Awestruck by “Wonder” at the Renwick

Fine, Washington Post. Steal everyone’s Wonder thunder. Blame us all for being a bunch of boobs and madly Instagramming our visit to the Renwick Gallery’s new Wonder exhibit, the first since reopening in November after a two-year renovation.

Is it so bad to have this glorious feeling after waiting up to an hour just to get through the door? Shouldn’t we be able to proudly broadcast that the wait was SO. WORTH. IT. ?

Yes. And the curator, Nicholas Bell (whom I had the pleasure of collaborating with when I was at the Washington Design Center in 2012), agrees with me.“It’s like this new first-person narrative of the museum experience. I’m fascinated,” he told The Post in today’s story.

Even the most hardened children, like our own, who start groaning at the mere utterance of the word “museum,” were completely taken in—a victory in itself, and an Instagram-worthy accomplishment at that. So here’s my own photographic tour from Wonder, which I will proudly add to the enormous compilation that’s already out there. Thanks to Nicholas and his entire team for the experience!

My son Chalmers, hater of all museums, turned into Mikey here—"Hey Mikey -- he likes it!"

My son Chalmers, 11, hater of all museums, turned into Mikey here—”Hey Mikey — he likes it!” (My husband Jim, meanwhile, peaks out from behind him.)

 

My 14-year-old Henry, who struck a post for his own Instagram account.

My 14-year-old Henry, who struck a pose for his own Instagram account.

 

Smartphones out in abundance. But how could you not with an exhibit of woven thread that looks like light itself?

Smartphones out in abundance. But how could you not with an exhibit of woven thread that looks like light itself?

 

Canyons of index cards -- do you ever feel like your desk looks like this? Maybe not so artfully arranged, though.

Canyons of index cards — do you ever feel like your desk looks like this? Maybe not so artfully arranged, though.

 

The glowing works of art mingle with the surrounding architecture to create an entirely new, collective scene.

The glowing works of art mingle with the surrounding architecture to create an entirely new, collective vision.

 

Architect Maya Lin's stunning recreation of the Chesapeake bay watershed using glass marbles.

Architect Maya Lin’s stunning recreation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed using glass marbles.

 

Yes, I'm the 10,000-th person to take a picture of the bug wall that ends the exhibit. But who cares?

Yes, I’m the 10,000-th person to take a picture of the bug wall that ends the exhibit.

“Hello. My name is Jennifer, and I’m an addict of Wonder and Instagram.” OK? At least this is a super-cool support group.

This circle just begs for portraits, right? Here's me and my husband, Jim Sergent, the art director at USA Today (not bragging or anything).

This circle just begs for portraits, right? Here’s me and my husband, Jim.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Great post and pics Jen! I’m glad you got your boys to go and enjoy. Fortunately, I was able to see this when it was much less crowded the first week it opened and also wrote about it on my ArtIsEverywhere and Slipcovers for your walls blogs. It’s so worth seeing. I just hope it’s being appreciated beyond Instagram but at the same time, I’m glad it’s gotten the attention it deserves. If it gets too crowded, one tip is to view all the artists’ videos about their creative process involved on the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) Youtube channel. It’s a remarkable re-opening exhibit for the Renwick! Hope to see you in the new year! Happy 2016!! — Ashley

  2. This looks incredible – Scott and I have that on our Winter bucket list 🙂 Though personally, I could do museums all day/every day. Love this city!!!

  3. Can’t wait to go. I need some “wonder” this time of year! Great post!

  4. Jennifer, I just read about the exhibit in the Post and can’t wait to see. Glad to have a confirmation of how awesome it is! Nice portrait… Ursula