Guest Author - Donna Ledbetter
Many tourists, when they first arrive to Washington, DC, make a beeline for three stops: The White House, The Capitol, and the Smithsonian. And rightly so. Within just a few miles of each other, these sites offer an in depth look at the history and culture of the United States in just a short time and at a minimal cost. The Smithsonian in particular is one of the largest museums in the world. Yet if you limit your tour of museums in DC to just the Smithsonian, youíll miss out on Washington, DCís other great collection of fine art and culture just a few metro stops away. Take the Washington DC Metro Red Line to the DuPont Circle stop. There, youíll find a collection of galleries and museums worth going the extra mile.
The Phillips Collection museum is just a few short steps from the DuPont Circle metro stop. It houses the private collection of the Philips family and features a wide array of artistic genres and artists ranging from the impressionist paintings of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne to abstract works of Piet Mondrian and the historic works of Jacob Lawrence. The Philips Collection is located at 1600 21st Street, NW. Upon approaching the museum, youíll find signs pointing to another art gallery just behind it. Follow the signs through the alleyway, to an amazing, unexpected collection of student art in this tiny studio.
Just a few steps away, of particular interest to divas and creative types, will be the Textile Museum at 2320 S Street, NW. This museum features exhibits highlighting the dyeing, crafting, and designing processes of fabrics and cloths from around the world. Step into the world of classical Persian carpet making, learn how to make some of your favorite crafts, uncover the secret art printmaking. Each Saturday morning at 10:30 am, the museum features special guests who share their own collection of textiles with the audience or provide a workshop on an aspect of the fast-moving world of textiles. Guided tours are also held every weekend from September to May at 1:30 pm.
Just a few paces down the street at 2340 S Street, NW, youíll find the historic home of humanitarian President Woodrow Wilson and Washington DCís only presidential museum. Itís the Woodrow Wilson House, and itís where you can see the home of Woodrow Wilson as it was during his days in the District of Columbia. Guided tours of the home are available in languages other than English --- including Japanese, Russian, Spanish, German, Chinese, and American Sign Language --- with advanced reservation. You may also pick up a tour by walk-in, but availability is limited.