What does an Australian Twelve do when she finds herself in Washington DC? She contacts her closest Twelve, Kristin in Charlottesville-VA, and plans are made for an art excursion. We started out at the National Portrait Gallery with an introductory/highlights tour with a docent who also happened to be an artist. Amongst other things, we learned about Gilbert Stuart's habit of not finishing paintings (although he did manage a handsome portrait of the first President); admired the energy of Elaine de Kooning's portrait of Kennedy; heard the reason why the portrait of George W Bush is cut off at the ankles; and marvelled at the shimmery grid treatment of Bill Clinton by Chuck Close.
Then it was time to refuel at the Capitol Brewing Company before viewing the "Workt by Hand" exhibition of quilts at the National Museum of Women in the Arts which conveniently opened a day or two earlier. We emerged with a new appreciation of the potential of satin, taffeta and silk brocades!
Thank you Kristin for making the long journey to meet up with me, especially at such a busy time of the year. I hope they saved some holiday tamales for you back home. My Twelve count for 2013 is officially five (Kirsty, Terry, Gerrie, Karen and Kristin) but we toast all of the Twelves.