Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What I did on my Christmas vacation

Yesterday, despite the woefully freezing Washington winter, Tom took me to the National Museum of the American Indian. We were hoping for more artifacts and antiques, but it was still informative and fun. I searched diligently for evidence of Native American knitting to no avail. But the weaving and the beadwork were to die for.
The only thing I managed to photograph was this stunning piece entitled "Allies in War, Partners in Peace" by Edward Hlavka. This 19.5-foot bronze statue depicts the alliance between the Oneida people and the United States and features General George Washington, Polly Cooper and Oneida Chief Oskanondohna. Truly splendid.

To view a much better photograph of this statue, visit this Smithsonian page.

The most impressive thing of all? The exterior of the building. I'm not usually a big fan of modern architecture but this building simply feels... well... organic. The curves connote water and rolling hills and the stone tiers echo prehistoric rock formations. Just beautiful. A number of Native Americans designed and architected this museum as detailed by
National Museum of the American Indian

Built: 2004
Style: Organic
Project Designer: Douglas Cardinal (Blackfoot) of Ottawa, Canada
Design Architects: GBQC Architects of Philadelphia and Johnpaul Jones (Cherokee/Choctaw)
Project Architects: Jones & Jones Architects and Landscape Architects Ltd. of Seattle and SmithGroup of Washington, D.C., with Lou Weller (Caddo) and the Native American Design Collaborative, and Polshek Partnership Architects of New York City
Design Consultants: Ramona Sakiestewa (Hopi) and Donna House (Navajo/Oneida)
Landscape Architects: Jones & Jones Architects and Landscape Architects Ltd. of Seattle and EDAW Inc. of Alexandria, Va.
Construction: Clark Construction Company of Bethesda, Md. and Table Mountain Rancheria Enterprises Inc (CLARK/TMR)
If you ever find yourself in DC, it's definitely worth a visit - even if you only get to see the exterior. And if you do wander inside, check out the movie in the Rasmusen Theater on the fourth floor. It's truly a unique experience.

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