DC’s Darlington Fountain

Found out about an elegant fountain and statue tucked away in Washington’s Judiciary Square through the Katzen Art Museum at American University.

It’s a memorial to DC jurist and civic leader Joseph J. Darlington (and interesting that it portrays a nymph and faun rather than D.C.’s often more staid subjects).

Darlington Statue
The Darlington Fountain in Washington, DC. (2/19/2020)

There is a wonderful photo of the statue by Volkmar Kurt Wentzel from the 1930s collected in a book called Washington by Night. Here’s just a corner of it, which gives a sense of the vistas in Washington of yore. You can see all the way to the Capitol.

Judiciary Square as it was in the 1930s.

Beautiful Garden: Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks, the former home of Robert Woods Bliss and Mildred Barnes Bliss, is a museum and public garden nestled in the heart of Georgetown. The museum collection has Byzantine and pre-Columbian artworks (turns out to be an agreeable combo), and the gardens are quietly spectacular, particularly on a May afternoon when they are mostly free of visitors. Photos below are from my visit late afternoon yesterday. The garden plan hasn’t changed much since I first started visiting in 1984, but there is one recent addition, an installation called Cloud Terrace by Cao/Perrot. This is a mesh of crystals in one of the gazebos, and I didn’t really get it when I went last fall. But yesterday, with sunlight slanting late, it was a dazzling centerpiece to the garden, a welcome bit of costume jewelry gaudy in the middle of pure elegance. (Sorry that the photos don’t really do it justice.)

Some Washington pundit (Joe Alsop maybe?) said that despite the fact that everybody comes to DC in April for cherry blossoms and school trips, it’s May that is glorious here, so much so that it makes up for August in Washington, which is saying something.

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