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The Freer & Sackler Galleries (FSG) of the Smithsonian Institution (SI) in Washington, D.C., are relatively small stars within the Smithsonian constellation of delights that one should take in when visiting the nation’s capital. Amongst the many outstanding collections now on display is one that one may not want to miss; it ends on the 25th of May: Winslow Homer – Four Views of Nature.

“Museum founder Charles Lang Freer considered renowned painter Winslow Homer to be one of his “miscellaneous Americans,” a term Freer used for a group of artists whose works he admired but did not collect in great numbers. Freer’s artworks by this American master are now on view, including three technically innovative watercolors and the monumental oil painting Early Evening. Homer began work on it in 1881 in Cullercoats, England, and completed it in 1907 in his studio in Prouts Neck, Maine.” RE: http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/WinslowHomer.htm.

Located about half a block from the Air & Space Museum, the Freer & Sackler Galleries are immediately in front of the Smithsonian’s “Castle”; that’s the spired red brick building everyone recognizes as the The Smithsonian, where it all began. A good plan would be to see the American Indian Museum in the morning, grab take-out from one of the charming ethnic counters there, and then hoof it down the street to the Castle to have a picnic on a bench in the gardens where in spring everything is in bloom.