Monday, June 18, 2012

Library of Congress & NMAI

Day 3 of touring our Nation's Capitol!  We began our day early with breakfast in the hotel, departure at 7:15, a van trip to the train/Metro and a 30 minute journey into downtown DC.  Then a walk to the Library of Congress.  I'll be honest, I was less than excited to visit this building.. I mean.. a library?  How exciting can that be?  But my BIL Steve insisted that we would want to see the interior.  OK, whatever.. :-)  
And then.. we went inside.  :-)  Oh my goodness.. Steve was right!  The artist in me was enthralled by all the beautiful carved marble, inlaid marble floor, painted ceilings... 
The centerpiece of the lobby area was the amazingly beautiful stained glass skylights!  
And the pillars and curved ceiling decor and and and.. wow!  The history of the LOC is HERE
How beautiful is this? 

Each corner around the skylights are these amazing marble sculptures.  The artists who did all this loved women, as they are found in all the artwork.
I couldn't stop gawking at it all.. photographing it at every angle. 
This is the arch that welcomes you.  See the floors?
This is engraved in the arch.  
All the way around are cherubs that depict different things found in the books in the library.  I snapped this one as the baby on the left is holding a brush and palette representing the fine arts.. so I related to it. :-)  There was another part of the LOC that we got to look at, but NO photos were allowed, which was a bummer for me as it was so pretty.. it was a reading room.  BUT, here is a link so you can see it.. HERE.
Next was the National Museum of the American Indian - NMAI.  I had visited this museum when I was last in DC attending the Daughters of the American Revolution's Continental Congress.  We were very impressed with the lunch cafeteria as all the food has an interpretive connection to Native American cuisine from all points of the American continent.  So, we began our visit here as it was lunch time.  The dining area overlooks this wonderful and peaceful waterfall.  It's called the Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe.  If you are interested in the menus, click HERE.  I had  the maple brined turkey with cranberry chutney! :-)
You begin your tour here on the top floor, when we got off the elevator, this great bronze sculpture greeted us in an alcove.  It's called "Allies in War, Partners in Peace" by Edward Hlavka, a gift from the Oneida Nation of NY.  Then we sat in a theater in the round and watched a film introducing us to American Indians and their lives and challenges.
This glass casting is one of my favorite pieces of art in the museum, it's called "Raven Steals the Moon" by Ed Archie Noise Cat (Salish). I absolutely love this. 
I rounded the corner into the main display area (which has a rotating display) and was just awed and amazed at the glowing teepee on display.  I have long wanted one of these.  Isn't it pretty?  The theme of this show is "A Song for the Horse Nation".  See the horses on the teepee?  We watched a movie of how the AI love their horses and how good they are for the kids to learn to care for and ride them.
Of course I was enthralled with all the beadwork they showed... all relating to the riding of horses. 
This jacket was made for "Lone Wolf" -- the beadwork is brilliant on this jacket. 
This is called a "Parfleche", a tough folded rawhide carrying bag, many are painted in designs, and also beaded such as this one.  I love the way the horse is depicted in this. 
This appears to be a breastplate for a man, but is actually one made for a horse!  With my intense patriotism, the beadworker in me and part Native American blood (Cherokee), this artwork just sings to me!  It is edged in bells, imagine the sound of the bells jingling as the horse walks past you?  It's called a Martingale and was made on the plateaus of Oregon or Washington.
I had many many more photos, but I'm sure this is enough. :-)  We spent all afternoon in this museum, just looking about, seeing the museum store, and no, I didn't buy one thing, darn it.  We then headed to the Metro and headed back to the hotel.  We then went out to Famous Dave's BBQ for dinner that night, then collapsed into bed.  Up early the next day to go to Arlington National Cemetery and many other monuments.  Stay tuned!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 


  1. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful photos, Teresa. I am thoroughly enjoying reading about your fantastic trip!

  2. Wow, that library reminded me of things I saw in Italy!!! And the Native American artwork is awesome! I would have spent all day there! I have Cherokee in me too. My Mom always said that is why I get so tan.
    : ) Loving this tour Teresa!!

  3. The Library of Congress is amazing! Did you see Thomas Jefferson's books! Seeing his books was one of the most memorable things I did last time I was in D.C.. I really loved that place. I haven't seen the American Indian museum...that will be on my list for next time!

  4. I'm having so much fun following your trip. All of these places are on our list to visit. But, look at the color in those ceilings. Wonderful.

  5. Another fantastic day on your trip, thanks for taking us along, and that bead work is truly amazing.

  6. Breathtaking artistry! Thanks for taking us to the LOC and NMAI, Teresa. So great that you and Kris know you have an American Indian heritage. I would like to know about our family. I think I have some connection to the Northeastern American Indians, but don't know for sure. Would be neat to have the PBS program Finding Your Roots investigate:)
    Just for the record, you did not show me too many pictures:)
    Gracie <3

  7. Thank you for sharing your vacation with us - I'm enjoying it immensely. Gosh you have some amazing buildings in your country and such interesting history. xox

  8. Hi, I am new to your blog. I have read back over several of your posts and I love your patriotism. I am interested to see how not busy it is at all the places you visited in DC - here in the UK you can't go ANYWHERE which isn't overrun with people. Wonder if it's because we are all crammed onto such a small island?? Anyhoo, your photos are great, your interest and enthusiasm for your country's history really comes across. I read back to your fused stars and stripes glass platter - which is beautiful by the way - and I think I will stop by again..... thanks for a good and happy read!

  9. Loving your photos! There is so much beauty in our state capital that it can be a bit overwhelming while you're have wonderful memories to look back on!

  10. It looks like you are having such a wonderful time. The pictures are great!

  11. The bag with a horse in not a parfleche. It is a soft bag of soft dear, elk, or buffalo hide. Parfleche is a stiff rawhide and more often painted than beaded. However, your photos are really great Thank you for posting them


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