The National Air and Space Museum is usually pictured from the front. This is from the back. It's all measured and right angles compared to the neighboring Hishhorn Museum.

Most might be familiar with the National Air and Space Museum as it looks from the front. The tall glass windows. The sharp, pointy sculpture. But from the back, the building is inverted. Rather than the glass, it’s the marble blocks with the high windows that seem to take over. It’s a strong contrast with the smooth curves of the Hirshhorn Museum just across the street.

Perhaps it’s the science focus rather than the modern art. Everything measured. Twice. Right angles. Tight tolerances. Of course, if you want to fly safely, you have to pay attention to details. But airplanes and rockets have their share of curves. And modern art is about the interplay of details with the big picture.

Enlarge

national-air-space-museum-back

James Smith