  Love the curvy shapes of the dinos.  I can appreciate this in all-white, but wonder if I wouldn't like it better if it were colors.  It was 3D printed, so it was way easier for the maker to leave it white.  And maybe that makes it more unreal, which is good, if it's a dream?  I can imagine that..................

T rex, with vegetarian grinding teeth, not carnivore ripping/shredding teeth.

This is my fave.  When Your Dream House is a Dollhouse, No Space is too Small by Bridget Sue Lambert.  (If you click through the link, there is an image of the "studio" part of this.  If you click on that, you can see a big version that is sharp and shows off the detail much better than this.)

Love all the stuff.  BIG photo printer.  Computer.  Camera on tripod.  Sewing machine.  Lots of large photographs of work, on the wall, and stacked against the wall.  Etc., etc.

And look at the basement!!!  I recognize the lamp from A Christmas Story -- I wonder what else is down there that I might recognize if i could see it more clearly...............  What a fun thing to make.......

Another exhibit that was peculiarly "no photos" was on building techniques over time.  They had life-size fractions of buildings, which you could walk around, and really look at, with building techniques from log cabins to modern pre-built panel walls (probably the wrong term, but I mean the whole wall built in the factory, and trucked to the site and craned into place and fastened, rather than built in place).  Why no pics of this???????????????????

There were other exhibits, too, that oddly disallowed pics.  And I've forgotten them, without pics to jog my memory..................

Time to move on.  Some interesting things in the gift shop!

Remember the folded-paper earrings inspired by architecture?  Well, here are 3D-printed (plastic) earrings inspired by architecture.....  Is this Seattle's tower?  I think so?  And what about that white building at left?

Plastic is not so likely to be beige any more!

This is London's Gherkin.  Seeing it in a metallic finish, I wonder why the Eiffel Tower is purple......

I think they should have offered these earrings one by one, so a person could mix and match.  But then -- I wasn't going to buy any, anyhow, so they probably shouldn't care what I think.

Here's something else cool!  Pop-out cards.  These are reminiscent of the paper-model buildings, but a lot less work!  And look how detailed......

Library of Congress.

Building Museum.  Complete with icebergs!  I was sorely tempted by this, but, really, where would I put it?  I am trying to get RID of stuff, not accumulate more............

But isn't it excellent?

The real Building Museum, from outside.  At this point, I'm wishing I climbed higher than the second level.  Another time, perhaps.


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