Posts belonging to Category 'Museums – Articles on Display'

The Daguerre Monument by Jonathan Scott Hartley

The Daguerre Monument - Smithsonian Institution National Portrait Gallery in the Background

The Daguerre Monument - Smithsonian Institution National Portrait Gallery in the Background

This sculpture is located on the grounds of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

A plaque near the monument provides following information:

The Daguerre Monument

The French artist Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre (1787-1851) became interested in the 1820s in trying to capture images photographically. In August 1839 his “Daguerreotype” technique–fixing an image on a light-sensitive, polished silver plate–was announced to the public. This was the first photographic process to be used widely in Europe and the United States.

In 1890 the Professional Photographers of America donated this monument to Daguerre, by the American sculptor Jonathan Scott Hartley, to the American people. The bronze figure was cast by the Henry-Bonnard Bronze Company of New York. Placed in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum Building (now known as the Arts and Industries Building) to celebrate the first half-century of photography, the monument was displayed on the Mall from 1897 to 1969.

The rededication of the Daguerre Monument in 1989 was sponsored by the Professional Photographers of America in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of photography.

The inscription on the monument reads:

Photography, the electric telegraph, and the steam engine are the three great discoveries of the age. No five centuries in human progress can show such strides as these.

The Daguerre Monument is located on the grounds of the National Portrait Gallery near the southeast corner of the building. The National Portrait Gallery is located at 801 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004. Click Here for Google Map showing the location of the Daguerre Monument.

Closest Metro Station: The Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro Station on the Red Line is nearest to the Portrait Gallery.

Modern Head Sculpture by Roy Lichtenstein

Modern Head Sculpture by Roy Lichtenstein

Modern Head Sculpture by Roy Lichtenstein

This sculpture is located on the grounds of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery. But on September 11, 2001 it was located in New York City only one block from the World Trade Center when terrorists flew one commercial airliner into each of the World Trade Center’s towers.

This sculpture survived the attacks of 9/11, and soon after that it was moved.

Modern Head - Smithsonian Informational Sign

Modern Head - Smithsonian Informational Sign

A plaque on the fence by the sculpture provides information about it. The text is set out below.

Roy Lichtenstein
born New York City 1923-died New York City 1997

Modern Head
conceived 1974
fabricated 1989-1990 by Lippincott Inc., edition I/I
painted stainless steel

Gift of Jeffrey H. Loria in loving memory of his sister, Harriet Loria Popowitz.

Roy Lichtenstein began creating his Modern Head series in the late 1960s with the idea that man can be made to look like a machine and the image manufactured by an industrial source. This concept pervaded the artist’s work throughout his career. In Modern Head he referenced the flat planes, precision, and abstract geometric forms associated with the 1930s art deco architecture and design.

Modern Head was installed in 1996 in Battery Park City, one block from the World Trade Center, by the Public Art Fund of New York City (top photo). The sculpture survived the destruction of 9/11 with only surface scratches and became a memo board for the FBI during its ensuing investigations (bottom photo). Note the white ash on the base and the windows blown out of the building in the background of the photograph taken by insurance agent Michael Fischman on September 21st. The sculpture was removed on November 9, 2001, for its protection.

Modern Head is located on the grounds of the National Portrait Gallery near the southwest corner of the building. The National Portrait Gallery is located at 801 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004. Click Here for Google Map showing the location of the Modern Head Sculpture by Roy Lichtenstein.

Closest Metro Station: The Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro Station on the Red Line is nearest to the Portrait Gallery.

Giant Pandas at the National Zoo

Giant Panda Mei Xiang or Tian Tian - Walking

Giant Panda Mei Xiang or Tian Tian - Walking

By far the most popular attraction at the National Zoo is the Giant Pandas exhibit. Giant Pandas come from the bamboo forests of central China. Two Giant Pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, are on loan to the National Zoo for a period of 10 years.

These cute, huge and absolutely distinctive bears sleep, eat and prance around in the Fujifilm Giant Panda Habitat, an area of over 12,000 square feet provided for them in Washington DC.

Giant Panda Mei Xiang or Tian Tian - Waking From a Restful Nap

Giant Panda Mei Xiang or Tian Tian - Waking From a Restful Nap

These highly recognizable animals have black, rounded ears, an oval black area around each eye, black rear legs and black front legs with a black band that extends from the front legs up over the back. The rump and head are white resulting in a bear covered about 50% in white fur and 50% in black fur.

The attractive mammals eat a diet of little other than bamboo. This is a low energy food source, so these large animals must eat quite a bit of it. And this diet leaves one of the cutest animals in the world with little energy for running, jumping, chasing and fighting. But these large, docile bamboo eaters can and will defend themselves and do occasionally wrestle.

Mei Xiang and Tian Tian are on loan from the China Wildlife Conservation Association.

Click National Zoo to see the StationStart.com entry about the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.

Closest Metro Station: Two Metro Stations are near the Zoo. The pedestrian entrance to the National Zoo on Connecticut Avenue NW is the same distance from both the Cleveland Park Metro Station and the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metro Station. The main difference is that the walk from the Cleveland Park Metro Station is fairly level while the walk from the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metro Station is definitely uphill.

Sumatran Tiger at the National Zoo

Pacing Sumatran Tiger at the National Zoo

Pacing Sumatran Tiger at the National Zoo

Only a small number of Sumatran tigers are alive today. Several live at the National Zoo out of the few hundred that survive. One female cub found in the wild in Sumatra was donated by Indonesia’s Jakarta Zoo as part of a program to ensure the survival of the species.

Tigers, unlike lions, like the water and enjoy swimming. But for the most part they spend time alone often hunting or marking their territory.

At the National Zoo they can often be seen pacing back and forth as in the photograph above.

Click National Zoo to see the StationStart.com entry about the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.

Closest Metro Station: Two Metro Stations are near the Zoo. The pedestrian entrance to the National Zoo on Connecticut Avenue NW is the same distance from both the Cleveland Park Metro Station and the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metro Station. The main difference is that the walk from the Cleveland Park Metro Station is fairly level while the walk from the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metro Station is definitely uphill.

C-3PO Star Wars Costume

C-3PO Costume From Star Wars Episode 6, Return of the Jedi - Displayed at Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History

C-3PO Costume From Star Wars Episode 6, Return of the Jedi - Displayed at Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History

C-3PO’s Costume from Star Wars Episode 6 Return of the Jedi is on display at the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History. The following information is from the museum’s sign accompanying the display.

Movie Costume
1983
C-3PO, an android played by actor Anthony Daniels, appears in all six of director George Lucas’s Star Wars films. This costume was worn in the sixth episode, Return of the Jedi.
Gift of Lucasfilm Ltd., through Howard Roffman

C-3PO’s costume is on display in the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History. Click Museum of American History to see the StationStart.com entry about the museum and its location. Exhibits in the various Smithsonian Institution Museums do change from time to time, so that any specific item may not be on display at all times.

Closest Metro Station: The Federal Triangle Metro Station on the Blue and Orange Lines is nearest to the Constitution Avenue NW entrance to the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History.

Abraham Lincoln Life Mask

Life Mask of Abraham Lincoln Made February 11, 1865 - Displayed at Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History

Life Mask of Abraham Lincoln Made February 11, 1865 - Displayed at Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History

Abraham Lincoln’s life mask is on display at the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History. The following information is from the museum’s signs accompanying the display.

Mill’s Mask of Lincoln
Gift of Theodore Mills, the artist’s son, 1889
On February 11, 1865, about two months before his death, Lincoln permitted sculptor Clark Mills to make this life mask of his face. This was the second and last life mask made of Lincoln.

Written on His Face
The strain of the presidency was written on Abraham Lincoln’s face. His secretary, John Hay, remarked on the dramatic difference in Lincoln’s two life masks. He noted that the first (displayed earlier in the exhibition) “is a man of fifty-one, and young for his years. . . . It is a face full of life, of energy, of vivid aspiration. . . . The other is so sad and peaceful in its infinite repose . . . a look as of one on whom sorrow and care had done their worst without victory is on all the features.”

This life mask of Abraham Lincoln was on display in the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History. Click Museum of American History to see the StationStart.com entry about the museum and its location. Exhibits in the various Smithsonian Institution Museums do change from time to time, so that any specific item may not be on display at all times.

Abraham Lincoln Books & More on Amazon

Closest Metro Station: The Federal Triangle Metro Station on the Blue and Orange Lines is nearest to the Constitution Avenue NW entrance to the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History.

Top Hat Belonging to Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln's Top Hat Worn to Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865

Abraham Lincoln's Top Hat Worn to Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865

Abraham Lincoln’s top hat is on display at the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History. The following information is from the museum’s signs accompanying the display.

Lincoln’s Top Hat

Transfer from the War Department with permission from Mary Lincoln, 1867

At six feet four inches tall, Lincoln towered over most of his contemporaries. He chose to stand out even more by wearing high top hats. He acquired this hat from J. Y. Davis, a Washington hat maker. Lincoln had the black silk mourning band added in remembrance of his son Willie. The last time he wore this top hat was to go to Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865.

The Hat at the Smithsonian

After Lincoln’s assassination, the War Department preserved his hat and other material left at Ford’s Theatre. With permission from Mary Lincoln, the department gave the hat to the Patent Office, which, in 1867, transferred it to the Smithsonian Institution. Joseph Henry, the Secretary of the Smithsonian, ordered his staff not to exhibit the hat “under any circumstance, and not to mention the matter to any one, on account of there being so much excitement at the time.” It was immediately placed in a basement storage room.

The American public did not see the hat again until 1893, when the Smithsonian lent it to an exhibition hosted by the Lincoln Memorial Association. Today it is one of the Institution’s most treasured objects.

This top hat belonging to Abraham Lincoln is located in the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History. Click Museum of American History to see the StationStart.com entry about the museum and its location. Exhibits in the various Smithsonian Institution Museums do change from time to time, so that any specific item may not be on display at all times.

Abraham Lincoln Books & More on Amazon

Closest Metro Station: The Federal Triangle Metro Station on the Blue and Orange Lines is nearest to the Constitution Avenue NW entrance to the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History.

Hope Diamond – Museum of Natural History

Hope Diamond in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History

45.52 Carat Deep Blue Hope Diamond in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History

The Hope Diamond is located in the Smithsonian Institution – National Museum of Natural History on the second floor in the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals. Don’t be surprised if there are lots of people trying to get a close up view of the Hope Diamond when you get there. Click Museum of Natural History to see the StationStart.com entry about the museum and its location.

A Brief History of the Hope Diamond:
16?? – A huge blue diamond was found in India, probably at the Kollur mine in Golconda.
16?? – The diamond was roughly cut to a little over 112 carats.
16?? – Jean Baptiste Tavernier bought a huge diamond and took it to France.
1668 – King Louis XIV of France bought the diamond from Tavernier.
1673 – Sieur Pitau (the jeweler of the French court) cut the diamond down to a little over 67 carats.
1791 – The royal jewels including this diamond were turned over to the French government after Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette attempted to leave France.
1792 – The diamond was stolen.
1812 – By this time the stolen diamond had been re-cut to its current size, and it turned up in the possession of Daniel Eliason, a London diamond dealer.
18?? – King George IV of England bought the diamond.
1830 – When King George IV died, the diamond was sold privately to pay his debts.
1839 – Henry Philip Hope died. The diamond that now bears his name was in his possession, but how it got there is not clear.
18?? – Henry Thomas Hope (Henry Philip Hope’s nephew) took ownership of the diamond following litigation.
18?? – Lord Francis Hope (grandson of Henry Thomas Hope) became owner of the diamond.
1901 – The Hope Diamond was sold by Lord Francis Hope to a London diamond dealer. In that same year it was sold to diamond dealers in New York Joseph Frankels and Sons.
19?? – Joseph Frankels and Sons sold the diamond to Selim Habib.
1909 – Selim Habib consigned the diamond to an auction house in Paris. It didn’t sell at the auction, but afterwards it was sold to C.H. Rosenau.
1909 – C.H. Rosenau sold the diamond to Pierre Cartier.
1911 – Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean who lived in Washington DC bought the diamond.
1947 – Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean passed away.
1949 – Harry Winston Inc. bought the diamond from Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean’s estate.
1958 – Harry Winston Inc. gave the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution on November 10, 1958.

Closest Metro Station: The Smithsonian Metro Station and the Federal Triangle Metro Station, both on the Blue and Orange Lines, are nearest to the Natural History Museum and about the same distance away. Although the Smithsonian Metro Station, located just across the mall from the museum, is a little bit closer.

Ruby Slippers Belonging to Dorothy – Worn by Judy Garland in Wizard of Oz

Ruby Slippers Worn by Judy Garland

Ruby Slippers Worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in the 1939 Movie The Wizard of Oz

There were multiple pairs of the ruby slippers, sometimes referred to as ruby red shoes, worn by Dorothy Gale (portrayed by Judy Garland) in the 1939 movie version of the Wizard of Oz. The pair of ruby slippers pictured above and used in filming the movie was donated anonymously to the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History in 1979.

In the original book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum the magic slippers were silver. But ruby red slippers provided a more striking appearance against a yellow brick road, so the silver slippers of the book were changed to ruby slippers for the movie. The photograph above shows the ruby slippers pictured on the yellow bricks in the museum’s display case.

Judy Garland wore these size 5 shoes when she was 16 years old. The pair in the Smithsonian have felt soles and may have been used for dancing.

Red Sequins on Ruby Slippers Worn by Judy Garland

Red Sequins on Ruby Slippers Worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy Dale in the Movie The Wizard of Oz

The ruby red color of the shoes comes primarily from the glistening red sequins that cover the shoes. The round sequin discs are easily visible in the above photographs showing the sequins on the inner side (left side) of the right shoe.

Bow on Right Ruby Slipper Worn by Judy Garland

Bow on Right Ruby Slipper Worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in the 1939 Movie The Wizard of Oz

Even though the ruby red color of the shoes comes primarily from red sequins, the bows use red from other sources. Each bow is covered with 46 red rhinestones, 42 red bugle beads and 3 large red jewels. These are easily seen in the close up photograph above.

Interestingly the bow pictured above is from the right shoe in the Smithsonian. That bow is a little bit odd shaped in that it does not have the same evenness and symmetry as the bows on the other known pairs of shoes used in the movie. Because this bow shape is recognizable, this pair of shoes is believed to be the primary pair worn by Judy Garland in the filming of the movie. For example this shoe with its slightly odd shaped bow can be seen on Judy Garland’s right foot when she enters the Emerald City throne room. Click Ruby Slipper Design to see the design of the ruby slippers including details of the bow on The Ruby Slipper Fan Club website.

This pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland is located in the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History. Click Museum of American History to see the StationStart.com entry about the museum and its location.

Click Wizard of Oz to see a StationStart.com entry that summarizes information about the Wizard of Oz in and around Washington DC.

Closest Metro Station: The Federal Triangle Metro Station on the Blue and Orange Lines is nearest to the Constitution Avenue NW entrance to the museum, but the Smithsonian Metro Station, also on the Blue and Orange Lines, is only a little bit further from the National Mall entrance to the museum.

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