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Posted at 3:58 PM ET, 06/27/2006

Rainy Day Blues for Mall Museums

By Julia Beizer

Well the last few days have been a bloody disaster, eh? The rain has been torrential, the traffic's been horrendous and the downtown museums were just one of the many spots that this storm system has sacked. We've got the details below, along with suggestions on where to go for art above sea level.

Today, the National Gallery of Art, National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History and National Archives were all closed due to weather. The Smithsonian Castle Information Center was also closed, as are parts of Constitution Avenue and 12th Street. I was down on the Mall today and saw workmen pumping out gallons and gallons of water at 10th and Constitution.

The street closings have been especially detrimental to set-up for the Folklife Festival, which opens on Friday. Deliveries haven't been able to get to the Mall on time and festival participants -- many flying in from Alberta, Canada -- are experiencing delayed and cancelled flights. "It's making us crazy!" said Festival Director Diana Parker. Soggy fields aside, she assured me that spirits are still high among festival staff and that it will open as planned on Friday morning.

In the meantime, it'd be nice to have some place to go that's high and dry. The Phillips Collection's amazing new Klee exhibit comes to mind. Dupont always gets a little soaked in wet weather, but this third floor exhibit is above the deluge. Ken Ashton's photography exhibit at Flashpoint gets high marks from me and I'm still dying to get to the Charbel Ackerman show before it closes this weekend. Also, the South side of the Mall is still up and running, so visitors can still catch a glimpse of the new Anselm Kiefer show.

Let's hope the weekend forecast brings a change in the weather.


By Julia Beizer  | June 27, 2006; 3:58 PM ET
Categories:  Museums  
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