Thursday, January 6, 2011

Museums Galore

This blog is dedicated to Miss Collette Johns and her artistic self. :)

So I visited three museums during my trip, and all of them blew me away. The first up is the Louvre in Paris. Just to jump right in, I saw the Mona Lisa and that baby is well guarded with security on either side and bullet proof glass:

But more impressing to me was the painting on the other side of the room. It is called "The Wedding Feast at Cana" by Paolo Veronese and it was massive. It's about 22 feet by 33 feet. And it is beautiful.

Every time I turned a corner, I was surprised to find another piece of art that I had only ever known through text books. It was surreal to see them in fingertips' reach. This is "Lady Alston" by Thomas Gainsborough.

This piece haunts me. I forgot to write down the name, but I believe it is by Romeo Borgognoni, but even with that name, I can't find more information. It's puzzling to me, why he chose certain people to be dead in this painting. I desperately wish I could find more information, but it's incredible.

I then walked down the hall to the Greek and Roman sculpture section. On the way, I saw this window and dreaded going outside in the cold I could practically feel by looking at it:

Once in the Greek and Roman section, I saw this piece. Yes, it is pretty at first glance. But as always, I am comparing real life to literature (it's my major, okay?). And I immediately knew what the piece was just from reading Greek literature in class. It is based off of my favorite Greek story, "Cupid and Psyche." And it's so passionate.

Now! Off to London! This is from TATE, the London Museum of Modern Art and it was also HUGE. With Modern Art, I accept that there are pieces I will never understand no matter how abstract I can make my thoughts. You need to be the artist to fully grasp the motive. Despite my lack of understanding, I try not to judge pieces and be that jerk that stands there and says, "My 5-year-old could do that." Because honestly, your five-year-old could NOT make a social commentary on Polynesian rights with minimalist brush stroke. Your kid can scribble and say they're "worms," not a social movement. But, I'll be the first to admit that occasionally, I laugh at an awkward or nearly empty piece until I remind myself the truths I just stated. ANYWAY! Modern Art! I am going to post the pieces that I cannot comment on, as I did not take proper notes on those. This is for aesthetic purposes:

Then I found a whole room for Andy Warhol and I was a happy camper!

I didn't know either of these artists, but I really loved these. A lot:

This is Monet's "Water Lillies" and it was MUCH bigger than I expected!

Finally, they had a Dali and I was so pleased. I stood there and looked at it for probably ten minutes. I later found a painting by Diego Rivera, and it was NOT a mural! I had completely forgotten that he did actual canvas as well. Pleasent surprise, indeed.

To switch suddenly from art to history, we also visited the Imperial War Museum in London. This was incredible for entirely other reasons. When we think of WWII, we picture America as the focal point. But England pictures England as the focal point and Germany as Germany, etc. So it was refreshing and interesting to see an entire museum with a spin off of all the wars that I had never seen. They had a WWI and WWII section (with trench and blitz experiences), Conflicts since 1945, a Baghdad section, Secret War, Survival at Sea, Crimes against Humanity (which made me cry), and a Holocaust Exhibition (also cried).

The outside of the museum at night and the main lobby with all kinds of tanks, submarines and aircraft to look at:

The WWI trench experience was really cool! You walked through and it was pitch black and difficult to walk (you had to duck and watch your footing) and it smelled likes sulfur. You could lean in close to the mannequins and hear them talk to one another or read letters from home. It was nuts! I had to use flash to be able to pick up anything in the shots. So imagine it about ten times darker than the images you'll see here:

There was a Women of WWII exhibit and I was shocked when I saw the image of the woman. I thought it was Grandma Cella. She has the same figure, hair color/style and fashion. In fact, I have seen more black and white photos than I can count of her in that kind of outfit in that exact pose. So I took a picture to prove to the Fennells how freaky it really was for me:

The following images are of exhibits of dictators and war tactics:

The hero of the British war history is Major-General Bernard Montgomery and DANG that dude had a ton of medals:

Finally, I saw this statue dedicated to fallen soldiers and I thought it was very beautiful:

And that concludes my museum-mania in Europe! (For now.)

1 comment:

  1. W.O.W. I love every bit of this! Let's go back together some time:))))