Wednesday, June 16, 2010

DC Death March, part 5

Happy Fun Day 5

This Happy Fun Day was centered around Capitol Hill. The first thing we did was to go to the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial. The sculptor, Henry Shrady, modeled the fallen cavalry soldier about to be trampled after himself. That was definitely not a very good choice since he died just days before the dedication. We visited the Supreme Court next. I got to view the courtroom, but there was nothing in session. I really enjoyed looking at models of both the new and old court chambers.

The steps of the Supreme Court

Then we went to Brett Guthrie's office. He is our congressional representative. He wasn't there, but we got to see his office. A member of his staff led us on a tour of the capitol. We walked through a tunnel to get to the Capitol from the Cannon House Office Building. We saw the rotunda, the old Supreme Court Room (this is the scene of the Dred Scott decision), the old Senate Chamber (where Representative Preston Smith Brooks severely beat Senator Charles Sumner with a cane), and the House Chamber.

Brett Guthrie's office . . . he had a framed photograph of G. Gordon Liddy and himself. That speaks volumes.

The Great Compromiser Henry Clay. One of the two statues each state is allowed. The other for Kentucky is of Ephraim McDowell

Next we went to the Library of Congress (again through a tunnel). We saw a Guttenberg Bible, the first map with the name America appearing on it, and a re-creation of Jefferson's library (he had a copy of Filson's History of Kentucky in French). The Library of Congress was originally a library for law books. But after a fire set by the British in the War of 1812 destroyed the Capitol, Jefferson sold his personal collection (so he could buy more wine) to the government to reestablish a library. Merkin was quite taken by the building itself. Almost every inch is covered by beautiful artwork.

Minerva in mosaic

We were hoping to view something at the nearby Folger Shakespeare Library, but they were in between exhibits. But I did buy a Shakespeare action figure! So, we went on to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The main exhibit was
Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Power. I enjoyed watching a video of him using a flame thrower to create art. My grandfather Pa would really love this museum . . . ha, ha. Finally, on the way back to the hotel, we stopped by the Canadian Embassy to see The Spirit of Haida Gwaii by British Columbian Haida artist Bill Reid.

Performance art by Dudeboy

The Spirit of Haida Gwaii

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dudeboy.... it should be Dudemonkey!