When I moved to the east coast 20 plus years ago, I began to visit the Smithsonian Museums regularly. Before the Current Administration, I would travel on holidays to N. VA to visit friends. When we were not engaged in other socializing, I would drop by the National Mall for a diet of history and art. Early on, I spent a week in the museums while my friends worked. All these years later, and I still have not viewed each corridor thoroughly enough.
Today, when Linda mentioned that she had seen a quick exhibit of orchids at the National History Museum earlier in the week with her cousin, Nancy, and aunt and uncle, Murial and Staff, I was interested. Orchids certainly are ephemeral , so it was today or not.
How delightful to find an exhibit which one could enjoy in less than 30 minutes. I expected a couple of corners with orchids in pots, or maybe a splashy display, such as one would find at the flower and garden shows that entice us to convention centers in February when the weather is dreadful enough to get us fantasizing about spring and summer garden design.
I was even more delighted to find that the exhibit created several aesthetically arranged displays of indoor and outdoor displays of orchids with other elements, which are related to traditions in Chinese culture. One fashioned an artist’s room with writing table, ink drawings, and rock curiosities for contemplation, along with numerous orchids. Hung along the walls to other display areas were more ink paintings of orchids from the Freer and Slacker Galleries across the Mall.
Other displays had descriptions of the culture symbols in orchids and medicinal traditions. The final section hosted so many blooms that one could be lost either in the whole display of color, or each flower.
Ah, just he right amount of exhibit, before heading back to the geology and mineral rooms.