To decorate or not to decorate


I’m having trouble getting an image of the Pakistani bus outside the Sackler (right) in D.C., one of two gorgeous, classically paired buildings, the other being the National Museum of African Art (left).

The bus is anything but classical, an eruption of metalic decorations that put circus wagons to shame.

But somehow the buildings stood up in its presence, as did the nice, rug-like garden between the two buildings.

Inside the Sackler’s lobby, Yayoi Kusama reshaped the space with red dots on the walls and on floaty balloons–a reminder of some cherry-patterned wallpaper I grew up with that took over the space where we ate and cooked. While the peaceful glow of the classical look is worth preserving, so is the mad need to decorate.

The two buildings, created with mucho input from everyone and anyone, somehow survived the process, becoming something beautiful. And the bus, which combines decorative touches from a variety of sources combined especially to show at the Sackler, also survived the process. It almost gives me hope for democracy (assuming we ever get back to majority rules), an appropriate message to take home from the nation’s capital.


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