We left for Washington DC early last Thursday morning, to spend a few days there while Wes judged this year’s Miniature Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers of Washington DC exhibition, and to spend sometime sightseeing. The judging process started Friday morning in the spacious basement of Gen Roberts. We later took a break for lunch and enjoyed lots of wonderful conversation and laughter both with Gen and Nar Steel, the MPSGS president, as we sat at a round table surrounded by the hundreds of miniatures carefully organized and laying about the surrounding tables. Afterward, it was back to work for Wes, as he viewed the hundreds of miniature paintings and sculptures that make up this year’s 77th Annual exhibition and will be on display at the lovely Strathmore Hall in Bethesda, MD. After much consideration, comparing and making some tough decisions, he concluded his honorable job of judging the show and came up with his list of award winners. That evening we enjoyed a delicious and delightful dinner with both Nar and Gen and were also joined by Mimi Hegler. It was a beautiful restaurant and we were fortunate to have our own private little alcove, which was quite conducive for lots of great conversation and of course more laughs!
After saying our goodbyes, we headed for our hotel. Upon discovering, and returning, a bag of cleaning supplies and towels that the maid had forgot and left In our room, we were graciously given a complimentary breakfast for the two of us at the beautiful Marriott at which we were staying. Needless to say Wes and I were thrilled with this wonderful treat bestowed upon us!! Free meals, especially really nice ones are always greatly enjoyed by “starving artists”! After having enjoyed such a wonderful day with everyone, and this treat to boot, we thought things just kept getting better! Saturday morning, we enjoyed our wonderful, free breakfast and boarded the Metro rail, after eventually figuring out how to buy our tickets, and headed for downtown DC. We ended up with Saturday free, with Wes completing his job of judging during the eight hours the day before. First we went to the National Museum of Women In the Arts, and I must admit we were quite disappointed with most of what was on exhibit there. We especially went there hoping to see part of their collection of Eulabee Dix’s miniature paintings that we had read about and there wasn’t any on display. Oh well, we were absolutely delighted with our visits to all of the other art museums and they were free . . . go figure!
We spent the next two days inside the various art museums admiring the amazing amount of beautiful paintings that grace the walls of these gorgeous museums! Norman Rockwell has always been one of my favorite artists, so imagine my sheer delight upon learning that there was on display in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, an exhibit of his works entitled “Telling Stories” from the collection of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. It was a delightful exhibit and you could tell from the smiles on the attending viewers faces that it brought back memories for many, of a more simple and happier society. I greatly enjoyed seeing one of my favorite paintings of his “The Connoisseur” depicting a nicely dressed older gentleman standing and looking at one of Jackson Pollocks’ abstract paintings. You can’t help but smile as you look at this gentleman and guess at what he may be thinking or perhaps trying to figure out. Seeing this wonderful exhibit was certainly another surprise treat added to our visit! We then headed up stairs to the Luce Foundation to enjoy once again looking through the many drawers containing a couple hundred portrait miniatures that they have on display there. It was as much of a delightful experience once again as it was almost two years ago!
That evening we walked while enjoying the delightful weather to the Lincoln Memorial, where we waited, with what seemed liked thousands of other people, to catch the memorial in just the right lighting conditions as the sun was setting. It was a beautiful sunset casting nice pinks with the clear skies above. This was one thing on my list to attain for a future miniature painting, and alas I think I was successful. After getting lost, in the dark, while trying to locate a different Metro rail location, we finally made it back to the hotel in time to catch up on a bit of rest, before beginning our sightseeing journey again the next day.
After enjoying a morning of looking at and admiring the beautiful paintings of the Dutch masters, Flemish, and early American artists in the National Gallery of Art, we headed for the American Art Museum once again where they were having a free concert that I had excitedly learned of the day before. Another great surprise treat in our visit, we thoroughly enjoyed the music of National Chamber Ensemble, which was part of their Steinway Series there at the museum. I sat mesmerized as I watched the nimble fingers of Carlos Cesar Rodriguez as they gracefully and with great speed at times, danced up and down the keys of the beautiful Steinway grand piano. Accompanying him was Leonid Sushansky on the violin. After they played Schumann’s Sonata No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 105 for Violin and Piano, the accomplished violinist was joined by guitarist, Andrew Pal, and they played Paganini’s Sonata No. IV in A minor for violin and guitar. My favorite of this set of beautiful music was “Tanguismo” by Piazzolla! After the concert there was but a short time left to take one more admiring glance at some of the beautiful paintings on display.
We left for our peaceful Townsend this morning, and as I’m sharing these stories with you on our i Pad, I’m anxiously awaiting our arrival at home. We excitedly received our first test copy of the long awaited book, “Modern Masters of Miniature Art in America” this past week. It was even better than we had imagined and after a few changes and adjustments made by Wes, it is now completed and available for purchase or free download from Lulu. So far all that have seen it or downloaded it have loved it!
This book extensively covers the subject of miniature art tracing the history, etymology and miniature art societies from the earliest beginnings to the present day. Published in conjunction with the Miniature Artists of America’s 25th Anniversary, the book features the work of 53 of the Society’s Signature Members from around the world with their own thoughts on miniatures and on their career. Over 210 photos of miniature art, miniaturists in their studios and exhibitions grace the pages.
Hardback, 6 x 9 inches, 268 pages, 214 color photographs
$67.60 plus shipping/handling/tax as applicable
Also available as a PDF download for FREE at: http://stores.lulu.com/siegrist
Hope you are enjoying a wonderful fall!
Until next time ~ Rachelle 🙂