There was music, there was juggling, there was magic, there were Lite-brites and Warhol and collage and Marilyn Monroe and beads and Charlie Chaplin and festive hats and a generally fun time at the grand opening of the Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian Reynolds Center. My wife and I sauntered over there Sunday after church to check out the new space, expecting a quiet, laid-back afternoon promenade with some light jazz, maybe. We were pleasantly surprised to find a party in full swing: lots of families with kids, and various crafts tables all over the place, as well as free Target-sponsored animal crackers, candy, and cider. Those guys know how to sponsor the arts, I must say.
Hats were an especially prominent feature: the “Festive Hat Design” table was swamped with eager decorators, adorning simple cardboard headwear with everything from flowers and glitter to clever political commentary (i.e. the word “BUSH” under a wobbly house of playing cards).
Of course, the courtyard itself is an architectural marvel. The new undulating skylight gives a sensation of expansiveness and volume that one would miss from just an unroofed space. I do wish I could have seen this courtyard in its pre-renovation days, however; a friend tells me that two ancient sycamores used to grow there, and the hard, gray pavement could use a bit more greenery. I look forward to seeing this space after Opening Day, when the tables are gone and the “water effects” are finally active.
Eye Level, the official American Art Museum weblog, had live coverage and photos of yesterday’s events at the Reynolds Center, and we do invite you to share your own photos and experiences from there in the comments and the DC Metroblogging photo pool.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs