Visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Discover what the NMAAHC has to offer your family and friends and add it to your travel bucket list.

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Ever since its dedication on the National Mall in September 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has been one of the most popular Smithsonian institutions. So many people include this museum in their Washington, D.C., itinerary that you need a timed entry pass to gain admission. Tourists can brave either the periodic timed pass release four months in advance, or try the 6:30 a.m. same-day pass release online. I recommend that you request an early entry time, like 10:30 or 11:00 a.m., to get ahead of the crowds and see as much as you can before the museum closes at 5:30 p.m.

Typically, I don’t recommend museum food, but the Sweet Home Café is really at another level in taste, quality, and ambience. It features classic dishes at four very distinct stations representing the Southern, Creole, Northern, and Western regions. Café staff are among the friendliest and personable I’ve met at a museum. Stop at the café rightbefore you embark with your group into the galleries. Otherwise, you’ll waste a lot of time backtracking from the exhibits to the café and then finding your exhibit. Continue reading “Visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture”

A Fantastic Summer at the Art Museum: ‘Guarding Leonardo da Vinci’

Yes, it’s April 15th, which means your Federal income taxes are due today. On a much more positive note, it’s also the birthday of celebrated Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, who lived from 1452-1519. I’m always excited about Leonardo because I studied Art History as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, situated within a day’s drive of our nation’s capital: Washington, D.C. The close proximity is quite nice, as it affords me with the opportunity to visit the National Gallery of Art on a regular basis. The NGA is the only museum on the Western Hemisphere that houses a Leonardo painting. Continue reading “A Fantastic Summer at the Art Museum: ‘Guarding Leonardo da Vinci’”

Film Review: ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ is More of the Same

Caution: This review contains spoilers.

What appears to be the final chapter in the “Night of the Museum” series was a bit of a mixed bag as Larry (Ben Stiller) and the gang headed off to London. Continue reading “Film Review: ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ is More of the Same”

News: My Interview Question to Peter Capaldi for ‘Inside the Mind of Leonardo 3D’

During an excursion to our nation’s capital, I was pleasantly surprised to see the activity on what I’ll refer to as the “Leonardo da Vinci scene” when I checked my phone. I’ve already mentioned the Leonardo exhibitions in 2015, each of which seem to be well worth the trip if you can get around to it.

However, it’s not often that you can count yourself as part of news developments, as was the case in my situation. Continue reading “News: My Interview Question to Peter Capaldi for ‘Inside the Mind of Leonardo 3D’”

2015: A Big Year for Leonardo da Vinci in U.S. Theaters and Museums

Welcome to another installment of TV Spyglass, the Saturday edition if you will. I just published an article about the new screening dates for the documentary “Inside the Mind of Leonardo 3D” (2D at select screenings). It stars Peter Capaldi (“Doctor Who,” “The Thick of It”) as Leonardo da Vinci, the Renaissance artist celebrated for both his scientific studies and artistic talents. The focus is generally on the Codex Atlanticus, one of Leonardo’s many journals.

If you are lucky enough to see the documentary later this month or in January 2015 (or on DVD later?), you may be wondering how to enhance your Leonardo experience. Sorry, I couldn’t help but put a spin on the master’s own reference to himself as a “disciple of experience.” The big question therefore is this: Do I have to travel to Europe? The good news for those of us on this side of the pond is a resounding “no.” Fortunately, I know of four different places where you can go, two of which are in fairly close proximity. Continue reading “2015: A Big Year for Leonardo da Vinci in U.S. Theaters and Museums”