This post is the last in my three-part summary of my visit to some of the Smithsonian institutions in Washington, D.C. This one will cover my visits to the Natural History Museum, the Renwick Gallery, and the Sackler Gallery.

Natural History Museum

The taxodermied elephant in the lobby of the Natural History Museum.

I’ve been to the Natural History Museum before. In general,  I tend to like natural history museums. I arrived early — almost as soon as the museum opened — which was great: no swarms of kids everywhere!

I started by buying a ticket for an IMAX movie. The tickets seemed fairly cheap, and I figured it was a good way to get out of the heat. Then I started wondering around the museum to kill the hour or so until my movie started.

I began upstairs by looking at the Hope Diamond, which has never really interested me. This time was no exception. But I enjoy looking at the other jewels in the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals. I especially liked the Elbaite gemstones:

(more…)