So, after a little stint of armchair – er, um, cheap office chair – critiquing other people’s art on the internet, I though I should go out and see something real. So, I finally made it down to see the National Cathedral. I did. I’ve lived in the area for 9 months – made it to the zoo, lots of museums free and otherwise, etc.; but this was the first time I’ve been there.
I’d like to chime in to say to all 1 of my readers that should you find yourself visiting DC, I give my highest recommendation to placing the Cathedral up high on your list of things to wear your Bermuda shorts to. Sure, it doesn’t have the lapel pin waiving pride of the Mall, nor the hot dog vendors that put crappy red sauce in the fried onions. But, but… especially if you’ve never been to the old European cathedrals, or if you have and want to have the same sort of experience minus the long flight, you should go. It might even be more impressive than the St. Louis Cathedral, which is also a really incredible place.
Even just the accumulation of so much top caliber craftsmanship in one place is enough to make a heart as cold as my own postmodern cynical beauty-last-impact-first art school grad of the nineties take a little pause.
And then there’re the stained glass windows. OK, sure, I’m a sucker for bright colors and little backlighting. Who isn’t. The Cathedral though, does have the best collection of contemporary and 20th century art in stained glass that I’ve ever seen. They, and they are the kind of thing that, reminded me of the way I looked at all art when I was 17. I wanted to make them. I gawked as if they contained some kind of secret answer like I think I thought before I learned that they don’t. And, anyway, it’s a better way to relive a youthful approach than to do the rest of the stupid shit I did before I learned that I’m actually mortal.
Here is a picture I stole from someone else’s website: