We lived in D.C. (both inside and outside the Beltway) for 5 years, and during that time we always had at least 2 preschoolers, sometimes 3. If it wasn’t at the ‘Space Museum’ or the ‘Dinosaur Museum’, we couldn’t stay long. Art museums were terrifying to even attempt with them, so like most parents, we just didn’t.
One year I sent the boys to stay with their grandparents for a week, and I had the rare opportunity to wander the District alone. It was a BLAST!! I adored every minute of it.
That was the year I walked into a genealogy conference at the National Archives and became hooked. It was also the year that I discovered the under appreciated jewel that is the Smithsonian art galleries. My favorites were the National Gallery of Art, located on the Mall, and the National Portraiture Gallery, located closer to Chinatown.
While browsing through the National Gallery, I came across Thomas Cole’s Voyage of Life Series. I was frozen to the spot, studying each individual painting. It’s a series of 4 enormous canvases, packed full of meaning and inspiration. » Read more