The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
Our deepest thanks to Angela Napili, the author of this guest post. Angela is a Senior Research Librarian at the Congressional Research Service in the Library of Congress, and she is also an award-winning amateur photographer. Thanks for sharing your tips, Angela!
With its monumental architecture, historic landmarks, and diverse communities, Washington DC is a photographer’s paradise. Here are three photo tips.
Tip 1: If you want to avoid the crowds and harsh midday sun, then early mornings and early evenings are lovely times to photograph DC’s memorials.
Evening at the
looking toward the
at sunset, photographed with a zoom lens from near the
Do you have favorite DC photo spots, tips, or resources? Please share them in the comments below!
Hello, IFLA Pre-Conference Attendees!
A nice feature of the American Capital is that you can discover amazing art while touring through beautiful historic buildings… all for free!
Thanks to the
, “the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex”, visitors have multiple options to choose from. Most of the Smithsonian’s museums are located on the National Mall, which is near the Library of Congress and is the place in DC with the highest density of museums. The Smithsonian museums are open to the public every day except December 25. Their hours are generally from
10:00 am to 5:30 pm
(provided also at the Smithsonian’s website) for a view of the museums on the Mall.
Below is a quick overview to get you started.
A visit to the
National Museum of American History
is a great way to experience American life, history, and culture. We learned from their website that the museum has a rich collection of “more than 3 million artifacts”, documents, photographs, and more.
My own favorite exhibits are the Star-Spangled Banner, Jefferson’s lap desk, and Dorothy’s ruby slippers from
The Wizard of Oz
14th St. and Constitution Ave., NW
Smithsonian (Mall exit) or Federal Triangle
10th Street & Constitution Ave., N.W.
SMITHSONIAN (MALL EXIT) OR FEDERAL TRIANGLE
Walk around the
National Museum of the American Indian
building to experience the “spirit of Native America”. As they explain in their introduction, this community-inspired, award-winning building, with its “distinctive curvilinear architecture” is home to a large collection of Native art “from The Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego”.
This museum’s cafeteria, the Mitsam, is known for featuring the indigenous cuisines of the Americas.
Fourth Street & Independence Ave., S.W.
L’Enfant Plaza (Smithsonian Museums exit)
Who is not curious about our universe? Find out more about Earth and other planets than the
National Air and Space Museum
With 8 million visitors per year, this is “the most visited museum in the U.S”.
If you have time for an adventure, visit the museum center in Chantilly, Virginia. According to their website, The Steven F.
‘s massive structure provides an open space to display large air and spacecraft.
Also on their website we learned that Summer 2016 brings a fully renovated
Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall
to the museum on the Mall. This is the main hall that you can see as you enter the museum. Renovation plans include adding the Apollo Lunar Module and Star Trek starship Enterprise studio model, all in an inviting new space.
Independence Ave. at 6th St., SW
L’enfant plaza (Maryland ave. exit)
Freer Sackler Galleries
, one next to the other and connected by a corridor, are the two Smithsonian museums dedicated to Asian art. While the Freer museum is closed through 2017 due to renovation, the Sackler gallery is open and has a lot to offer.
Crazy about Chinese ceramics? According to their website, the craze for Chinese blue-and-white ceramics started in London during the nineteenth century and it is still alive in the West. Learn more about this phenomenon by visiting the
exhibition, starting July 9, 2016 and lasting through June 2017.
If you have time, check out their
Hong Kong Film Festival
one of the most popular gallery events and which will be ongoing through August.
1050 Independence Ave SW
Pennsylvania Ave and 17th Street, NW
A must see for philatelists and admirers of beautiful stamps, the
is only a few steps from Union Station. See the
. (Note: This museum is not on the National Mall.)
2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E.
Not part of the Smithsonian but another free museum on the Mall is the
National Gallery of Art
. In his welcome message, NGA’s Director
Earl A. Powell III
says that “there is no substitute for experiencing great masterpieces in person”.
If you have time, you can visit the three spaces that make up this museum: The original neoclassical West building,
where you can see these famous fine art paintings
, the East building of modern and contemporary art, and the Sculpture Garden, a true “oasis in the city”, with its contemporary sculptures and its Friday night Jazz in the Garden concert series. Another highlight: Check out their
for classics that you can see for free on Saturdays and Sundays afternoon.
Admission is free.
6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Smithsonian (Mall Exit)
Please don’t leave without telling us about your visit! Leave comments here to tell us about what you plan on seeing and what you’ve already seen (or, if you’re a local, what your favorites are). Or, you can tweet us using the hashtag #IFLAPREatLOC.