Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wonder at the Renwick Gallery

It's been quite a while since the kids and I've been to a new art exhibit or museum. In fact, I don't think we've done any art exploring since our trip to Italy. We'd planned to head down to check out the recently re-opened Renwick Gallery over Thanksgiving weekend, but everyone was too stuffed to do much besides lounge around. So we took advantage of an early dismissal yesterday and took a buddy with us to see what we would find at the opening exhibition Wonder. It might have been the best art exhibit for kids we've ever seen.

It's interactive in a way that has nothing to do with physically touching the sculptures (you can't). But the scale of each piece, the fact that many are made using everyday objects, and the ability to get up close to each creates an experience that we've never had before. Plus, unlike many art museums we've been to with the kids, museum staff engaged and encouraged them to explore (respectfully). I'm a little smitten (if you can't tell).

The kids were all enthralled with each piece and engaged in the exhibit's prompt of what it means to "wonder." We visited and revisited every room, probably spending the most time lounging under Janet Echelman's tsunami. It was the absolute perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon, but I can't wait to go back to experience some of the pieces in natural light (especially Gabriel Dawe's colorful spectrum).

The Renwick Gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. - 5.30 p.m. and is free admission. The Renwick building is a National Historic Landmark in its own right and the first built expressly as an art museum in the United States. It's also steps from the White House, which makes for a great pop-in visit if you're down on the mall. GO.

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