Posts tagged with "Smithsonian"

Must-See Places in DC via Bike

By Lia Summers

Loop of the National Mall

The National Mall is the most popular attraction in Washington, DC for good reason. The iconic buildings, memorials, and greenery are breathtaking. Biking is one of the best ways to see the glory of the National Mall. Start at the 15th Street bike trail on the Northeast Side of the White House and follow 15th street past the Washington Monument. Stay on the sidewalk and go clockwise to view the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Capitol, the Holocaust Museum, the Jefferson Memorial, and the George Mason Memorial to Ohio Drive. Continue on Ohio Drive and view the Potomac River, the Arlington Memorial Bridge and Arlington National Cemetery in the distance. Hang a right on West Basin Drive to see the FDR Memorial, MLK Memorial and the DC World War I Memorial. Hang a left onto Independence Ave to see the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool and the Vietnam Memorial. Take Constitution Ave East and view the Federal Reserve, Constitution Gardens and the Lock-keeper’s House. Hang a Right onto 17th Street to get a close up view of the WW2 Memorial, the John Paul Jones Memorial and the Tidal Basin.

If you are feeling adventurous, cross the Arlington Memorial bridge on the North side into Virginia and cross to the West side of Jefferson Davis Highway to follow the trail to the Netherlands Carillon and a recently restored Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima).

Another option is to take the South side path on the Arlington Memorial Bridge and merge onto the Mount Vernon trail. Take the scenic ride along the Potomac River to the 14th Street Bridge and ride East to land back in DC at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

Hains Point

Hains Point is the location where the Potomac and Anacostia rivers meet and the location of East Potomac Park. Now that the SW Waterfront has been redeveloped, there are beautiful views along the road that hugs the perimeter of the park. There are trees along the route including Weeping Willows, Horse Chestnuts, Buckeyes and the oldest section of surviving Yoshino Cherry trees on the National Mall. There are also several recreational activities in East Potomac Park including swimming, tennis and mini golf.

Pennsylvania Ave Capitol/LOC/SC

Head East from South Side of the White house to the center bike lane on Pennsylvania Ave to see the historic buildings on Federal Triangle, City Hall, the Old Post Office, the National Gallery of Art and the Capitol Building. Bike up the walkway around the Capitol to the see the East side, which is the front of the Capitol and where every presidential inauguration has been held until Ronald Reagan’s in 1981. Behold the beautiful views of the Capitol visitor center, the Supreme Court and the Jefferson Library of Congress on First Street. Bike North on First past the Senate Buildings to view Union Station.

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens – Formerly known as Shaw Gardens, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is a historic water lily farm started by Walter and Helen Shaw Fowler. It is set in the Anacostia River Tidal Wetlands and is easily accessible on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail North bicycle Trail. Water lilies bloom from early May to mid-September and enjoy the lotus seed pod heads for three seasons. Enjoy the beautiful marshes, bird watch, or have a picnic!

Anacostia River Trail South and Kingman Island

Starting at RFK Stadium there is a lovely bike trail that hugs both sides of the Anacostia River. This trail passes Kingman Island, several boating clubs, fishermen, and beautiful views on the West Side of the Anacostia River. Cross the Philip Souza bridge and go North on the West side of the river for a complete loop, or continue South on the East side to the Navy Yard.

Navy Yard/Nats Stadium

The Anacostia river trail ends on 11th St SE. You can then cross the highway to the Navy Yard boardwalk and continue along the Potomac River and several historic military memorials to the boardwalk at Yards Park which hosts several restaurants and Nats Stadium.

Mt Olivet Cemetery and the National Arboretum

Mt. Olivet Cemetery is an underrated attraction that features some of the oldest graves in the city. Most importantly, they allow bikes on their main roads! This iconic cemetery is one of the oldest in Washington, DC and features rolling hills, ancient marble headstones and elaborate family vaults. It’s also the final resting place of Lincoln Conspirator, Mary Surratt and White House Architect, James Hoban.

This is a challenging ride with many hills, so it’s ideal for an electric bicycle. Mt. Olivet Cemetery is located in Northeast Washington, DC off of Bladensburg Road. It’s best to drive and park at the cemetery before you ride. The National Arboretum is across the street from Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Enjoy 400 acres of gardens, a world-class Bonsai collection, and a stunning display of the Old sandstone Capitol columns.

Marvel's Indigenous Voices

Marvel’s Indigenous Voices

Marvel announced a new, special series of variant covers written and drawn by the comic book industry’s biggest indigenous artists for MARVEL’S VOICES: INDIGENOUS VOICES #1.

One of the artists included in the project is Jeffrey Veregge, who recently finished an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Veregge will provide the art for covers featuring characters like Black Panther, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Captain America, Hulk and Thor.

Veregge said his own people, the S’Klallam Tribe, have used an art style known as Formline to tell their stories for generations. He added that his style is an extension of the art he has seen used by Native artists from his region.

“As a lifelong comic fan, artist and Native American, I am truly honored to work with Marvel Comics today. Not only to create pieces that represent a voice for Indigenous People in honor of Native American Heritage month, but also for the opportunity to share the same storytelling spirit of my ancestors by sharing the tales of some of today’s heroes,” Veregge said.

These variant covers will be available in comic book shops in November, and you can see each and every one of them right here.

Art Basel, Miami, Frost Art Museum FIU ,360 MAGAZINE

ART BASEL × FIU

Announcing Art Basel Season 2019 at the Frost Art Museum FIU

The Frost Art Museum FIU, the Smithsonian Affiliate in Miami, presents a spectacular season of exhibitions and programming for this year’s Art Basel Week in Miami.

From the groundbreaking exhibition Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989. Gallery image, artwork by Keith Haring, October 20, 1985. Acrylic on canvas tarp. Photo by Michael Pittman. ©Keith Haring Foundation. 

Every December during Art Basel Miami Beach and Miami Art Week, the global spotlight shines on Miami for one of the world’s leading art fairs, attracting 70,000+ collectors, cultural leaders, artists and media influencers from around the world.

The Frost Art Museum FIU is ground zero again this year for headline shows and events, including the two exhibitions Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989, and South Beach, 1977-1986: Photographs by Gary Monroe, plus on the Sunday morning of At Basel week the 16th annual Breakfast in the Park, featuring Petah Coyne this year as the invited speaker.

16th Annual Breakfast in the Park Presents: Petah Coyne 

Sunday, December 8th

9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Free and open to the public, RSVP required in advance at this link.

This year, for the museum’s 16th Annual Breakfast in the Park (an official Art Basel event), the special guest artist will be sculptor and photographer Petah Coyne. This popular event attracts art collectors, patrons, gallery owners, cultural luminaries and artists from around the world, many visiting Miami for Art Basel. 

Each year a noted sculptor is invited to speak. Guests enjoy a complimentary breakfast, informal lecture, and guided tours of FIU’s Sculpture Park.

Marchesa Donates Crazy Rich Asians Gown

Marchesa Donates Crazy Rich Asians Gown to the Smithsonian at Los Angeles Event

Dress Joins Collections in the National Museum of American History

Marchesa is donating the iconic blue dress that played an integral role in the Warner Bros. Pictures film Crazy Rich Asians to the National Museum of American History. The dress will be presented May 18 during “The Party: A Smithsonian Celebration of Asian Pacific Americans,” a Los Angeles event hosted by the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Center at City Market Social House. “The Party” will celebrate and recognize the many contributions of Asian Pacific Americans to history and culture across industries, including music, film, sports and culinary arts. Tickets are available at Smithsonianapa.org.

This blue gown is part of a pivotal moment in the film’s plot in which Rachel Chu, played by actress Constance Wu, attends a high-profile wedding in defiance of her boyfriend’s disapproving mother Eleanor Young, played by Michelle Yeoh. The gown is a floor-length Grecian-style dress made of light blue tulle with floral applique, a deep V-neck and a cinched waist. The original version of the dress designed by Marchesa for its fall 2016 collection featured long sleeves, but they were temporarily removed by the film’s production for aesthetic purposes. The museum will receive the altered sleeveless version that appeared in the film.

“The film’s use of fashion is not merely decorative or secondary,” said Theodore S. Gonzalves, curator in the Division of Culture and Community Life at the National Museum of American History. “The cast’s clothing plays a crucial role in marking social class among its characters—from multi-generational moneyed elites of Peranakan (Straits-born Chinese immigrants), to the nouveau riche strivers of Singapore, to working class Chinese immigrants in the United States and their Asian American model minority progeny.”

Crazy Rich Asians is notable for having a mostly East Asian cast, the first Hollywood film to do so since The Joy Luck Club in 1993. The Warner Bros. film grossed $238 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing romantic comedy in a decade. The Crazy Rich Asians Marchesa gown joins a rich collection of museum artifacts with origins in film and entertainment such as Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz, Batman’s cowl from Batman and Robin and a handmaid’s costume from The Handmaid’s Tale TV show. The museum’s Archives Center also has a number of other theatrical scripts, video and audiotapes in its Luther Davis Collection.

“Representation of Asian Pacific Americans in film and media is critical to the visibility of a community who has made many contributions to the arts,” said Lisa Sasaki, director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. “By collecting the film’s iconic dress, the Smithsonian is better able to present these contributions to the world.”

Marchesa is an American brand specializing in women’s wear based in New York City. Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig established it in 2004.

From its establishment in 1997 as an initiative critical to the mission of the Smithsonian until today, the vision for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center has been to enrich the American story with the voices of Asian Pacific Americans. Asian Pacific America is the story of a vibrant, diverse and resilient set of communities that have been part of the American experience for more than 200 years. The center believes that people’s understanding of America and America’s standing in the world is richer, more compelling and more powerful when it includes the Asian Pacific American story. “The Party” also marks the launch of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Keystone Initiative, which is designed to rally support for the first permanent Asian Pacific American Gallery within the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center serves as a dynamic national resource for discovering why the Asian Pacific American experience matters every day, everywhere and all of the time.

Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. It helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more informed future. The museum is located on Constitution Avenue N.W., between 12th and 14th streets, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For more information, visit http://americanhistory.si.edu. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.

America’s First Food Spy × David Fairchild

In the January/February issue of Smithsonian magazine, Daniel Stone, a writer for National Geographic and author of the new book The Food Explorer, sits down with Smithsonian to tell the forgotten story of the man who gave us kale, America’s first adventurer-botanist and “food spy”, David Fairchild, who traveled the world over a century ago in search of exotic crops.

Here are some highlights:

So who was David Fairchild?

“David Fairchild was an adventurer-botanist, which is a title that has rarely existed in history. He was a man who grew up in Kansas, at a time when the United States was very blank. It was in need of a lot of growth. Economic growth, military growth and culinary growth. And he detected an appetite for all of those types of change, which led him to conduct world-wide adventures at a time when not that many people traveled. He went to places that not that many people went, in search of foods and crops that would enrich farmers and very much delight American eaters.”

What did Fairchild do as a “food spy”?

“His role, sanctioned by the president and the secretary of agriculture, was to find exotic crops and bring them back. Sometimes it was diplomatic. And sometimes he would steal things. He went to Bavaria to acquire better hops. German growers had the world’s best hops and didn’t want anyone to get them, so they hired young men to guard the fields at night. Fairchild befriended these growers. It was covert work, and he didn’t outright steal the hops, but he did eventually acquire them and brought them back to the U.S. That really helped balloon America’s hops-growing industry.”

What effect did his missions have?

If Fairchild hadn’t traveled to expand the American diet, our supermarkets would look a lot different. You certainly wouldn’t have kale, which he picked up in Austria-Hungary, to the extent that you do today. Or food like quinoa from Peru, which was introduced back then, but took off a century later. Anyone who’s eaten an avocado from Central America or citrus from Asia can trace those foods back to his efforts. Those fruits hadn’t permeated American agriculture until Fairchild and the USDA created a system to distribute seeds, cuttings and growing tips. Fairchild went to great lengths, at times risking his life, to find truly novel crops, like dates from Iraq and Egyptian cotton.”

What was Fairchild’s favorite food discovery?

“The mangosteen (unrelated to the mango). He thought that Americans would love it and tried repeatedly to introduce it, but it only grows in tropical climates, and doesn’t grow much fruit, so it never really caught on.”

Read the entire story here.

Story/Photo Credits: Smithsonian