A head’s up to those of you interested in the “Monuments Men” story.
The film, which opens in area theaters this Friday, is based on Robert Edsel’s book, “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History.” In conjunction with the release, a new exhibition titled “Monument’s Men: On the Frontline to Save Europe’s Art, 1942-1946,” opens Friday in Washington.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think there will be confusion on where this exhibit will be held. Although the National Gallery of Art is imminently involved, this exhibit will be held at the National Portrait Gallery at 8th and F Streets NW (across from the Verizon Center).
I should probably leave it at that, but be aware that this building (historically named the Old Patent Office Building), is also the home of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Adding to the confusion is the fact that in 2006, after going renovation, this building was renamed The Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture.
The good news is the National Gallery of Art will also host their own related exhibits and events related to the Monuments Men story, as will the National Archives. These are all free, and during winter months are not usually crowded.
By the way, as much as we appreciate those who generously give money to museums and such, I believe naming the place after them goes too far. It can add to the confusion on place identity andputs the individual on par with institutions that should sit alone on the highest pedestal.
And those poor docents.
...Welcome to the First Name Middle Initial Last Name Center at the New Name, which unfortunately doesn’t sound like the old name, which worked perfectly for 75 years before they changed it to something that confuses people when I give this introduction.