Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Mini Trip – National Gallery: Sargent , Vermeer, and Calder

Mini Trip – National Gallery: Sargent , Vermeer, and Calder

Old Nov 18th, 2022, 09:55 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 28,190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mini Trip – National Gallery: Sargent , Vermeer, and Calder

National Gallery: Sargent in Spain, Vermeer Secrets, and Calder Fun - November 2022

Well-known and loved Annapolis art teacher, Betty Knupp, took a group of her former students and friends to the National Gallery (“NG”) in Washington, D.C. We left Annapolis at 9:00 and reached the NG at 10:06. This included a stop at the Davidsonville ParknRide off of Route 50.

This schedule provided a nice pace for people with knees:

10:00 to 12:00 Sargent (“JSS”)
12:00 to 12:45 Lunch
12:45 East Building Tower for Calder (“C”)
1:30 Vermeer then free time (“V”)
2:20 Meet bus for home

Because of Covid, there were no earphone options. I also didn't see the more high-end restaurant on the first floor. There was a coffee shop there. The lower level Cascade Cafe remains but there were fewer options. Lots of pizza and sandwiches.

Sargent:

In his many travels, his visits to Spain provide the emphasis of this exhibit. Most people are more familiar with his portraits, but he produced hundreds and hundreds of water colors as well. I first saw watercolors from his trips to the north. His watercolors in Spain were more vivid.

The read in the pomegranites and the dark background were a contrast to the first watercolors, I first saw in the 1990s



The women at work below was like a photo. Indeed, JSS took photos.

Also shown in the exhibit were the photos JSS both took and purchased and complied into albums. He used these photos as guides in his studio work. His sketches were also amazing and copious. One 21-page album had mosaic floor patterns carefully done on grid paper. You will see echos of his later Boston Public Library murals.

To beat a large group of students, I went to the Casade Café (basement area with walkway to East building) at 11:30. Oh, there was a little sales corner right outside the exhibit.

Last edited by TDudette; Nov 18th, 2022 at 09:57 AM.
TDudette is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2022, 11:03 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,015
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Looking forward to reading the rest of this, TDudette. We’re going on Monday and will probably stop at the Portrait Gallery too for the special exhibit on Maya Lin.
k_marie is online now  
Old Nov 18th, 2022, 04:44 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 28,190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Looking forward to your reactions, k_marie. If you get a chance and even think about it, would you please take a pix of the blurb accompanying Sargent's "Stable' work? The one where it suggests that he and the artist Sorolla exchanged works???

OK, I'm going to skip Calder and go to Vermeer:

This exhibit is in a very small room at the end of the furniture and more of the Dutch painters. Indeed, the room is so small, we were only allowed to go in 6 at a time. Look at NG online to fine out about its virtual line the day you go. During the pandemic, the curators removed their Vermeer's and did some extremely modern looks at the layers of paints. They discovered some interesting things....I won't give it away but please read the captions carefully. I didn't know that V had 11 children.

Over to the East Wing.


ps...In the Sargent section about the pomegranate, it should read "red" not 'read' in the first water colors I ever saw.
TDudette is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2022, 04:57 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 28,190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Calder

Between JSS and V, Betty took us to the East wing to first see the re-installed Calder mobile in the lobby. We then took a left to the elevator and went to the tower. Here we loved seeing Calder's mobiles, stabiles, models, and paintings. We all enjoyed his whimsical "animals":

The udders on the cow dangle!


The snake in foreground menaces.


We then moved outside very quickly to the Terrace where I only stayed warm enough to see this larger than life-sized chicken:

It was too large for my telephone so this is a very quick collage....obviously colors and sizes not matched up.


This was a really nice guided tour. IIIRC, there were no docents available yesterday....not sure if this is a temporary situation. Although one could exit from the West wing and cross over to the East, one couldn't re-enter that West wing door. Again, Betty thought it was a staffing issue.

Purses and back packs were searched.

If you are fortunate enough to visit, please share what you learned about the logistics...one day isn't enough to say for certain.
TDudette is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2022, 06:07 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,015
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Were you attempting to go between buildings using the below street level passageway? I would expect you could walk in either direction.

Thanks for the Calder info. I hadn’t thought to include him this time. Looks like a good destination after lunch in the cafe. (Yes. Last visit I noticed the choices were disappointing compared with prior years.)

I’ll watch for the Sorello blurb and get a photo.

interesting that only six visitors are allowed entry to the Vermeer exhibit at one time. My continuing criticism of timed-entry special exhibits is the seeming lack of limits on the numbers of visitors. For this exhibit I’ll want the time and space to absorb and understand.
k_marie is online now  
Old Nov 18th, 2022, 06:34 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 9,745
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 1 Post
Going Wednesday.
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Old Nov 19th, 2022, 04:22 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 28,190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Were you attempting to go between buildings using the below street level passageway? I would expect you could walk in either direction." …..Sorry if I wasn't clear, k_marie, we did use the underground passage. It was the one West wing outside door that did did not allow re-entry. Also, with your back to the main East wing entrance, the elevator to the tower is to the left!

Looking forward to your reactions also, Fra!
TDudette is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2022, 04:38 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,015
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Okay. Got it now. Thanks, TDudette.
k_marie is online now  
Old Nov 19th, 2022, 06:02 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 2,250
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for sharing. The pictures are so beautiful. Will ypu be going back for another visit?
Paqngo is online now  
Old Nov 19th, 2022, 06:50 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 28,190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Paqngo. I would love to return.

I forgot to add that the engineer grandson of the artist Matisse fabricated lighter weight sections of the big Calder mobile. Betty also said the Calder died before the East wing opened so he didn't see it installed.
TDudette is offline  
Old Nov 19th, 2022, 07:10 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,015
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Word is that there will be a new Calder museum and gardens on the Parkway in Philadelphia, opening in 2024.
Id like to see a Calder display where the mobiles are moving a bit. How about a presentation with an oh-so-gentle breeze?

https://www.phillyvoice.com/new-museum-alexander-calder-gardens-benjamin-franklin-parkway-philadelphia
k_marie is online now  
Old Nov 19th, 2022, 07:55 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 28,190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A Calder museum will be a nice addition to that area, k_marie. Do you think the mobile in front of the Philly museum will get moved? Betty suggested that our group run around a bit to cause a breeze!
TDudette is offline  
Old Nov 20th, 2022, 07:02 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 19,483
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the report, TDudette. I would like to see the Vermeer and Sargent exhibits if I can get back to the DC area before they close.
Vttraveler is online now  
Old Nov 23rd, 2022, 01:59 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,530
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What a great opportunity to visit with an art teacher. I didn't know JSS did watercolors. Thanks for the report.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2022, 04:52 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 28,190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks, Vttrav and Dfrost. JSS was an incredible artist.
TDudette is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2022, 12:14 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,015
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Our busy two days in Washington DC included time at the NGA for the Vermeer and JSS exhibits.

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt (where I found a very good rate and we were very happy with our corner room on the 12th floor) and I discovered that the P6 bus would take us to within a block of the West Building. We arrived at 9:58 so we were among the first to enter the building and we were allowed immediate entry into the Vermeer exhibit. I carried a small crossbody bag and was not asked to show it for security. My husband had an empty tote bag we had intended for our coats but we were pleased to find that the coat check was available.

As TDudette did not disclose, one Vermeer in the NGA collection was studied in the past few years with modern imaging technology and determined not to be a Vermeer. The exhibit was very focused and, thankfully, timed attendance was actually limited so that the viewers could have the time and space to really take it in. Essential captions printed on the walls and all! (Are audio guides another Covid casualty?)

Then, on to JSS. This exhibit was extensive, thematically presenting his work from the visits he made in Spain. To be honest, I am not the student of Sargent that TDudette is. While I approached the exhibit with enthusiasm, I reached my saturation point before the end. Loved the unexpected Sierra Nevada and the architectural studies, especially Alambra: Patio de los Leones. It’s so interesting to think that this is the artist of Gassed and Madame X (not in this exhibit). And, yes, we did see the reference to his exchanges with Sorello.
Sorry. I do not know how to resize the works I copied and pasted from other sources.


Sierra Nevada

Alhambra: Patio de los Leones



Gassed

Madame X
k_marie is online now  
Old Nov 23rd, 2022, 02:31 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5,378
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tdud, thanks for this!

I had ro cancel DC next week due to husband's unexpected surgery. Sargent and Vermont exhibits were pretty much my entire Must Do list.

I love what you've done with the blue rooster.
stokebailey is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2022, 03:29 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 28,190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh no, stokebailey, every wish for your husband to be ok. I followed Sargent's "Gassed" to Nashville; maybe his Spain exhibit will move around. The Vermeer may just stay in DC since the study was made on the DH's three copies. Hang in there.
TDudette is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2022, 03:37 PM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 28,190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh, yippees, k_marie. I told you that I didn't want to spoil the Vermeer surprise, eh? However, with 11 children, I'm going to suggest Vermeer was called upon to "watch some of these brats" and handed over a brush! 😁🎨

Thanks so much for the pix. I wish they had said which work Sorolla gave to JSS.

ETA...thanks for the bus info.
TDudette is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2022, 03:56 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,015
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I see that the JSS exhibit will be at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco February 11 - May 12, 2023.

https://www.famsf.org/press-room/joh...s-legion-honor
k_marie is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -