Museum Colors

Living in a Maryland suburb, I’m very lucky to live close to Washington, DC’s museums. They make for hours of meandering from one exhibit to the next.

My wife and I hopped on a Metro train last Sunday and headed for the Museum of Natural History to see the renovated Fossil Hall.

Being back in a museum was wonderful. When our daughters were younger, the four of us would visit the museums for day trips. A big advantage: free admission to the Smithsonian museums. Those trips became more spread out as all of us grew busier with school and work.

Returning after a long while was refreshing to our minds and spirit. As was seeing other people walk around the museum. This was life before Covid. Welllll, not entirely. Masks were required.

We also went to the National Gallery of Art, which I enjoy for discovering what visual artists have created. I prefer the East Building, which houses Modern Art pieces. There, I’ve admired the creativity of many artists.

We weren’t super interested in the temporary exhibits, so we headed to the top level for the whimsical Alexander Calder room and the contemplative Mark Rothko room.

With Rothko, I stand/sit in front of his paintings and try to let go of my everyday thoughts: to-do lists for work, to-do lists for home, etc. I try to open my mind while gazing at the colors. A kind of meditation, I suppose. Of his works at the museum, the best one for this is No. 1. It has a subtle difference of the black rectangles against the dark gray background. That difference grows clearer the longer I look at the painting. At times, I want to step inside the painting and see what it contains…

Painting with a dark gray background. Three rectangles are in a sequence. The top one is blue-gray, the large middle one is black, and the bottom one is red.
Mark Rothko, No. 1 (1961)

More colorful is his Red Band

Painting with a deep red background Three rectangles are in a sequence. The top one is white with red brush marks. The large middle one is dark mustard color. The bottom one is medium red.
Mark Rothko, Red Band (1955)

Finally, here’s a more vivid color. Standing on the rooftop terrace is this large, very blue guy. He watches over DC’s rooftops…

Sculpture of a vivid blue rooster.
Katharina Fritsch, Hahn/Cock (2013)

4 thoughts on “Museum Colors

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