New Light – Washington

So the circle of my wanders was closed: I’m on the banks of the Neva, I approach the familiar building of Kunstkamera, where my permanent interlocutor is waiting for me, the old Museum in Nicknamed Philippich.

"I heard, I heard, – he began, – that you got a fantastic grant and traveled half airs, collecting material for a book about museums. Well, talk about successes".

Just successed, I could not boast. During this year, the museums of the United States and the British islands, the Vatican and Italy, Israel and Egypt, Yemen and Syria, the Czech Republic and Austria, Sweden and Finland merged into one dead picture: rarities, exhibits, memorials and a celebratory storage people. As if I went for knowledge, and got on the cemetery of unnecessary things.

"Cemetery, say? – Smiled Philippich. – Tell me better that you, oriental, saw in the extreme west. Start in order".

In order, it means from Washington, DC, the capital of the United States. It is here, on the mall, most museums are located from the world’s largest museum complex, Smithsonian Institute. It is based on a bowel station years ago on the money of the English scientist James Smithson for the sake "Extensions and distribution of knowledge". What is Mall? Literally – Alley, Place of large stores, sales, and in Washington This is a wide parking line from the gray dome of the Capitol to the calm Waters Potomak, the Great River in the East of the New World. Entrance to Smithson Museums Free, Booklets and Popular Catalogs are issued for free.

Beautiful summer morning family of provincials, say from Utah, in unchanging T-shirts, shorts and beesball caps, stands in the middle of the capital of the nation, deciding where to go. With all the wealth of choice it is not difficult to guess their route. They go on a tour of the Capitol and the White House, will visit the Memorials of Lincoln Presidents, Washington and Jefferson and Sculpture. The group of those killed in the Korean War (with the famous Central "Freedom is not given for free").

Then – museums, and the first of them, of course, the museum of aeronautics and cosmonautics. There you can touch the sample of the real lunar soil, go to the cosmic cabin "Apolloon", see the combat aircraft of World War II, including "Anolu Gay" With its nuclear cargo, stand up next to the American and Soviet strategic missiles, look into Einstein’s planetarium and only 4 dollars to survive in the cinema of the air balloon and the glider, ascebid on the rocket "Saturn".

The demonstration of the technical capabilities of mankind fills the American heart with sober pride and youthful delight at the same time. And the family of Utah looks into the catalog as in the technical instruction, allowing you to collect the whole world from individual details, where the treasure map appears through the rigorous text "Golden Zhuka" Edgar P. And for Orientozhd, it is especially expensive for the Space Odyssey begins in the museum from the Persian carpet of the aircraft and the Arab sword on it.

Further – Museum of Crafts and Industries with existing models of the first locomotive and other wonders of the nineteenth century. Museum of natural history with a huge statue of an elephant in the lobby and the answer to the riddle of the origin of all living things. Museum of American history from the first colonists, telegraph, telephone to the latest news of the day. And all, no longer withstand a person: Lunch, Blessed Walking in Parks.

And with the onset of darkness – the rise to the top of 555 feet obelisk George Washington (old-timers familiarly call him "pencil") or high-rise building of the old post office to look at the lights of the evening capital.

New Light - Washington

In the summer season, four museums are open on Thursdays to 8 pm. This is the Museum of Contemporary Sculpture and the Hirshorn Sculpture Garden, where you can dine with a discount if I ordered wine; Museum of African art with his wonderful exposition of hats; Two elemental art galleries with statues from Jordan, with over 8 and a half thousand years, silver, bronze and ceramics from ancient Iran, masterpieces from India, Japan, China. The visual art of the new light is presented in the Museum of American Art, the National Portrait Gallery and several other.

The National Gallery of Art consists of two huge buildings – Western (Rembrandt, Coro, the painting of the Italian Renaissance) and the East (modern painting from the Meyerhff collection)!

Philippich was silent and, in my opinion, listened to. My confused story seemed little to occupy him. And I hurried:

– We still need to say about one museum that is not part of the Smithson Complex, about Dumbarton Oaks, the luxurious garden and mansion of the last century in the Central District – Georgetown, where the magnificent collection of Indian arts of the Precucumbovaya era is exhibited: gold, jade! Silver and sculpture of the Eastern Roman Empire, Byzantium! In the music hall of the mansion played by Jan Paderevski and Igor Stravinsky, in 1944, representatives of the Allied powers discussed the Charter of the United Nations. In this museum, I especially like the bronze statue of one horse.

"Here, – Filippich smiled, – how did you go, directly do not keep. Only in vain you called the museums of the cemetery. It’s not good. At Shakespeare’s Theater "globe", I remember was a suitable motto "The whole world – theater". But the theater is just a private case of the museum, because things are played by such performances that did not dream of other lycisers. So: The whole world is a museum. Agree?".

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