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Showing posts from 2015

Detroit Institute of Arts

I met two girlfriends in the "D" last weekend for brunch and then two of us went on to the DIA new exhibit, Diego Rivera and Frido Kahlo in Detroit.  I had been looking forward to the exhibit since I did not know much about either of them.  I have always been fascinated by the mural in the DIA.  

The exhibit is broken into three parts: pre, during and post Detroit.  We are introduced into the inspirations for their art.  Rivera was inspired by traditional Mexico and the plight of the working class.  Kahlo had been in an accident in her late teens -- this accident inspired all her work going forward as she believed the miscarriage she had in Detroit was caused by the earlier accident.

One of the best parts of the exhibit was a deep dive into the Detroit Industry painting.  They highlighted the development of the art and the reasons behind the different panels within the art work.  I look at the art with new eyes now.  There were pieces of the mural that I had never noticed befo…

Neues Museum

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The second museum I visited on Museum Island was the Neues Museum.  It is just next door to the Pergamon museum.  It was really convenient to just hop next door and this was part of the museum ticket.  The ticket came with recordings in English (asked if I wanted English or Scottish).

The museum could easily take all day to visit, but they do highlight the key treasures in their collection on the map.  This is very handy!  The recordings were a bit long, but did seem to highlight key elements.

I went to see the Golden Hat and Nefertiti Bust.  How gorgeous!  They would not let you take photos of them.  The Nefertiti Bust was truly phenomenal -- tey still are not quite sure of the purpose of it.  They think it could have been used as a prototype sculpture.   They did have a replica of the Duomo door, which we have seen the real one!


Very cool museum -- I wish I had a bit more stamina to see the museum more fully!

Times visited: 1
Time in museum: 1 hr
Overall: A-

Altes Museum

My last stop in Berlin was Altes Museum before heading to the airport.  It seemed to complete the trio.

What a beautiful museum.  The outside was gorgeous and so iconic.  I did a pretty quick spin through this museum.  They had a number of Roman and Greek art, statues, and frescoes.  I really liked the second floor rotunda.  The artwork was themed around topics e.g. entertainment, the afterlife.  

Of the three museums I visited, I think this one was the least interesting to visit.  That being said, I might have, OD-ed on ancient civilizations that day.

Times visited: 1
Time in museum: <1 hr
Overall: B+

Berlin Wall Memorial

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On the first day in Berlin, I rented a bicycle to see the city.  It was also part of the recommended list I received from Simon.  

It is a bit outside the city, but well worth the trip.  It is over a path of the wall on the north side of the city.  It has a number of stops with recordings and descriptions of various aspects of life near the wall.  I had not realized how it developed over time as opposed to an insta-great thing in history.  It evolved just like anything else.  I cannot believe how they thought they could just split families like they did.  






They have built a look-out to see a simulation of what the wall looked like before it was taken down.





Times visited: 1
Time at memorial: 1.5 hrs
Overall: A-

Berlin Wall Memorial

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On the first day in Berlin, I rented a bicycle to see the city.  It was also part of the recommended list I received from Simon.  

It is a bit outside the city, but well worth the trip.  It is over a path of the wall on the north side of the city.  It has a number of stops with recordings and descriptions of various aspects of life near the wall.  I had not realized how it developed over time as opposed to an insta-great thing in history.  It evolved just like anything else.  I cannot believe how they thought they could just split families like they did.  






They have built a look-out to see a simulation of what the wall looked like before it was taken down.





Times visited: 1
Time at memorial: 1.5 hrs
Overall: A-

Berlin Wall Memorial

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On the first day in Berlin, I rented a bicycle to see the city.  It was also part of the recommended list I received from Simon.  

It is a bit outside the city, but well worth the trip.  It is over a path of the wall on the north side of the city.  It has a number of stops with recordings and descriptions of various aspects of life near the wall.  I had not realized how it developed over time as opposed to an insta-great thing in history.  It evolved just like anything else.  I cannot believe how they thought they could just split families like they did.  






They have built a look-out to see a simulation of what the wall looked like before it was taken down.





Times visited: 1
Time at memorial: 1.5 hrs
Overall: A-

Pergamon Museum

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I was in Germany for training almost a month ago.  I added a few extra days on coming in the weekend before.  I decided to check out Berlin!  One of my former bosses was from Berlin and highly recommended coming to the Pergamon.  I understand why!  What a cool museum!

It is on Museum Island, which is a concentration of a number of the museums within Berlin.  They had a group ticket, which was a great deal allowing you to get into most of the museums for a great price (particularly since I used my student ID)!

This museum has full size (or really large) monuments from ancient civilizations.  The scale was pretty fantastic.  I spent an hour in the museum, which seemed fairly on track with most other visitors.

I took some pictures of some of my favorites:







I mean -- check out how big the columns are -- that was actually a market.  Curious to see how much of it was real versus imitation.

My biggest complaint is that they would not take my backpack in the coat check; I needed to get a euro to us…

Dachau Concentration Camp

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I was in Munich in the spring of 2012 and had wanted to go to Dachau if I had just been there one more day.  My paternal grandfather was part of one of the first Army troops to reach it at the end of the World War II.  He never spoke about being in the military and I thought this would be an important way to remember the service he provided.  




I did not take a tour to the site, but rather went by myself with the public transportation -- first with the train and then hopping onto a bus.  

It looked a lot like I had imagined it -- barren, stark, extremely orderly.  The train truly had been routed to the front door.  


They had leveled a number of the barracks, but left two so you could get a sense of scale.  By the end of the war, the camp which had been built for 6,000 people, held over 30,000.  The barracks were overcrowded and food was in scarce supply.  
Four different religious memorials have been built within the site: Russian Orthodox, Christian, Catholic and Jewish.  I was surprised …

Museum of Fine Arts

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I spent a weekend in Boston which is where I am currently working.  I wanted to go to the Museum of Fine Arts since it is has paintings on my 1,001 paintings list.  

I arrived around 2:30 pm to a line outside of the museum to get in.  It took over a half hour.  The reason we were given is that there were a number of events for the Persian new year.  I find it hard to believe that there was a big event starting 2 hours prior to the close of the museum...so, if that is the case, the line was carry over from earlier in the day.  Once I got up to the cash register, they did not even have all of them up and running!

I saw the greatest hits.  They do have some beautiful art.  I did not understand though some of where they had queues. E.g. I wasn't allowed to get up close to these two paintings since they had some time capsule opening.  I don't understand why you would block off two of your top paintings.



I did think their Egyptian art was quite beautiful...


...as well as their Buddahis…

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

Our first day back in Buenos Aires, Jason and I went adventuring walking through town.  I wanted to check out the art museum.  We head to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.  

The museum has a variety of different art work with some of the greats, modern Argentinian art, and some special exhibits.  Admission was free, which was great, obviously, and especially, since about half of the museum is under construction.  

We quickly bopped into the museum.  I liked their usual exhibits -- they were generally fine.  Some of the signage was in English and I was surprisingly able to translate a decent amount of the Spanish to English.  Or at least, I think I was able to translate!

The most interesting part of the museum was the new exhibit, The Fatal Seduction - Erotic Imagery of the 19th Century.  I mean, hard to top that!  It has a few different sections of the exhibit.  One of the sections was on rape in art.  I wish I had been able to translate more of the description of that piece of the exh…

Perito Moreno Glacer in Los Glaciares National Park

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The day after we arrived in South America, we flew down to El Calafate in Patagonia.  From there, we were heading to Chile to the Torres del Paine.  On our way though, we were going to drive to the Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park.  

The park is 1-2 hrs from El Calafate depending on how slow the car in front of you is driving!  From El Calafate, there are a number of tour buses.  We ended up driving ourselves as the rental car gave us the flexibility to arrive after our flight and also ended up being cheaper than buying four tickets on the bus.  The drive out was quite easy -- there is literally about one road out of town in that direction.

Once we arrived at the park, it was ~$23 USD per person to get in.  They accept Chilean Pesos, USD and EUR.

The glaciers have an amazing easy walkway down with just long paths.  

They are beautiful!  Please see the pictures from my iPhone -- my iPhone.  The ones from the real camera are even better!




See the ones from our cameras!

Thes…

Museo Evita

While walking through Buenos Aires, we stopped by the Museo Evita.  It was our last day in Argentina.  The museum is nestled near all of the large parks in Buenos Aires. We were not necessarily planning on stopping, but the admission was 40 pesos or roughly $4.50 USD.  So, we figured why not?

As we were learning in Argentina, Evita is still an ever presence and influence on the culture and politics.  We were eager to learn a bit more about her life and influence.  This museum fit the bill.  It is solely about her beginning with her upbringing through her death.

It was very well done with interactive videos, artifacts, and pictures.  Enough of it was translated in English for us to understand what was going on.  It is hard to believe she was so young when she died (33) and left such a lasting impression on Argentina.  

Well worth the stop!

Time in museum: 30 minutes
Times visited: 1
Overall: A-

Art Gallery of Ontario

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I have been working in Toronto and ended up traveling to Toronto early on Sunday.  I wanted to check in the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).  It has been on the list for a while!

It is quite a large museum with a number of different of galleries within.  I tried to see most of the major ones.  I thought the medieval art was just beautiful.  They had a number of the prayer beads as well -- I could not believe how detailed they are.  My hands would be too clumsy for that.  This is one of the items below -- how intricate is it!


AGO is also known for their collection of model boats.  They are done to scale.  They range from Mayflower-esque ships to freight liners to military boats.  They had been bequeathed this collection -- they were fascinating.  The detail was extraordinary.


Some of the modern art was too much for me.  One of the pieces of art was submersed in the lake and surprise, the art was decaying!

The AGO gift shop was fantastic.  I really enjoyed my visit.  I wish I had waited to eat…