John and I took a trip to Woodlawn last weekend to see the Needlework Exhibit and visit some of the Smithsonian museums. We drove down Saturday afternoon and stopped outside Annapolis at a wonderful Thai restaurant, Lemon Too, for dinner. We then went on to Arlington to our hotel. Sunday morning we went into DC to the Smithsonian Castle, which is the original Smithsonian building. We took the tour to learn about the origin of the Smithsonian – who knew the benefactor had never come to this country and willed his estate to create a knowledge center in Washington, DC should his nephew have no offspring. The last of the cherry blossoms were visible on the Independence St. side of the Smithsonian castle.
After a tour of the first floor of the castle, we spent some time at the Air & Space Museum before venturing back to Woodlawn for lunch sponsored by Nelly’s Needlers. As usual, their lunch was delicious, including the chocolate cake, and I am always happy to give them a nice donation as the ladies work very hard to put on the lunch.
We then viewed the exhibit several times. John was amazed that every time he walked into a room, he saw something he’d missed the times before. As others have said, I was disappointed all the SOTM were not together. Linda’s was displayed near another with a similar colorway (some of the colors were slightly different) and it was interesting to compare them and how the finishing changed them. I almost missed the one Stars on exhibit, since as you can see the stitcher added an extra border. Apparently, there was a group doing Stars that didn’t like the “non-square” design so someone told them to add another border to square it up. It was interesting to hear John’s comments on the piece since he was familiar with mine. I think this is another instance where the choice of colors impacts what viewers see.
There were a lot fewer pieces this year at the exhibit. Apparently a finisher who usually showed her clients’ pieces as part of her finishing service stopped doing so a few years back when the cost to exhibit was raised. I was also told that many of the stores that usually bring pieces from their clients did not do so this year although it wasn’t clear why. It is even more important that NJNA continue to support this exhibit or it will cease to exist.
I met several people who were part of the local ANG groups, including “the other Barbara L” and spent a lot of time chatting with them. It is fun to discover camaraderie due to our common passion! There were also 2 people demonstrating Japanese goldwork, which was very interesting; although I really don’t need more projects! We finished day off with a wonderful seafood dinner at The Wharf in Olde Towne Alexandria.
Monday we visited the Pope-Leighy house also on the grounds at Woodlawn although it was moved there when Rt. 66 I think was put in and it had to be moved. This is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed house during his USONAian period. We had a delightful, well-informed tour guide who spent over an hour with us. Having viewed Wright’s house outside Chicago, it was interesting to compare this one. I’m hoping we’ll get to Falling Water later this year for still another comparison! Both Woodlawn and Pope-Leighy house are owned by the National Trust – very different houses located together.
We then began our journey home stopping at Fort McHenry for a short visit to another National Park. Unfortunately since we were there Saturday evening through Monday, none of the local needlepoint shops were open. Possibly, I’ll have time to stop when we drive down to pick up the NJNA exhibited pieces.
While the exhibit is over for this year, I encourage our NJNA members to think about exhibiting next year as well as visiting the exhibit. It is a wonderful opportunity to see many types of needlework displayed.