What You Lookin' At?

National Museum of the American Indian

A Local Report

We took advantage of our proximity to the nation's capital today to visit the relatively new National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian. The building itself is the star, I'm sure. Inside and out, it feels like a reflective place. The collection on display is small, but interesting.

Two of the display sets have tried to eliminate the traditional little printed cards with computer kiosks. The computers are mounted a few feet from the display wall. They are nice because they allow for magnified viewing of the artifacts. They are not so nice because they encourage clusters of visitors to stare at a picture while the real objects sit only feet away. Worse, to get any interesting information, you have to wait your turn until the little brats' parents drag them away from the terminals. It really bottlenecks the experience.

Although the NMAI is not my favorite of the Smithsonian museums, its cafeteria is. Fry bread, roasted corn, planked salmon...yum.

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