Art & Design Magazine

Picture This: How Do You Clean the Kogod Courtyard Canopy?

By Americanart

Cleaning the canopy

How do you clean the canopy over American Art's Kogod Courtyard? Very carefully.

One of the best perks I have working at American Art is taking colleagues on tours of our museum. The building is rich with history. President Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural party was here. And the poet Walt Whitman tended to wounded Civil War soldiers when the building was used as a hospital. And then there's the art!

I always start my tours in the museum's Kogod Courtyard with its iconic Foster+Partners canopy. The 900-ton roof is composed of 864 glass panels and no two are alike. Recycled denim in the steel and aluminum grid ceiling acts as an acoustical absorber, keeping the courtyard one of the quietest and most peaceful places to sit and relax here in D.C. (You'll often find me reading there during my lunch.) So when colleagues came to town last week I brought them first to the courtyard. As I was introducing the building I looked up to describe the canopy and noticed two men standing on top cleaning each glass panel.

It was the highlight for me of my whole tour! But my guests were most impressed with Albert Bierstadt's Among the Sierra Nevada, California on the second floor.

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