An Afternoon in Washington: Checking Out the Sculpture Garden, the Nat'l Museum of the American Indian & the Most Recent Iraq War Protest
A week or so ago I went with my friend Michael to the ice skating rink in the Washington Sculpture Garden. You can only enter the rink on the hour, and since we arrived at about five minutes past and the long line we saw was not moving, we skipped the skating and had a look at the art in the Sculpture Garden.
From there, we went walking and stumbled upon the Indian Museum, and since it was free went inside to have a look.
This has got to be the one of the poorest federal museums in Washington. It had an air of being some federally-mandated initiative, and as such failed in several key areas. First, the building looked expensive, and most of the space inside was poorly utilized. Half of the four story structure belonged to its atrium, in which only three quite recent recreations of Indian canoes resided. There was also an excessive number of retail shops. More confounding still is that the museum didn't focus on Indian tribes in the US, but aimed instead at the wider range of indigenous peoples of the Western hemisphere, which limited its utility for most Americans. Then, the material inside proved not to be very educational at all. The exhibits consisted of high-tech, modern media, with many a glass-enclosed showcase showing color photographs and looped videos played on monitors. What a waste of money, never mind the squandered opportunity to house some of the rarest and most important artifacts of indigenous culture in the country known today as the United States.
An upward view at the atrium ceiling
An example of an Aymara / Quechue reed boat (we saw similar ones in Lake Titicaca in Bolivia)
Another example of an Indian canoe and some art from a British Columbian tribe
Several examples of the Bible translated to Indian languages - I'm sure the accuracy is spot on
From there we wandered down the Capital Mall, and were reminded that there was a protest against the Iraq war that day. We commented to each other on the low turn-out as well as the fact that we and so many we know were not taking part despite extreme opposition to Bush's war. There are so many reasons, but none of them are very good, especially considering our good health and the warm temperatures that day.