Sunday, September 04, 2016

July 29 -- Museum of the American Indian


Big sky from the hotel room.

"Our" Metro stop.

We went to the Smithsonian Metro stop.  Mall closed.  Cannot get from here to the Museum of Natural History directly.  That's ok.  We're not going to Nat. Hist. today.

Detail, Smithsonian Castle.

Interesting hanging plant in front of the Castle.

I do not know what this is.

Mussaenda frondosa.  One of my Instagram acquaintances took this to a plant-id forum and asked if anyone knew what it was.  Someone did.....  It's tropical, which is why non of us temperate-climate people had ever seen it.  It's info online says the white thing is a leaf.  Each of the clusters of orange flowers had its white leaf (to help pollinators find their way to the flowers, I presume).

The excellent Arts and Industries building.  Closed at present, alas.

Enjoying the sky over the Natural History Museum.

The National Gallery of Art.  We can get from here to the NGA.

But our destination on the 29th was the Museum of the American Indian.  This  spiral is in the pavement outside one of the entrances to the museum.  I'm sure it is symbolic/significant, but do not know its story.

I think these are concentric rings, rather than another spiral.  Looking up at the inside of the dome, in the Museum of the American Indian.

The light from the dome, on the ground floor of the museum.  I believe the rainbow moves over the course of the day.

There are a lot of excellent textiles displayed in this museum.  Explanatory info could be improved, in my humble.  Objects are gathered in groupings related to their people of origin, so the assumption is that you know who made it when you are in each area.  But given that the names of the groups are not always familiar, it would be useful to some of us if they would repeat that name as part of the info with the objects.

I would also like to see textiles labeled as to materials.  In most cases the labels say "blanket," but don't say "wool," let alone "wool with natural and synthetic dyes."  And "wool, hand-spun, dyed with goldenrod, indigo, and synthetic dyes" would be best of all, from the perspective of a person who knows a good deal about textiles, and is curious about the details. 

Blanket.  Love these colors...  Betting it is wool; pretty sure it's synthetic dyes.  Guessing it is not hand spun.

Love this excellent fringy stuff.  Wonder what it's made of.

More excellent fringy stuff.  This looks more clattery than the previous one.

Saddle bag.

I *think* this is all woven, rather than embroidery on top of weaving, but I don't know.  I may be wrong and it *is* embroidery on top of weaving.  This is the kind of detail I'd like to see in the explanatory info.  It helps me appreciate what I'm looking at......

Looking out the window.  At left, that rectangle is Air and Space, between us and the Washington Monument.  At the right edge is Natural History, with American History to its right (toward the center of the image).  The dark building just beyond Am. Hist. is (I think) the so-new-it-wasn't-open-yet Museum of African American History and Culture.


Lunch.  The Museum of the American Indian is one of the most fun places to eat.  They serve dishes based on ingredients used by first nations people.  There are a lot of choices, and most of it is interesting things you won't find elsewhere.  This is a chimichanga with beans and rice and I can't remember what else.  It was good.

We also had grilled apricots and fennel salad, and hearts-of-palm salad.  I liked the apricots and fennel, but thought the hearts-of-palm bland.


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