Monday, December 8, 2008

Light On A Grey Day

It was an unusually cold December day this Monday in DC, and I had it off. To be truthful, three days off in a row makes me crazy. The home was clean, the bills I could pay were done, guilt from sloth was setting in. It was time for some CULTURE.

I'd heard from more than a few that the Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples exhibit at the National Gallery of Art was worth seeing. It was nice. I guess if you've been to Naples, Rome, Ephesus, Capri've already seen it. What I took away from the exhibit was that the ancients had great lamps. The lighting must have been magnificent; granted you had dozens in staff to fill and blow them all out. As for the rooms, I got the feeling that a lot of these people must have gone to Ireland because the rooms were so brightly colored. No beige or neutral palettes to be found.

Lastly, who had all the taste, the Greeks! I'm so sad to see what's been happening in Greece these last three days and hope them quieter days. There is just to much, to much going on to have rioting in the streets where civilization and culture was born.

Finally, the highlight of the visit wasn't ancient Rome, but modern day (light emitting diodes) LEDs. I have always loved the moving walkway between the East and West buildings of the National Gallery. Since it was so cold outside I entered the Gallery on the far west wing and worked my way across the galleries to the I.M Pei, East Wing. The moving walkway between the two has been installed with a new art light installation by Leo Villareal. The exhibit, made of 40,000 LEDs is a must see.

I immediately knew that something was different as I approached it. I always walk quickly through it not wanting to look like a tourist, but this stopped me in my tracks and I stood and watched the whole show. Its a must see if your coming to town and will be up for the next year.

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