Quirky Artsy DC

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

Adding to my previous posts about art exhibits in Washington DC, I’ve selected three works that struck me as quirky during my visit in October. These sculptures are in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden on the National Mall. (Since this week’s Magnificent Monday theme is QUIRKY, I’m submitting it to the Holes in My Soles website where you can check out other photos and articles.)


Graft by Roxy Paine

This stainless steel tree sculpture really captured my attention against the beautiful sky. Graft is a work by American sculptor Roxy Paine who has a series of tree sculptures in other cities, including New York and Seattle. This one is 45 ft. high by 45 ft. wide, weighs about 16,000 pounds and is made of more than 8,000 components.

From the National Gallery of Art website: “Among its rich associations, this sculpture evokes the persistent human desire to alter and recombine elements of nature, as well as the ever-present tension between order and chaos.” And I thought it was just a really cool sculpture.

Typewriter Eraser, Scale X

Typewriter Eraser, Scale X by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen

Made of stainless steel and cement, this sculpture just makes me smile as I think about the days when we actually used erasers! In fact, Claus Oldenburg has used erasers as subjects for other drawings and sculptures based on his childhood memories of playing with one in his father’s office. I appreciate the sense of nostalgia in the work.

House I

House I by Roy Lichtenstein

An optical illusion is created by this fabricated and painted aluminum piece by Roy Lichtenstein. The position of the side of the house seems to change as you walk by. Check out this YouTube video to see what I mean. Pretty interesting, isn’t it?

What do you think about these quirky pieces in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden?

For more information: National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

Also about art in Washington DC: Round Rainbow and Four Artists Four Photos


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8 thoughts on “Quirky Artsy DC

  1. jan

    Wow that last one is really cool…I love the tree, that is wonderful, The eraser made me smile the instant I saw it. Made me remember playing with my mama’s, thinking I was really cool. Great quirky photos. beautiful.

  2. Jim

    The quirky posts I’m reading have all been fun, but this is out on its own Cathy. That tree is so well formed you’d think he’d spray painted a twisted willow!

  3. Jennifer @ Solo Travel Girl

    Very cool and will have to check it out during my next DC trip, whenever that is. Love “Graft.” There’s an optical illusion house in Atlanta – it’s pretty wild how he did that!

  4. Cathy Post author

    Thanks all for your comments. The Sculpture Garden has some very interesting contemporary pieces. Nice place to spend some time in DC. The fountain at the garden turns into a skating rink in the winter — another fun thing to do.

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