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It would seem a strange sight at first. Men of science in the Museum of the Bible. But, the displays show the two are not incompatible.
Galileo is shown with his telescope. The 17th-century scientist is known for saying the sun was the center of the universe at a time when people believed Earth was the center. When church leaders challenged Galileo, he said the Bible tells “how to go to Heaven, not how the heavens go.”
Sir Isaac Newton is known for his theories of gravity prompted by an apple hitting him in the head. The 18th-century physicist believed to know nature is the know God and that God provides order to the universe.
George Washington Carver was born into slavery in 1860, but grew to one of the 20th century’s leading botanists and inventors. He created more than 500 agricultural inventions and 300 uses for peanuts. Carver referred to his laboratory as “God’s little workshop.”
Outside the American Art Museum-National Portrait Gallery on F St. between 7th and 9th Sts. N.W., the 16-foot fiberglass statue is as imposing for its bright colors as its action. Sculpted by Luis Jiminez of El Paso, the Vaquero was first created for Houston in 1982. Critics said it looked like a drunken bandit while advocates said it represented an 1800s cowboys.
Jiminez made a second casting for the Smithsonian site in 1990. It was in storage from 2000-06, according to James Goode’s “Washington Sculptures,” during renovations to the former Patent Office. Ironically, wrote Goode, Jiminez died in a sculpting accident at age 66 the same week Vaquero returned in 2006.
Leave it to a sailor to have a breath-taking marker of a ship riding the seas with an angel blowing a horn. It seems so real that you will stop to look at it.
Capt. Nathan Sargent, who actually rose to commander of the Atlantic Fleet and Asiatic Fleet and member of the Navy General Board, is buried alongside his wife Isabell Hill Sargent.
Sargent spent much of his life in nearby Washington. He graduated from Gonzaga College (which today is a high school and college preparatory school) and from the U.S. Naval Academy in nearby Annapolis in 1870.
After 35 years in the Navy, Sargent lived in Washington until his 1907 death.
That Henry Moore was quite a character.
The British sculptor’s “Two-Piece Reclining Figure” by the Hirshhorn Sculpture Gardens on 7th and Jefferson N.W. is one of 7 bronze copies that is supposed to be someone lying down. You may have to squint to see it.
In “A Garden for Art” by Valerie J. Fletcher, Moore said, “I did the first one in two pieces almost without intending to. But after I had done it, then the second one became a conscious idea. I realised what an advantage a separated two-piece composition could have in relating figures to landscape. Knees and breasts are mountains. Once these two parts become separated you don’t expect it to be a naturalistic figure; therefore you can justifiably make it look like a landscape or a rock.
“If it’s a single figure, you can guess what it’s going to be like. If it’s in two pieces there’s a bigger surprise, you have more unexpected views; therefore the special advantage over painting–of having the possibility of many different views–is more fully explored. The front view doesn’t enable you to foresee the back view. As you move round it, the two parts overlap or they open up and there’s space inbetween.”
Lest you wonder if it’s just some strange artwork, one of the copies sold at auction for $4,072,500 on Nov. 9, 1999 in New York City.
At long last, my Pizza and Pigskins Tour begins June 26 and runs through December. We’ll tour Georgetown for 30 minutes and then stop for lunch featuring the best pizza in town. See Our Tours above for details.
The first thing you notice upon entering the Museum of the Bible is the ceiling. Sometimes it’s flowers, sometimes it looks like the Sistine Chapel. But, it’s the most amazing video board I’ve ever seen.
Turns out that’s just the start for Washington’s newest religious museum.
The elevators have three large monitors with museum that make you feel like you’re in the Holy Lands. A table suddenly has foods for meals that look so real you’re ready to eat. And throughout the facility are videos of past Biblical re-enactors talking about their lives.
It’s pretty cool.
My favorite part was on level three that is a re-creation of the Holy Lands in the Old Testament. It’s something straight out of Disney that provides a real feel of village life.
The museum also has large rooms of bibles of different faiths. Tapestries that double as video screens. A jail cell that tells stories of forgiveness.
The museum is a mixture of past relics and current technologies. We spent four hours, including lunch that is a quite unusual but delicious menu complete with boxes (not bottles) of water. That’s a long time in a museum for me and we missed a couple areas. Oh well, I’m sure there will be return trips with family and friends.