Go for Einstein and find a Hidden Art Gem at the National Academy of Sciences

Albert_Einstein_DC
Albert Einstein Memorial, National Academy of Sciences, Washington D.C.  Image Credit: Stas Kozlovsky / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in downtown Washington D.C., I spied a massive Albert Einstein statue from the corner of my eye.  I had never seen such a huge Einstein before.  In a city full of “generals on a horse” memorials, I was intrigued.  “Constitution. Einstein. Must Return,” I tried to burn into my running brain.

Am I glad that I returned!  If it were not for the large Einstein statue, this white marble building would easily blend in with other federal buildings.  Step inside the National Academy of Sciences and you are greeted by its gorgeous Great Hall.

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Dome of the Great Hall of National Academy of Sciences © 2012 Maxwell MacKenzie.

After you have had your fill of this beauty, wander into the exhibition halls of the Cultural Programs of NAS (CPNAS).  The exhibits are an engaging intersection of Science and Art.

It took Susan Middleton 7 years of painstaking effort to capture fragile Marine Invertebrates, and it will change how you see marine life forever.

BrittleStar-SusanMiddleton
Brittle Star. Photo by Susan Middleton©2014

In the next gallery hangs the charming International Art from Picture Books from the Mazza Museum in Ohio.  A whole museum dedicated to picture book art!  How have I not heard of this museum before?  Not only can you see the original artwork from you or your children’s beloved books, you can sit down and read those picture books right there in the gallery!

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Gigantic by Patrick O’Brien.  Mazza Museum of International Art from Picture Books

Besides beautiful art, CPNAS also hosts other free events for the public and I cannot wait to attend one of them in their striking auditorium.

NAS-auditorium
National Academy of Sciences Auditorium © 2012 Maxwell MacKenzie.

Being a D.C. local, I am always on the lookout for treasures off the beaten path.  While I went for Einstein, I found that the National Academy of Sciences is a treasure trove for all interests and all ages.

If you go, don’t forget to post your photos at #PhotosWithAlbert.

National Academy of Sciences
2101 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Weekdays.
Closed weekends and holidays.
Cost: Free.  Photo ID required.

I would love to hear what you think of this Hidden Art Gem.  Did you know about the amazing Mazza Museum of International Art from Picture Books?  Have you come across a Hidden Art Gem that everyone should know about? Tell me in the comments below!

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