Sculptures Go Up on NY Ave, NW Outside Women’s Museum

by Prince Of Petworth April 19, 2010 at 11:30 am 42 Comments

I finally got to check out the newly installed sculptures on New York Ave between 12th and 13th Streets, NW (outside the Women’s Museum). I think they are fantastic. I’m told one more is being installed today, stay tuned for that one.

What do you think of these – thumbs up or down? Have a favorite?

Lots more photos after the jump.

  • The mad puppet tree god beats the others to smithereenies.

  • John

    Very cool.

    But let the usual art hater comments on this blog commence in 3,2,1….

    • Rick

      Yeah, really. I hate it when people criticize art.

      • victoria

        You mean when people have and express opinions that differ from your own?

        • Rick

          Exactly. It’s just so wrong to question art or talk about it in any way other than to praise it.

  • briefly

    Second one down is entitled “Dance of the Badonkadonks.”

    • Heather


    • Lurvely

      ha ha ha coffee spit-take

    • Jana


  • Tall E

    These are beautiful! They looked familiar so a little googling led to Niki de Saint Phalle who also created the Sun God at UC San Diego and other sculptures outside the Centre Pompidou in Paris. I think we are lucky to have these in DC.

    • Jen

      I went to UC San Diego and thought they looked a lot like the Sun God. Very cool!

      • Tall E

        Me too, happy to have a little sun god in DC.

  • LT

    Are these permanent or just here for the summer months?

  • Nick

    There was one in a major square when I lived in Luxembourg about 10 years ago. Very cool to see so many, so close to home. What’s the artist’s name.

  • Badger

    Total hater. They look like something that you would see along the boardwalk on the beach somewhere. Nothing really DC about them. Glad to not have another man on horseback but really.

    They are installing another person as we speak.

    • ogden

      Why do you think every piece of artwork on display in the city should represent our ‘DC-ness’? Is the only value of artwork to reinforce branding and identity of a city?

      • Badger

        Yep, pretty much. I think you nailed it with “branding.” This is unrepresentative art. It says nothing of the community. Nobody relates to this. It says nothing and it is nothing.

        A woman riding on a dolphin (bottlenose porpoise for the picky ones out there) is the antithesis of DC. I liked Seaquest as much as the next guy, but come on. DC?

        It’s also just a bad spot for art. You never get a good angle on it.

        Greatest captcha ever – “threaten president”

        • ogden

          So….your answer is yes. Artwork is nothing but branding and because these sculptures don’t depict DC’s “brand” they are bad.


          Next shall we destroy all of the art museums and pretty much ever sculpture in town?

  • Jessica

    It’s called the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Just FYI.

  • Collin

    People can have opinions. I know most art outside of Realism is mostly subjective, but I agree that these are kind of ugly and the only thing “DC” about them is the color scheme like the pandas around town.

  • Jack

    Is the second to last one a lady in a swimsuit getting ready to jam jumping off the back of a manatee. I am all for art capturing the fantasticness of slam dunks, especially when the dunker is jumping off a giant manatee.

  • They just installed another one at NY and 12th, a basketball player:


  • MK

    I wish they had put these in Columbia Heights rather than that piece of yellow metal junk.

  • Anonymous

    I love them! I love everything with shiny mosaic tiles. Preeety…..

  • ET

    I have no problem with people not liking them and saying so – art speaks to people differently but I like the color!

    So much of Washington is gray, marble, brown, blah and pops of color are just fun.

  • Columbia Heights Boy

    What the hell? I’m all for art but….?!?

  • Shaw Sweetie

    How awesome!!! These are the works of Niki de Saint Phalle, who was a French sculptor, painter and artist. These works have been on tour for quite some time now – i actually saw them in the summer of 2007 at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago; “Niki in the Garden” it was called.

    The women in sculpture are are called “Nana’s” – and those were some of her favorite to create. Check this link to find out more about her and her works: http://nikidesaintphalle.org/press/coverage/20080427_st_louis_post_dispatch

  • Badger

    Looks like they won’t be around for too long (from her website)…

    National Museum of
    Women in the Arts
    28 April – October 2010

  • badonkadonk

    I like how they put the big girls right in front of the McDonald’s.

  • Richko

    I used to work almost right next door to the museum… where these art pieces are now there used to be large bushes — the local homeless used to keep garbage bags full of crap (figuratively or literally) in the bushes. Methinks this is a big improvement.

  • saf

    I love them. They add color, life, and interest to the streetscape.

  • they’re just the beginning of a series of installations of women’s art in a public space by the women’s art museum. so relax. in the fall, you’ll have a new batch of art to complain about.

    as somebody said, though, at least it’s not another man on a horse!!

  • phew

    that first one (and last one) is nightmare-inducing.

    yikes…and I consider myself pretty open to most art, but that is hideous.

    luv the ladies.

  • KStreetQB

    Yeah, this is crap.

  • Badger

    I think that a lot of artwork gets the “Emperor’s New Clothes” treatment. There are large groups of people who want to appear sophisticated and don’t want to admit that they don’t like it. So they just play along.

    • Jana

      C’mon…before trashing, make the effort and educate yourself about the artist. There’s so much more to it that meets the eye at first sight. Niki really is and was quite an inspiration.

  • anon

    Is this Celebrate Obesity Month?

    • Jana

      There’s nothing obese about these sculptures – they are just curvy, womanly, voluptuous. Actually, the inspiration for the original Nanas in the 60’s came from the artist’s pregnant friend. Let’s celebrate womanhood and pregnancy, ok? ;)

  • Redhead

    The tree reminds me of something out of the Yellow Submarine. Love it!

  • Richko

    >>I think that a lot of artwork gets the “Emperor’s New Clothes” treatment. There are large groups of people who want to appear sophisticated and don’t want to admit that they don’t like it. So they just play along.

    And in hipster-land, the converse is true. Same goes for restaurants.

  • These sculpture are horrid/offensive. Unfortunately I have to look at these almost every day. The only thing they will be good for are for directions. “Yeah man, go three blocks and make a left at the dolphin with the big broad standing on top of it”


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