Friday, March 26, 2010

National Art Museum

We took a look around the National Art Museum in Washington, DC. It was wonderful to see my tax dollars doing something so awesome. It was great to see my tax dollars not invading and occupying another country or jacking them for oil. The museum is split into East and West wings. They look entirely separate above ground, but they’re connected by a tunnel underground. They share a bookstore, also underground. After we finished up the first wing, we hit the bookstore, and I spent some time rooting around, looking for awesome, overpriced art books. There was an incredible book featuring some of Anselm Kiefer’s work. He’s one of my very favorite artists. I flipped through the book a few times, thought about buying it, and put it back. I was sure I could order it online for less money. I started to walk off. Then a beautiful young girl, probably in her early 20s and fresh out of art school, walked over to the books and picked one up, right where I had been standing. I stayed in the store, fiddling with some inane souvenir coffee cups so that I could get a better look at her. She stood about 5’ 10,” lean. Her hair was straight and brown, and pulled up in a bun, peaking out from underneath her faux-military hat. She wore glasses and had perfect skin. I looked at her looking at a book, and wondered which one she had picked up. I wondered what the voice of a girl who looks like that’s would sound like. I thought she might be British. Christ, if she had been British, I would have clubbed her over the head with an oversized art book, slung her over my shoulder, and run for the door. I got a little closer to her and saw that it was an Edward Hopper book that she was thumbing through. I winced. It hurt. Fuck Edward Hopper. His work is corny, dreamy, idyllic, Americana bullshit. It’s art for calendars. You couldn’t make me care about Edward Hopper at gunpoint. I had really hoped that she’d been looking at the Anselm Kiefer book. I would have wept if she had a British accent and it had been the Kiefer book, but such was not the case. My attraction to her relented, and I felt a sort of pity. I felt like I should help her out, illuminate her folly, and explain why Anselm Kiefer is so far superior to Edward Hopper that it’s ridiculous that they should be featured on the same shelf. I didn’t, though. My wife found me and told me that we’d need to get moving if we were still going to make it to happy hour. We took off down the people mover.

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