A year ago right now, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, I was on the Boltbus heading to DC. Needless to say, the National Portrait Gallery was on my list of place to see (again). I had never been to the NPG until about two years ago and become more intrigued every time I visit. Sometimes I will go in the morning, break for lunch and get a sandwich across the street, and visit again refreshed in the afternoon. What it fascinating is not just the art–though the NPG collection is one of the finest in the world–but the building, The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and AMerican Art Museum are in the U.S.Patent Office. Clara Barton worked there in the 1850s. During the war the Patent Office was, like so many structures, used as a hospital. It was where Walt Whitman nursed the wounded and dying. When you are in the building you become filled with what I can only describe as a sense of continuity.
Enjoy your weekend.