Escher in Het Paleis

This museum was one of Jason's picks for our visit to the Hague.  We really enjoyed the Escher in Het Paleis.  It was so very interesting.  I find that I have really been enjoying the small museums focused on one artist lately.  They may not be your best bang for the buck, but they sure are a great size and wonderful to see the progression of an artist.  I had no idea that Escher did all of these sketches/paintings.

Aren't these so cool?  The tessellations are fascinating.  I remember learning them in middle school, in particular his fish ones.  

The museum is also pretty interesting to walk through.  It is a former palace of the Netherlands monarchy.  The former queen used to live in this palace and it is the only one open to the public.  

One thing that irritated me a smidge was that they charged you to pictures in the slanted floor room.  Like, we didn't pay to get in...

It was interesting to see his transformation from "normal" sketches to his tessellations and sketches playing with dimensions and depth!

Time in museum: 1.5 hrs
Times visited: 1
Overall: A-


cathedral of our lady

We visited the Cathedral of our Lady in Antwerp.  It was a beautiful old Church in the middle of historic downtown Antwerp.  I loved that it was on the main square.

"P1010905GroenplaatsAntwerpen" by G.Lanting - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

This was on our list to visit in Belgium as it actually has one of the paintings on my list of 1001 paintings!  It was so beautiful by Peter Paul Rubens, his The Raising of the Cross.  The cathedral also has a few others.  The others were quite beautiful.  

As this was a Catholic Church, it was more ornate than some of the other churches we saw.  It had a number of old tombs and other sculptures as well.    

time in church: 2 hrs
times visited: 1
overall: B


van gogh museum

our first stop in amsterdam worth any mention was the van gogh museum!  We got into town, dropped our luggage at the hotel, picked up our bikes and headed to the museum in a downpour!  

It was great to be back in the museum.  We had purchased tickets in advance and basically walked up to the front of the line.  The other line waiting to get in was very long due to the inclement weather.  Due to this, of course, the museum was quite crowded.  

We did follow the typical route through the museum and it did open up a bit as we got further into the museum.  I think Jason was quite impressed with the museum as well.  He really enjoyed seeing the Almond Blossom.  

I really enjoyed the special exhibits in the museum when we visited.  They had an exhibit on Felix Vallotton, Fire Beneath the Ice.  I loved the similarities to Van Gogh's work.  Some of his paintings were so similar in style and feel, but his woodcuts were so interesting and different from his painting work.  

They also had an exhibit on how they restore paintings.  It was something i have always heard about, but did not actually know what that entailed.  Jason found that learning about the "science"  was fascinating.  I learned a lot about why the colors fade, how they "discover" another painting underneath and what is entailed in restoration. I wish I had known about this years ago!

This museum is definitely worth a visit in Amsterdam.

time in museum: 2 hr
times visited: 2


detroit institute of arts

a few weeks ago, my husband and i went to the detroit institute of art for a date night.  i really wanted to see the latest exhibit, samurai: beyond the sword.  i love learning about the far east.  given that i have not spent much (read: any) time in the far east of china, japan or korea, i have not been too many museums specific to the topic.

as usual, the DIA did a nice job with this exhibit.  the exhibit went by really quickly; i was amazed actually.  

the first half of the exhibit was about the warrior part of a samurai's life.  we learned about how their swords were made.  they are a truly a work of art. it can take up to a six months to make just one sword.  i cannot imagine working on a single item for that long.  we also learned about their regalia and how it was used in official parades and other engagements.

the second half was about how the samurai were actually strong carriers of the japanese culture.  it had all these pieces of art, vases and choreography.  

overall, i was so impressed.  we have had really good luck going to the exhibits on friday nights.  it was not too busy and it was such fun!

time in museum: 1 hr
times visited: 6
overall: A-