Tag Archives: National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

Two Unexpected Play Spaces

I haven’t blogged much about playgrounds and play spaces lately, so when I came across these photos from this fall, I thought I’d put them up.  Both are with our co-op group downtown on the mall, though on different days.

Here’s the only sculpture in the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden that you’re welcomed to touch.  It’s called Six Part Seating by Scott Burton.  It gets much, much more natural use and attention than any other sculpture in the garden.  We have often enjoyed it and I have seen many other people doing the same.  Potential sculptors take note of how wonderful interactive art can be!  I don’t know that Mushroom or BalletBoy have ever played musical chairs, but the kids all naturally invented some sort of version of it and would have happily continued with it for longer if we hadn’t needed to be somewhere.

The second spot is the infamous “spaceship” seat in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.  There are only two of these odd benches left in a very outdated exhibit about animal bones.  When Mushroom and BalletBoy were younger, we made heavy use of it.  They’re probably too old now, but honestly, it’s just so inviting that I don’t know how to make them stop.  It is my sincere hope that when the museum gets rid of them (which they almost certainly will – with the exception of the popular dinosaurs and Pleistocene mammals exhibits, the bones exhibit is one of the only exhibits left not to have been overhauled completely in the last decade) that they donate these to a proper playspace.  They probably don’t meet some sort of safety code, but they’re just amazing.