For quite a few years now, I have taken Dorothy and her friend Karlee downtown sometime between Christmas and the New Year. We had talked about going to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore this year but we ended up scheduling our trip for Monday (today) and the Walters is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so that was out. We decided to go to the American Art Museum instead. We parked at 10:45 only to find that it doesn’t open until 11:30. So, we walked to the Freer Gallery across the mall. We were particularly impressed with the Peacock Room and I really wanted to see the Washington Gospels, also known as Codex Washingtonianus (the smaller and darker manuscript in this picture). It is the third-oldest Greek parchment manuscript of the Gospels in the world (late 4th–early 5th century). Also on display is an early 5th-century Greek parchment codex containing the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua (upper right in this picture). I was totally amazed at the quality of these two documents, which were quite readable (well, if you know Biblical Greek, anyway).
From the Freer Gallery we walked back to the Pension Building, which now houses the National Building Museum. The building itself is a treasure regardless of what’s kept there. The huge faux marble columns are great and it’s just a nice room to sit in and rest after walking for a few hours.
From the Pension Building we walked the two blocks west back to the American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, which also has a nice covered courtyard in the middle. All in all, we had a great time. It’s an outing I look forward to every year and it didn’t disappoint.