After hours of walking in the hot sun, it was an absolute pleasure to arrive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. There was a long queue to get in and heightened security too as it was shortly after the fatal and tragic shooting that took place there on June 10th. The employees were friendly though and the queue went quickly so I was inside in no time.
It was free to get into the museum but I wasn’t able to get into the main exhibit The Holocaust. About 1.7 million people visit the Holocaust Museum each year and to get into the main exhibit between March and August, you need to either get there first thing in the morning to book a slot or there are a limited number of passes that you can book online before your visit. Advanced passes are not required between September and February.
I was not disappointed though as I was able to go to the From Memory to Action: Meeting the Challenge of Genocide exhibition on the second floor. You may know that I am interested in the topic of genocide and run another blog too where I post about topics such as war, genocide and humanitarian crises. You can find my blog at A Passion to Understand.
As always, click on any of the photos for enlargements
I found the exhibit to be fascinating. As you walk in, there is a display running right along the wall that chronicles and describes the situations in Rwanda, Bosnia and Sudan. There are also screens and other interactive devices giving eye witness accounts of these conflicts. It was a chilling but very rewarding visit and made me even more determined to carry on blogging about and researching these events.
In what seemed like no time at all, I made my way back out into the sun and I made my way towards the Smithsonian Institute which is "an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States" according to Wikipedia. Quite apart from the fact that all of the museums are free, I’d say that the Smithsonian is worth visiting just to see all the beautiful buildings!
There was the Freer Gallery of Art and the National Museum of Natural History across on the other side.
The building that most captured my imagination was the Smithsonian Castle which houses the Institution’s administrative offices and the information centre.
I also loved the High Victorian styling of the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building.
Look at that exquisite brick, glass and metal work!
My final stop before reaching my destination was the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
I didn’t go inside but I did walk around the stunning sculpture garden.
I was quite taken with Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree for Washington, DC, 2007. This is a lovely idea where people can write out their wishes and attach it to the tree. I was just too satisfied to wish for any at that moment. “Satisfied” isn’t the right word but it comes close. I was already at peace.
There were two other pieces I quite liked too and they were Barry Flanagan’s The Drummer and Henry Moore’s King and Queen, 1952-1953.
Such lovely art! It makes me quite keen to rush off and visit an art gallery again soon!
I visited the USA in June 2009 and I absolutely fell in love. I visited New York and Washinton, DC and hope to go back for Christmas 2010. To see other posts from my trip, click on the tags below.