A Day At The National Portrait Gallery

February 22, 2020

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My student and I share a love of art, so we decided to use one of our tutoring sessions to visit the National Portrait Gallery at 8th St NW in Washington, DC.

We traveled by the MARC train to Union Station. It was a sunny crisp day, so we walked to the gallery. Along the way, we heard the bells ring from the Robert Taft Carillon and saw the monument of General Meade. We visited Ford’s Theater and the Petersen House.

The Petersen House offers visitors an opportunity to see a three-story high stack of books written about our famous 16th president. Once at the portrait gallery we viewed an exhibit of Matthew Brady photographs of Civil War women, a special exhibit dedicated to the life of contralto Marian Anderson and the collection of presidential portraits.

My student was particularly interested in the portraits of Presidents Jackson, Monroe and Roosevelt. Venturing further into the gallery we had the opportunity to see the conservation and preservation department.

We spoke with a conservationist to better understand the work involved in repairing and safeguarding the art entrusted to the gallery. Our field trip afforded us the opportunity to discuss the art we were looking at and to enjoy a day of English as a Second Language lesson.

-Tutor Sandy Deeds

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