04/07/14 4:50pm

Faberges Workshop

From a press release:

“With spring finally in full swing, Hillwood’s Fabergé Egg Family Festival celebrates its arrival in traditional Russian style on Saturday, April 12 from 10 am to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 13 from 1 to 5 p.m. Spring bulbs will be blooming across the estate, with Hillwood-grown pansies bringing an array of color to the Lunar Lawn just in time for this annual family favorite, featuring programs, music, art, and activities for all ages. The Fabergé Egg Family Festival is funded in part by the Bonnie Mapelli Youth Education Fund. All of Hillwood’s 2014 festivals are supported by a grant from the Sally Foss and James Scott Hill Foundation. (more…)

04/02/14 4:45pm

national_building_museum_maze

From the National Building Museum:

“Get lost at the Museum this summer!

The Museum, in partnership with BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, will create a never-before-seen large-scale maze for the Museum’s historic home. Soaring 18 feet high and measuring 61 feet by 61 feet, the Baltic birch plywood structure will boast a series of twists and turns for visitors to weave through and explore. The “BIG Maze” will be open July 4 to September 1, 2014.

Inspired by ancient labyrinths, garden and hedge mazes of 17th and 18th-century Europe, and modern American corn mazes, this contemporary maze will be located in the West Court of the Museum’s historic Great Hall. In addition to viewing the maze from the ground floor, visitors will also be able to get an unexpected aerial perspective from the Museum’s second- and third-floor balconies.

Bjarke Ingels said of his design: “The concept is simple: as you travel deeper into a maze, your path typically becomes more convoluted. What if we invert this scenario and create a maze that brings clarity and visual understanding upon reaching the heart of the labyrinth?” From outside, the maze’s cube-like form hides the final reveal behind its 18-foot-tall walls. On the inside, the walls slowly descend towards the center which concludes with a grand reveal—a 360 degree understanding of your path in and how to get out.”

02/19/14 4:55pm

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

From an email:

“Following the long period of investigation pursued by our Board, I have wonderful news to report. The Corcoran Gallery of Art and Corcoran College of Art and Design, the National Gallery of Art, and the George Washington University (GW) today are announcing a proposed collaboration that would safeguard and increase access to the Corcoran’s iconic collection as a resource for the public in Washington, DC; maintain the historic Corcoran building as the renovated showplace for an important new program of exhibitions of modern and contemporary art; and strengthen and elevate the Corcoran College and its programs. The collaboration would raise the stature of arts education in the District and expand the benefits, services, and interdisciplinary opportunities that both the National Gallery of Art and GW provide to students, museum-goers, and the Washington community.

Our three institutions are now entering a working period to set the definitive terms of a collaboration, under which the Corcoran College of Art and Design would become a part of the George Washington University. GW would operate the College, maintain its distinct identity, and assume ownership of, and responsibility for, the Corcoran building. The National Gallery of Art would organize and present exhibitions of modern and contemporary art within the building under the name Corcoran Contemporary, National Gallery of Art. The National Gallery would also maintain and program a Corcoran Legacy Gallery within the building, displaying a selection of works from the collection that are closely identified with the 17th Street landmark. These and other works of the Corcoran collection would become the responsibility of the National Gallery of Art. Works accessioned by the National Gallery would bear the credit line “Corcoran Collection.” For works not accessioned by the National Gallery, the Corcoran, in consultation with the National Gallery, will develop a distribution policy and program.

As you know, this proposed arrangement among three prominent Washington, DC, institutions comes as the culmination of a five-year effort by the Corcoran’s Board of Trustees to preserve the 17th Street building as both a museum space and a home for the College and to ensure the future of the Corcoran collection as a treasure accessible to all. Due to the challenges faced by the Corcoran, our Board has sought to achieve these goals by exploring collaborations with other cultural and educational institutions.

I want you to know that this coalition among our three institutions will open important new possibilities for Washington, DC. The Corcoran’s great cultural, educational, and civic resources, which are at the heart of this city, will not only remain in Washington but will become stronger, more exciting, and more widely accessible, in a way that stays centered on the Corcoran’s dedication to art and mission of encouraging American genius and opens the galleries to all for free. We are deeply grateful for the bold imagination of the boards of all three institutions for working to make this outcome possible.

Our partner institutions are as thrilled as we are (more…)

11/04/13 12:30pm

From the Museum of Science Fiction:

“In spring 2013, Executive Director Greg Viggiano began speaking with people about creating a museum for science fiction in Washington, DC. The response has been very enthusiastic. Greg quickly found science fiction fans of all stripes that were willing to share their professional talents and time to move the project forward.

Within six short months, a diverse team of 38 volunteers has accomplished key first milestones and worked on a long-term plan for making the museum a reality—making significant progress on everything from curatorial aspects such as gallery design and visitor experience to the non-profit management areas of development, project management, education, information technology, public relations, marketing, finance, accounting, and legal compliance.

We are unified by a shared vision. We want to build a museum, an experience that does justice to the breadth and richness of science fiction history, where we preserve that history in perpetuity and inspire visitors to embrace the genre and its ideas. As a first step, we are developing a 3,000-square-foot preview museum where we can test exhibit concepts and new interactive technologies to share a real-time look into this grassroots effort. We have begun our site selection process. We expect to open the full-scale facility within 24 to 36 months.”

You can see a fundraiser page for the Museum of Science Fiction: Preview Location here.

10/18/13 12:00pm

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Photo by AgnosticPreachersKid via wikipedia

From a press release:

“The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is pleased to announce the reopening of its Mezzanine Café. Located in the museum’s elegant building at 1250 New York Avenue, NW in Washington, D.C., the café will be open for weekday lunches from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. The menu includes Caesar salads with smoked salmon or grilled chicken, a Wagyu burger, a roasted vegetable flatbread with marinated eggplant and a quiche du jour. Dishes run from $8–15.

The café owner Iliana Paravalou is joined by her husband Pantelis Paravalos and her parents Effie and Christos Damigos, who ran a café for The Star Ledger newspaper in Newark, N.J. for 15 years.

“We are honored to work alongside NMWA on its beautiful mezzanine level, which provides a lovely, relaxing atmosphere for patrons,” said Paravalou. “We provide excellent customer service and look forward to offering a menu of rotating seasonal items, including weekly specials inspired by Italian and French recipes. We craft in-house dressings and vinaigrettes and serve top-quality Wagyu meat.”

To welcome new patrons, the Mezzanine Café will offer a free coffee, tea or soda with purchase when the code “opening” is used through Nov. 8, 2013. Reservations are available at 202-628-1068. Walk-in customers are welcome. There is no museum admission fee in order to visit the café.”

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Photo courtesy of National Museum of Women in the Arts

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Museum Minute is written by Elle O’Flaherty. Elle lives in Mt. Pleasant and previously wrote about Lincoln’s Cottage.

Until recently, I didn’t realized there is an African American Civil War Museum tucked behind the African American Civil War Memorial off of U Street (it was actually kind of hard to find, 1935 Vermont Ave., NW). The name is a bit of a misnomer as it actually covers the African American experience from slavery through present day. The museum had lots of stories I had never heard such as the free African American women who were spies for the Union and voluntarily served as slaves in Confederate houses in order to gather information. In my opinion, you don’t hear a lot about women, let alone African American women, in most museums. It was refreshing and I really appreciated learning about it.

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The exhibits unfold much like a book and it’s heavy on text with some photos and a few objects. While very interesting and information heavy, be prepared to take your time and read as you go. Due to that, the museum may be better suited to older children. This Saturday, October 5 at 11 am (and the first Saturday of every month), the descendants of Civil War soldiers will present information on their ancestors and the process of researching their relatives. I recommend visiting for a different perspective than you’ll see at a lot of DC museums.

10/02/13 12:30pm

From a press release:

“The Newseum has revealed the design of “Anchorman: The Exhibit,” which features props, costumes and footage from the 2004 hit comedy “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” The exhibit, created in partnership with Paramount Pictures, will open on Nov. 14, just weeks before the film’s highly anticipated sequel “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” hits theaters on Dec. 20.

Entering the exhibit, visitors will be greeted by a giant display case featuring the iconic burgundy business suit worn by fictional newscaster Ron Burgundy, played by Will Ferrell. Towering more than eight feet tall, the revolving display will provide a fitting entry point for this one-of-a-kind exhibit. Throughout the exhibit, visitors will see other reminders of Ron’s reporting prowess and personal style, including his license plate, which reads “IM #1,” three local Emmy awards for excellence in news reporting, his mustache brush, jazz flute and other classic props used in the hit movie. Props from “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” will be added to the exhibit shortly before the sequel’s Dec. 20 release.

The exhibit also will feature costumes worn by members of the Channel 4 News team, along with field reporter Brian Fantana’s (played by Paul Rudd) Sex Panther cologne, a stuffed prop version of Ron’s dog Baxter in Channel 4 pajamas, weatherman Brick Tamland’s (played by Steve Carell) eyeglasses and more.

Nearby, Ron will provide intros to the Newseum’s popular Be a TV Reporter experience, and budding news anchors can have their photos taken behind a replica of the Channel 4 News desk.

The exhibit also will explore the reality behind the film’s humor. Local TV news promotional ads from the 1970s will be on display along with photos of popular news teams of the day. Before today’s 24/7 news cycle, local TV anchors ruled the airwaves, and the anchor chair was for men only. But dramatic changes hit local TV news in the 1970s when women stepped up to the anchor desk, and news teams took over.”

ANCHORMAN FLOOR PLAN
Anchorman Floor plan courtesy of the Newseum