Category Archives: Art

Beautiful Art in a Beautiful Building: Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna

Whenever I start my question with “Do you remember that museum we saw in …” my kids give me the look and reply “Which museum? You drag us to at least a couple museums every place we go to!”

But with the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna it was different. I only had to say “Do you remember that museum in Vienna where we had lunch in this really nice round room, where Daddy waved to us from the hole in the ceiling up above?” and they knew exactly which place I was talking about.

My daughter replied with “Was it that place where they had a lot of Egyptian stuff? And all that gold?”

My son added “Was it the one where they had this big painting of a mountain that looked like a tower?”

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Tower of Babel, at the Kunsthistorisches Museum
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Tower of Babel, at the Kunsthistorisches Museum

Yep, that’s the one.

Continue reading Beautiful Art in a Beautiful Building: Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna

Old Quebec Bus Tours: Les Tours du Vieux Quebec

Whenever we’re in a new city, and especially if we’re there for only a few days, we like to do a bus tour, because it’s a great way to cover a large area in a relatively short time, and also helps us see if there are any places that we might like to visit again during the rest of our stay.

During our recent trip to Québec City, we spent the first day of our short stay there admiring the city from the second deck of a big red bus, on a sightseeing tour organized by Les Tours du Vieux Québec (Old Quebec Tours).

Where Do You Get On?

The tours begin in the Old Québec, at Place d’Armes, right by the famous (and impressive) Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, but you can get on the bus at any of the 12 stops. Just make sure to check the bus schedule to see what time the next bus is coming, because they depart every 30 minutes so, and you might be in for quite a bit of a wait if you just miss the previous one, like we did the second time we boarded.

route of Ligne Rouge (Red Loop) of Les Tours du Vieux Quebec (click on the photo to open the pdf of the official tour guide)
route of Ligne Rouge (Red Loop) of Les Tours du Vieux Quebec (click on the photo to open the pdf of the official tour guide)

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A few thoughts on Nicolas Regnier’s “Self-Portrait with an Easel”

If you are planning to visit the newly opened Harvard Art Museums, and are willing to play “scavenger hunt” with me, please read first “Invitation to Play ‘Scavenger Hunt’ at the Harvard Art Museums – The Clues.” :)

If you are not going to visit the Harvard Art Museums for a while, or at all, because Cambridge, Massachusetts way off your itinerary route, and you like to read about art, read on.

Last week I posted close up photos of a few details from five paintings at Harvard Art Museums that I found interesting. Some of them would be hard to miss as they are quite prominent in the painting, some might take some looking for, since they are just a small part of the overall piece.

detail from a 1620s Flemish painting
detail from a 1620s Flemish painting

The blobs of paint on the easel in Nicolas Régnier’s “Self-Portrait with an Easel” are hard to miss because the easel is positioned right in the center of the paining and is quite prominent, though it would not be the first thing you’ll look at, I bet.

What captivated me in Nicolas Régnier’s “Self-Portrait with an Easel,” painted around 1620s was… well…. how pasty pale he is. 😉

Continue reading A few thoughts on Nicolas Regnier’s “Self-Portrait with an Easel”

Invitation to Play “Scavenger Hunt” at the Harvard Art Museums – The Clues

You may have heard that Sunday, November 16, 2014 is the Opening Celebration at Harvard Art Museums, which is reopening after a long renovation that started with the closing of Harvard’s Fogg and Busch-Reisinger museums in June 2008, and the Sackler Museum in June 2013.

Now collections from all three museums are  housed under one roof in the completely renovated and expanded site of the former Fogg Museum designed by Renzo Piano, renowned architect who also designed the post-modern The Centre Pompidou in Paris and the expansion of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Even though the official opening is on Sunday, two days away, Harvard Art Museums had opened its doors to Harvard affiliates earlier today and of course I simply could not miss the chance to go see it. (I should point out that while I work at the university, I am NOT one the museum staff, and sadly, my job has nothing to do with writing about art or travel.)

Continue reading Invitation to Play “Scavenger Hunt” at the Harvard Art Museums – The Clues

Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH: A Review & a bit of history

I admit, if it weren’t for the M.C. Escher exhibit, I’d probably never think of going to the Currier Museum of Art, in Manchester, New Hampshire. And that would be too bad, because I’d miss out on a fun, inspiring, and educational afternoon.

As an article “Currier Gallery of Art: a small but distinctive collection,” published in The Christian Science Monitor in 1981 said:

[T]he Currier, considered to be one of the best small art museums in the US, is better known among curators and art historians in Paris and New York than it is in its own region. Both the Louvre and the Metropolitan have borrowed artwork from the compact gallery, which has as its motto, “One masterpiece is more to be desired than a roomful of run-of-the-mill paintings.”

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Learning more about Pablo Gargallo’s Great Prophet

I admit, I’m not an art buff. We went to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, because I wanted to show the kids the Guernica (they were not impressed).

But a few rooms over I noticed a really striking sculpture. Except I failed to write down the title or the name of the artist, whom I never heard of before. Luckily, thanks to #AskACurator day on Twitter,  I  now know  that it is a sculpture by Pablo Gargallo, titled Grand prophète (Great Prophet).

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