No matter where you live, you know the name “Smithsonian” and the weight, power and history that name carries behind it.
The Smithsonian Institution, established in 1846 “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” is a group of museums and research centers administered by the United States government. Originally organized as the “United States National Museum,” that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967. Termed “the nation’s attic” for its eclectic holdings of 137 million items, the Institution’s Washington, D.C. nucleus of nineteen museums, nine research centers, and zoo—many of them historical or architectural landmarks—is the largest such complex in the world.
Many months ago, a woman working at The Luce Foundation – a wonderful center which is home to more than 3,000 paintings, sculptures, miniatures, craft objects, and folk art pieces from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and residing in the same building as my favorite museum, The Portrait Gallery – emailed me telling me she was a knitter and that she loved Capitol Knits. She was happy to discover that I was local to the museum and invited me in to teach lace and speak about my work this coming weekend, August 23rd at 1:30pm.
What I love the most about the collection of Smithsonian museums is that they are FREE FOR ALL. I am a huge believer that art, history, artifacts and knowledge should be free whenever possible. No little girl or boy should grow up wondering what a real painting looks like, how tall a dinosaur may have been, how much the Hope Diamond truly sparkles or what Julia Child’s kitchen actually looked like. My mom knew when she was a child after looking at Van Gogh’s Starry Night in a book that she wanted to be an artist. How great would it have been for her if she lived near DC and was able to go see a Van Gogh in person?
The Luce Foundation has made one of my many career dreams come true by inviting me to be part of their amazing center for an afternoon. If you’re in the area (the Red Line’s Gallery Place Metro stop is very close), come and listen to me speak, get a copy of a new lace pattern I’ll be introducing – The Luce Cowl – and if you’ve never knit lace, sit in on the free class I’ll be giving afterwards. There’s nothing like being able to share knitting stories, knitting techniques and knitting camaraderie in a place that believes that knowledge is power. More information is available here.
Hope to see you there!