By Courtney Jasper
I have never been a huge fan of traditional art. My dislike for art originally stemmed from some sort of weird sibling rivalry. My sister who is two years younger than me has always been good at art. As the older sister, I have never liked being shown up by her and for that reason, I have never enjoyed doing art related activities. After having spent the afternoon in National Portrait Gallery I have learned two things: even I can appreciate good art, and I am petty.
I had heard many good things about the National Portrait Gallery from friends so I decided I would give the gallery a try. As someone who is not a huge fan of art, I was completely blown away. The Portrait Gallery had images of historical figures, celebrities, and anyone else you could imagine.
I will admit one of my many highlights of the trip was getting to see the “America’s Presidents” exhibit. My favorite image was of President Lyndon B. Johnson. I liked the image because I thought it depicted Johnson’s personality very well. The painting showed a serious Johnson looking forward with the United States Capital at his back. The placement of the Capitol was significant for Johnson because he was known for his ability to force Congress to do whatever he wanted. The interesting thing is that Johnson hated the portrait. According to the description, Johnson said the painting was the “ugliest thing I ever saw”. I thought the painting showed him as being very powerful and frankly, I liked the color that was involved.
On to my second point, art is how you chose to perceive it. For many of the last 21 years of my life I have avoided art. Much of this dislike for art stems from the fact that my little sister is good at it and I am petty. Today’s trip to the National Portrait Gallery opened my eyes to the fact that this sibling rivalry is stupid.
Since many of my friends had given the National Portrait Gallery incredible reviews I went into the experience with an open-mind. I was moved by many of the images that I saw today. This trip to the National Portrait Gallery forced me to reconsider the way that I had always viewed my little sister’s art.
I looked at some of the things that she created and for the first time viewed her pieces as art and not just my goofy little sister’s hobby. When I looked at her art without any sort of prejudgment I was blown away similarly to how I was at the National Portrait Gallery. Today I learned an important lesson about trying to keep an open-mind even when it comes to sibling rivalries.