Wednesday, July 30, 2014

National Museum of the American Indian

A couple of weeks ago, Peter and I decided to venture out to the National Museum of the American Indian, and I'm so glad we did. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that we'd never been before, despite the fact that it's been open for something like 10 years. It was always on my list of things to see and do, but there's so much to do here, it's easy to get distracted. Anyway, I snapped a few pics on my phone to share.

National Museum of the American Indian
The building is beautiful. It's worth going to check out the architecture alone.

National Museum of the American Indian
The inside walls curve around a large atrium and stage. We hung around after we'd finished looking at everything to watch a traditional Native American dance. I think they have different groups performing on the weekends on a regular basis.

Seminole boy's shirt at the National Museum of the American Indian
I probably don't need to tell you how much I loved looking at all the handmade things. I thought this was a little girl's dress at first glance, but it's actually a Seminole boy's shirt.

handmade Native American shoes and boots
The teeny tiny boots in the bottom right corner killed me. To give you an idea of how small they were, the shoes next to them were probably normal sized baby shoes, so I can't even imagine how tiny the baby was that those boots were made for. My very favorite things we saw were all the handmade animals made from various materials, but for some reason, I didn't get any pictures of those. I think I was too much in awe.

Oaxacan centipede snake
We stopped in the gift shop on the way out, and I bought this little handmade Oaxacan animal. I think it's maybe a centipede snake...something that would no doubt terrify me in real life, but is just as cute and colorful as it can be in wooden form. :)

Right now he looks perfectly at home with the plants, but I don't know if I'll leave him there forever. The bay window gets tons of direct sunlight, which is great for the plants, but I'm afraid it might make his colors fade over time. I might move him to the studio to live with my favorite little cowboy.

All in all, it was a great visit, but Peter and I both wished they'd had more to see. I would've loved to have seen more handmade textiles, and Peter wanted to see more history. Part of the fourth floor was closed because they're getting ready for an exhibit opening in September, so maybe that was part of it. (On a side note, I think a lot of museums here tend to close parts of floors or entire floors during the summer when they're getting ready for fall exhibitions, which has always seemed strange to me since there are so many tourists here in the summer, but that's just the way it goes, I guess. So if you're planning a trip to DC, you might want to check out your favorite museums ahead of time to decide when's the best time to come.) I know I was a little bummed when we went to Florence years ago that parts of the Uffizi were closed. They still had the more famous works on view, but those weren't the ones I was particularly excited to see. We couldn't have changed the dates of our trip anyway, but I guess it's always good to know what to expect.

So have you guys been to any interesting exhibits lately? Anything I should add to my growing list of places to visit someday?


  1. This looks like the kind of museum I like. A pity there weren't much to see. I hate when that happens! The little animal you bought is wonderful :)
    Over here in Milan are going to open a new museum in fall. It's going to be a world culture museum and I can't wait it opens!

  2. Lovely trip and sweet treasure:)
    I just got back from CA trip and I have a tons of new pictures and experiences to sharing, but it is takes time and I hope tomorrow it will be ready to publish some:)

  3. The architecture of the building is amazing!

  4. My family would love this. Thanks for sharing. Whenever we finally get to go do D.C. this is definitely on the must do list.

  5. I love your museum posts! We went to a similar museum in Santa Fe, and part of it was closed too. Bummer.

  6. My friend and I drove past this building when I visited her a couple of years ago, and I was bummed we didn't have time to stop. It's on my list for the next time I'm out that way. I like your new centipede friend! He's much better in wood form, haha.