This was on the front, but you will be directed further down to the museum.
I was on my way on 17th Street to the Corcoran, with a limited amount of time, I first spotted the Red Cross building and further down toward Constitution was this Neoclassical structure and here I found the Daughters of the Revolution. I am curious about anything that dubs itself a “museum.” Not everyone can be is supposed to be the Louvre or the Met. My back also went up a little bit, that it was the DAR, as I thought of a snobby bunch of ladies concerned with their own genteel lineage. But a museum is a museum, and you can’t be a snob. It is always interesting to see what people want to show you. And when I walked into to Americana, via folk art, I felt that this would be worthwhile, especially since it was FREE. They are asking for nothing, except you to come in.
The interior reminds me of parts of the Atlanta History Museum, which is wonderful, and should be covered in a blog, but here it is a small area of 2 rooms. But within those rooms under “folk” you Above, Reuben Rowley’s double portriats of Chloe and Lucas Cushing, 1826.
can find some portraiture, a landscape by Grandma Moses (Battle of Bennington, August 16, 1777, above), a silver teapot by Paul Revere (circa 1790-1800, above), furniture and sundry items, samplers and my favorite, quilts. Quilts are the most underrated artform in the United States. Everything that becomes “graphic” is a kickoff from the American quilt. Quilts are the ultimate in collage before Matisse. Quilts, with the finesse in stitchery and knowledge of fabric, are haute couture before Chanel and Voinnet. The quilt is a revolution in design and egalitarian, as fine arts are not. There are many fine examples, the two above one African American, the other Pennsylvanian in origin, predate both early twentieth century design and mid-twentieth century fine art.
Nancy Clark Sampler, 1818 (left), Ann Hurd Coleman Sampler, 1835-40 (right).
The samplers are even more curious, as they reflect a way of life totally bygone and unconnected to us, where little girls were taught these things to eventually suggest a right of passage. In our world of cell phones and x-boxes, these embroideries are far away from us.
The giant tooth vaguely reminds me of the crazy giant hot dog building and such out of the twenties. As Americans, we must have always had this strange affinity for “pop” art.