The Government Shutdown is now affecting the Government funded museums in Washington DC. The thousands of visitors to the capital city, dignitaries and school-kids alike, will find the Smithsonian National Zoo, with the prettiest five week old panda cub, now closed indefinitely. How long it will take for the government to settle a new budget is unknown. The cub may be a bear when next seen.
Perhaps the countries capital is humiliated by the closure of museums, parks and zoos, but this will not be the final verdict. There is hope for the tourist. Now there are unique opportunities for visitors to engage in a vibrant tour of museums most magnificent. Some even have a lurid tale to tell as well.
The Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, is in the nation’s capital today and he needs to know there is plenty of wonder outside the White House budgeting crisis. The privately funded museums will be open as normal. Some unique locations to consider include no less than the following eclectic offerings: The Newseum, the International Spy Museum, National Geographic Museum, National Building Museum, The Phillips Collection, and The Crime Museum. This is plenty to fill any number of schedules. The Government Shutdown offers unique opportunities in Washington DC.
Don’t forget the Corcoran Gallery of Art on 17th St, open on Wednesdays through Sundays. Only last month a lawsuit was finally settled and the museum should be millions of dollars better for the ruling. The last living owner was Ms Huguette Clark who lived until the grand old age of 104. Unfortunately, when she died in 2011, she had no heirs and the nurses and doctors, attorneys and distant relations, were all too quick in getting this old lady to change her will to include multi-million dollar gifts to themselves. In this way $300 million was divvied up.
Last month, a judge reorganized the final settlements saying that a centenarian should not be manipulated in her final years. Very distant family members, who benefitted from the Judge’s ruling, released the following statement, “the settlement sends a strong message that those entrusted with the care of the elderly will be held accountable for their actions.”
Ms Clark, with uncanny wisdom, purchased Claude Monet’s Water Lilies from a Parisian dealer in 1930. Now up for sale, the proceeds in excess of $25 million will be given to The Corcoran Museum. The Corcoran Museum has also received the unique collection of miniature dolls that their owner commissioned. Perhaps some of Ms Corcoran’s breathtaking and expensive doll houses can be viewed as well, although many have been sold to private collectors.
The Corcoran Gallery of Art has plenty more to present with a vibrant collection of Media Art, European and Contemporary Art, as well as American Art to 1945. Lectures include the well conceived Washington DC in 10,000 Years: Ideas of the past, present, and future. It would be appropriate for The Corcoran to include mention of the current government shutdown as a unique success story for privately owned art galleries.
By Vicky Judah
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