|Chinese artist Ai Weiwei did a collection of sculpture called Animal Heads/Chinese Zodiac that's on display under the Hishhorn right now. Born in 1973, I'm an Ox.|
|This is the Dragon from the same collection. You can see some of the other heads in the background.|
|This is called something like Classical Sculpture by Rodin. It's also in the Hirshhorn.|
This was one of my favorites from this trip.
The Museum of the American Indian is a very sad place. It starts by making a point of the fact that "Indians" are from India, and that even calling American Indians "Native Americans" is an anomoly in that they existed on the continents that we call America long before the continent itself had been given that name. The people living in the Americas before Columbus had a rich culture, history, and heritage long before Europeans knew them.
But then the museum dives straight into the conquest of America by the Spanish, and the plagues and wars that went along with it. By the time English settlers landed at Plymouth Rock, the native population had already been nearly obliterated by disease, so that the pilgrims were able to settle in an abandoned Indian village. Moreover, the Spanish looted and then destroyed the native culture where they found it, so that an astonishingly small collection of native artifacts remains from their pre-settlement culture. The Museum of the American Indian is therefore mostly filled with replicas and with collections from Native American life in the modern day. It's interesting, but it's also sad. Having seen a wide cross-section of both this past weekend, I think there might be more African culture left over from the black slave trade in America than there is American Indian culture from the lives of the pre-conquest peoples.
My father was 1/8th Cherokee. I got into this stuff quite a bit while thinking of him and am looking forward to doing some research on the Cherokee when I get back home.
|This is the Buffalo Hunter, done in the style of the Pueblo Indians. It's outside the|
Museum of the American Indian.
|These skate decks are a good example of the kind of thing that's on display at the Museum |
of the American Indian. They are a modern interpretation of classic American Indian culture.
|I took this picture of the Capitol with my wife's iPhone from a window in the Museum of the American Indian.|
|This is The Nymph. It's the center of three, but it's on display by itself in the |
Hirshhorn's Sculpture Garden. It was another of my favorite pieces from this trip.