Monday, August 11, 2008

Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future at National Building Museum

The National Building Museum got some exposure a few months ago when Hillary Clinton conceded to Barack Obama in the museum's cavernous atrium. It's also widely believed to have one of the best museum gift shops in the city- heavy on innovative kitchen utensils and design books, light on umbrellas printed with Monet's "Water Lilies." I highly recommend their Washington: Symbol and City exhibit to anyone who wants to know more about the city; and I still elicit eye rolling when I start gushing about the oddly fascinating exhibit on cement I saw there a few years ago. On my last visit I saw Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future, which I thought was very well done. The exhibit gave a survey of the structures (which included terminals at Dulles and JFK, and the St. Louis arch) and furniture he designed throughout his short but illustrious career, and conveyed the post-war sense of possibility that his work embodied. I could have been misreading his handwriting, but I'm 95% sure that if you look closely at some of his papers you might catch what appears to be an extremely vulgar anatomical reference.

National Building Museum
401 F Street NW Washington, DC 2000