High Art at the National Air and Space Museum
Everyone knows the Nation’s Capital is a wretched hive of free love and liberalism. We like it that way. But even then, when I saw the name of the National Air and Space Museum’s new exhibit High Art, I wondered if some 420 club might have snuck one past the decency patrol. It turns out High Art isn’t that kind of exhibit. It’s about space stuff, or at least off-the-surface-of-the-planet stuff.
High Art: A Decade of Collecting includes 50 National Air and Space Museum works of art. For about five minutes, a security guard and I were the only ones in the exhibit. On the positive side of this low traffic, National Air and Space Museum miracle, no one got in the way of my pictures. On the negative side, the art works in the exhibit deserve a bigger audience than they seem to be getting.
Jeffrey Millstein’s 49 Jets shows airplanes as if viewed from above by a confused, mile-tall lepidopterist. Fran Forman’s Airborne was the standout among her creations. Carl Sagan by Greg Mort shows the great popularizer of space science in full 1980s glory. (Aside – if you haven’t heard or watched the “A Glorious Dawn” song/video, it’s awesome.) An artist’s interpretation of Eugene Cernan transiting the moon is captured in Mimi Stuart’s Walking on Diamonds. The colors really pop out of this print despite some less-than-ideal lighting conditions.
High Art isn’t standard National Air and Space Museum fare, but it’s worth a visit especially if you want a quiet, entertaining moment away from the regular museum chaos. Kudos to the National Air and Space Museum for putting their artwork on display. I wonder what else they have in storage.