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Washington DC: Architecture + Details

7.08.2013
IM Pei at National Gallery of Art
National Gallery of Art and National Building Museum facade
Sculture Garden - Oldenburg
Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden
Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden
National Gallery of Art interior

In 1978, the Chinese architect I.M. Pei's most acclaimed work was the triangular stone buildings and glass structures of Washington, DC's National Gallery of Art's East Building. It was on the basis of this design that former French President François Mitterrand commissioned Pei a few years later to construct the iconic glass and steel pyramid entrance of Paris' Musée du Louvre, which today is the most prominent (and likely most photographed) of Pei's designs.

I had the opportunity to take a photo walk around the National Mall in Washington, DC recently, with a focus on lines and curves and architecture. To look at the town where I had formerly lived and worked with fresh eyes. As a resident, I always appreciated the beauty of the historic buildings around me, but scarcely had the time to really study their details. It was a nice reminder that even the most familiar places can seem marvelously novel and interesting when looked at from a different perspective...


22 comments

  1. Catherine - these are amazing! Your focus on lines and curves really stands out. My fave is the green hole.
    I've been enjoying your IG stream too - so glad you joined!
    IM Pei's work is prominent where I grew up and went to college (Boston). It is fun to photograph too.

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    1. Thank you so much Shirley + welcome home (again ;)... I've been loving your IG feed!

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  2. Your passion of photography shows!

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    1. Aw thank you Laurie, that's so so sweet of you to say... I love that we can all share our passions with one another online :)

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  3. I love what you captured. These structures and angles are so great! Love your eye for details.

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  4. J'adore! surtout les chaises vides. Visite de Project 52

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    1. Merci beaucoup Raymonde!... Je vais visiter votre blog :)

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  5. I visited DC in 1999, but didn't have enough time to really discover it's hidden treasures. Plus I wasn't into photography back then either. Oy.

    These are marvelous Catherine. Now I would like to go back someday with these old eyes. :)

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    1. Can't blame you Nancy, there's so much to see in DC... having gone for this photo tour, I noticed so many things I didn't before (and itched to photograph it all!). Hope you can visit again soon :)

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  6. What a wonderful set of photos. You have a real artist's eye. I love the green hole and the stairs.

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    1. Thank you for visiting Liz (all the way from Southern Australia!)... I appreciate your comments so very much :)

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  7. These are beautiful, and what a great eye for capturing light and lines.

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  8. Wow that third image down is truly amazing. You should make that up into a postcard

    Mollyxxx

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    1. The green hole (from Claes Oldenburg's eraser) almost didn't make the cut here,... so glad I added it! Thank you for the love + suggestion :)

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  9. Great photos!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment + visit Gary :)

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  10. aloha,

    I love all the detailed captures and colors, what a nice viewpoint.
    come and link up with us on Travel photo Mondays....

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    1. Sure will Noel... thank you for your visit :)

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  11. Funny, the moment I saw the first picture, and without even reading your post, images of the Louvre pyramid were conjured up - I guess this is a bit of a signature for Pei. Very interesting pictures, I particularly like the one with the all-seeing eye (at least, this is how I interpret it!!!!) above the wall...

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    1. The all-seeing eye, I love that Daydreamer! Never saw it that way,... and that happens to be my favorite shot too! So interesting how we all interpret things so differently. Thank you for stopping by despite your very busy (and tiring) new schedule ;) xo

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