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National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
On my recent visit to Washington, DC I walked through the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. I could hear the sound of the water spurting in the nearby fountain. It was a warm day and the mist from the water was refreshing.
As it was the last week in April, most creatures (human and feathered) seemed to "flock" to this welcoming watering hole.
I walked past a giant typewriter eraser by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, red granite seats by Scott Burton titled "Six-Part Seating."
A whimsical sculpture "House I" by Roy Lichtenstein seemed to be a child's play house. Alexander Calder's "Red House" and Tony Smith's "Moondog" accented the landscape.
While standing in the shade to cool off, I saw an amazing group of sculptures beneath the trees that were simply called "Girls" or "Puellae." An army of pubescent headless children stood erect, facing the fountain. These bronze figures may have lacked significance until you realize the artist is Magdalena Abakanowicz.
Photo by the author Camille Gizzarelli
The artist is a Polish sculptor who draws from her life experience during World War II and later. Each of the "girls" is uniquely cast from a burlap mold. It is interesting to note that Abakanowicz was first trained as a textile artist.
These figures can be arranged in different configurations, depending on the site. Actually these sculptures did a disappearing act while I was visiting Washington. I first saw this grouping on Thursday, then told a friend who joined me on Friday (they had been removed). To my amazement and joy they were returned to the same location under the trees on Saturday.
When in Washington, DC take a leisurely stroll through the amazing National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. It is well worth the trip.
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