Friday, November 6, 2009

Smithsonian: Museum of American History

With an opportunity to pay a quick visit to the Smithsonian Institution's American History Museum, it was gratifying to see that one of the most popular (at least today) exhibits there was "The American Presidency".
The entire exhibit on our Presidency was jammed with visitors, young and old, which was also great to see.

Lincoln's stovepipe hat, Washington's chair, and many, many other Presidential artifacts are on display with well-written informational laques accompanying each vignette. Some of my favorite items are the items from our Presidents' role as commander-in-chief: President Andrew Jackson's sword from his Louisiana campaign in the War of 1812....President Dwight Eisenhower's miltary uniform....and, even the furniture from the meeting room of the Civil War surrender of the South at Appomattox, with President U.S. Grant. Each amazing in their own right....all together in a fantastic exhibit.

There was even a small section devoted to the china collections of various presidents. Of course, we would always prefer to see larger displays of china (ok, we are partial for a reason), the current showing seems appropriate given all the other terrific items on diplay. From left to right: LBJ dinner plate (with the flower of the 'state' of Dist of Columbia flower inthe center); Reagan China charger plate with presidential seal at 12 o'clock; Hayes dinner plate; Monroe dinner plate;
On the shelve below: Pierce tall compote; John Adams sauce boat;

And, finally...our favorite part of the museum - the gift shop with the display of Woodmere's White House Collection. The store was busy - nice to see - and the pretty young clerk was excited to tell me that she had just sold a Great Seal bowl a few minutes before. Very nice.

Add the Smithsonian's Museum of American History to your list of stops on your next visit to our Nation's capitol.

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