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-


pacific science center

i was in seattle a few weeks ago to visit one of my really good friends, Jessica.  she suggested that we go to the pacific science center to see their exhibit, the photography of modernist cuisine: the exhibition.  our friends, priscilla and jen, joined us as well.  it looks like the exhibit will be traveling after this to a few different cities in the united states and then potentially heading overseas.

the museum itself is made up of separate buildings and so we quickly headed over to the building that housed the special exhibit.  the photography was pretty spectacular.  it was photographed by the chef, Nathan Myhrvold, who i recognized from his appearances on top chef!  his full cookbook costs $00+

the photographs were pretty spectacular.  to a certain extent, i almost felt like we should have been visiting the art museum to view them.  the preciseness of the images and showing how food looks in the process of cooking was so cool.  it presented food in a whole new light.  i loved his photographs of pots cut in half with the food cooking.

i was less than impressed with the rest of the museum.  it seemed a little disorganized and not kept quite up-to-date or maintained.  while we were there, they did have an exhibit of train sets.  it was quite impressive how big some of these sets were!  we were particularly impressed by a Playmobile set!

overall, the special exhibits were great, but a little more loving care could be given to some of the other exhibits.

time in museum: 2 hrs
times visited: 1
overall: B+


detroit institute of arts

over the thanksgiving break, i went with my husband, my parents and my sister to the new detroit institute of art exhibit, watch me move: the animation show.  we were very excited about it - we booked tickets about a week in advance for a 5:00 entrance on a friday.  it seemed like it was a good time to go; it was not as crowded as the exhibits sometimes are.  my husband loves pixar, which was featured on the billboards, so it was given that we were going to the show!

i was expecting more movie stills, but it was actually a large number of movie snipets ranging from the expected (disney) to old, controversial films from spain.  the exhibit was grouped into themes by different movie categories.  to watch the movies, headphones were provided.  movies were sometimes shown on loops, but other screens had just one movie showing.  literally, if you watched every movie, you could probably spend all day in the exhibit.

i thought it was a great exhibit and everyone in our random group really enjoyed it.  the DIA always manages to put on a fantastic show. 

time in museum: 1 hr
times visited: 5
overall: A-