Thursday, June 19, 2008


Taken outside the museum's largest restaurant, Cascade Café.
I loved this older woman who was so engrossed in her book over the
din and clatter of diners, shoppers, and visitors.

Yesterday's entry featured pictures from the West Building of the National Gallery of Art. Today's entry highlights the East Building, which houses the contemporary and modern collections. Opened in 1978, the East Building was a gift from the children of Andrew Mellon. It includes works from artists like Picasso, Matisse, Pollock, Warhol, and Calder, to name a few.

L: Colorful people, colorful art.
R: Alexander Calder's giant mobile in the main hall of the East Building.
(Click on images to enlarge.)

Currently, the gallery is host to a special exhibit of treasures from Afghanistan, which I will be featuring tomorrow, as well as an exhibit of photos by photographer Richard Misrach and a collection of paintings and photographs called In the Forest of Fontainebleau: Painters and Photographers from Corot to Monet.

L: Walking through the tunnel from the West Building to the East Building.
R: Visitors emerge out of the tunnel into the East Building.
(Click on images to enlarge.)

Designed by I.M. Pei, the East Building it is an airy, bright structure with vast exhibit halls and a subterranean structure that allows visitors to pass from the West Building to the East Building without going outside and crossing busy city streets. With the exception of pictures I took of Alexander Calder's enormous mobile, I decided to stretch myself a little and use the museum and its visitors as my subjects and create my own art. This collection of photographs is the result!

In today's world of cell phones, Blackberry's, and electronic wizardry,
these phone booths seem outdated. Perhaps the East Building
should donate them to the West Building?

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential.


babooshka said...

I really enjoyed this virtual walk
through the modern artwork today. Your next posts sounds fascinating. Afghan art got to see that.

Debi said...

Six (SIX!) awesome pictures in one day's post. I'm dying here of envy and admiration.

I love each and every one of these photos. The one with the phone booths is hauntingly lyrical.

Dusty Lens said...

Another must stop in and see. A full week can't do D.C. justice. I remember when pay phone booths were ten cents. We don't see them around anymore.

Ah, have you been following MLB interleague play? My Twins are playing your Nationals this afternoon. Wish I could cut out of the office to watch the game.

D.C. Confidential said...

Babooshka: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed this.

Debi: Thank you. The phone booths are rather lyrical, aren't they? I had a second photo I took with my photographer friend, Sheryl, in one of them. She was sitting in there, calling her husband on her cell phone! Unfortunately, the picture turned out blurry, otherwise I would have posted that one.

Rob: I've lived in the city for six years and if I've seen 1/10th of it, I'd be shocked! So, who won the game?

Maya said...

The only way to read! I remember having that kind of concentration when I was a kid reading a book.

Love the colors of the people next to the colors of the painting. Beautiful!

That phone booth shot is wonderful! Truly a great shot. Well done!

Misawa Mama said...

Its been awhile since I have been to dc. Love the modern art gallery pics!

D.C. Confidential said...

Maya: Wow! I admire people who can read in a din. I have a hard time doing it. Although, if something in print really captivates me, I manage. I really had fun shooting pictures in this museum and may go back just for a repeat!

Misawa Mama: Thanks! I'm assuming you'll rotate through this area again soon?

The Artful Eye said...

These photos are wonderful. I love these phone booths. Privacy, silent exchanges in conversation. I wish they still existed. I recently saw two pay phone booths with the books still attached and I stood in awe. I notice the price of the call was 1.75. Like Rob I remember .5 and .10.

D.C. Confidential said...

Andrea: I wish they had phone booths for cell phone users so we weren't subjected to cell yell! Seriously, I don't want to hear about your recent visit to the Gyn or what he said, she said. Ugh. Properiety... A lost virtue. And I'm with you and Rob: I remember when pay phones were $0.10 a call. Does that mean the three of us are old?