The British Museum and the Ravages of Time

The British Museum and the Ravages of Time

I visited the British Museum on an autumn afternoon a few years ago. The state of the ancient statuary struck me: most of these objects were scarred from their journeys through time. From small pockmarks to missing limbs, these statues had not escaped the passage of time unscathed. I reflected [...]

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Museum Hack’s Un-Highlights Tour of the Met Museum

Museum Hack’s Un-Highlights Tour of the Met Museum

This summer, during my three-day retreat in the Met Museum, Museum Hack invited me on one of their Un-Highlights Tours. I had heard intriguing things about their museum tours, and I was excited to finally see for myself what all the buzz was about [...]

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Monet's Giverny in the Summer

Monet's Giverny in the Summer

Let's travel through time and space to colorful Giverny, France in the summer. Claude Monet made his home at Giverny for over 40 years, until his death in 1926. In the warm season, you can visit his house and studio, as well as the famous flowerbeds and reflecting pond that inspired his sublime paintings. To visit [...]

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New Travel MusEmvelopes + GIVEAWAY!

New Travel MusEmvelopes + GIVEAWAY!

I am so proud to announce... Voyages MusEmvelopes! This new version of MusEmvelopes, Voyages, is designed to help you travel in art museums. Whether you are visiting a museum while traveling in a new city, or going on a staycation in your hometown museum, these fun activity prompts will take you places. I am excited to be giving away Voyage MusEmvelopes to two lucky readers [...]

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Music in the Museum: Chopin and the Polish Princess in Paris

Music in the Museum: Chopin and the Polish Princess in Paris

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts offers a musical audioguide, which pairs different artworks with various musical selections. One of my favorite combinations is that of a Polish princess and a Chopin Polonaise. Paul Delaroche, the Romantic French painter, was a big deal in the 19th century, as famous as his contemporary Delacroix. When he wasn't traveling, he [...]

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Creative November: Voyages (Again)

Creative November: Voyages (Again)

November's museum theme is VOYAGES. Museums can take you places. This month, we'll be revisiting the theme of voyages in museums (again). This theme is so rich, that I thought it was worth revisiting. We'll be looking at museums while traveling; we'll travel in museums while staying put. We'll travel through time, exploring the past and imagining the [...]

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Toulouse-Lautrec's Women of the Belle Époque

Toulouse-Lautrec's Women of the Belle Époque

I went to the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition looking for calm. It’s been an intense week; the semester is halfway over, which means the projects for my seminars need to be at a certain point of completion. When I saw that I had an hour-long pocket in my schedule on Tuesday, I decided to fill it with some Toulouse-Lautrec [...]

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Music in the Museum: The Cult of the Virgin Mary

Music in the Museum: The Cult of the Virgin Mary

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts with its musical audioguide. The first stop on the audio tour was a French statue of the Virgin and Child from the 14th century. The cult of the Virgin Mary was very common in both the visual and musical cultures of that time. This [...]

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The Musical Audioguide at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The Musical Audioguide at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

When I learned last year that the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts offered a musical audioguide, I believe I actually scoffed. A musical audioguide seemed like taking what can be a stereotypically unsexy museum offering and making it even more unattractive. I don’t know exactly what was expecting, perhaps being subjected to fuzzy elevator [...]

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Autumn Colors at the Château de Fontainebleau

Autumn Colors at the Château de Fontainebleau

Historic châteaux differ from traditional museums in an important aspect: seasons. When I think about visiting most museums, I focus on what I’ll be seeing on the inside. But with historic châteaux and houses, I add in the factor of the time of year I will be visiting. I love making the pilgrimage to the Château de Malmaison during rose [...]

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Creative October: Calm

Creative October: Calm

October's museum theme is CALM. All month, I'll be looking for moments of calm in museums, because #PhD... It's only been a month since I started my PhD program here in Montréal, but I'm already feeling a bit overwhelmed. My museum attendance has also been dwindling (moment of honesty: I've only been to one museum this month [...]

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Picasso's Women in the Musée Picasso, Paris

Picasso's Women in the Musée Picasso, Paris

A year ago, I was preparing to move from Paris to Montreal. A major strategy in emotionally processing this big change was to visit as many Parisian museums as possible. One of the museums I visited was the Musée Picasso, recently reopened after being closed for a five-year renovation project. After following the dramatic saga of the delays for the opening, there was no way I could leave town before [...]

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SFMOMA’s Playful and Profound Audio Tours

SFMOMA’s Playful and Profound Audio Tours

I had a truly magical museum experience in San Francisco's SFMOMA. After much anticipation, I finally had the opportunity to test the museum’s innovative new app in its natural setting. I went to SFMOMA with my family (this visit was more pleasure than research). The wifi in the museum was strong enough for my two companions to quickly download the app. We smiled as we listened to the playful audio [...]

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Spending an Hour with Vermeer’s Sleeping Maid

Spending an Hour with Vermeer’s Sleeping Maid

Is there anything more luxurious than slowly absorbing a sublime work of art? I can easily forget this. When I visit a new art museum, I can get in a manic state. I don’t want to miss anything, so I am tempted to methodically make my way through every gallery. And by seeing everything, I see nothing. So, when I gave myself three days to retreat in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I made a conscious effort to [...]

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Vigée Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France

Vigée Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France

Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun was a celebrated 18th century French portraitist and one of the most important women artists of all time. I had the pleasure of seeing the exhibition dedicated to her life and work at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa (the exhibition also took place at the Grand Palais and the Met). This is the first retrospective and only the second exhibition devoted to Vigée Le Brun in [...]

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Hunting for Beavers in La Maison du Castor (Château Ramezay)

Hunting for Beavers in La Maison du Castor (Château Ramezay)

Montreal’s Château Ramezay has a fuzzy past. The grand house was originally built for Claude de Ramezay, the governor of Montreal from 1703 to 1724. But Ramezay went a little overboard, spending way too much of his own money on the building project. After his widow’s death in 1745, the heirs sold the property to the West Indies Company, which had a monopoly on the export of beaver [...]

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Playful Museum Visits: A Review of MusEmvelopes

Playful Museum Visits: A Review of MusEmvelopes

If you’ve been following along this month, you know that Imaginibus's museum theme for August is PLAY. Today, I’m excited to (re)introduce you to Nolwenn, a dear friend from Paris and fellow blogger. I sent her a MusEmvelope and asked her to play in a museum. I’ll let Nolwenn take it from here [...]

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Alexander Hamilton in the Metropolitan Museum

Alexander Hamilton in the Metropolitan Museum

Alexander Hamilton played a major role in my three-day retreat in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As I wrote about here, I was nervous as I approached the Met on the morning of the retreat's first day. I literally started getting panicky as I crossed Central Park, feeling overwhelmed by the vast collection of the Met and worrying that I wouldn’t be able to structure my time well. That’s when [...]

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SFMOMA and Museum Hack: Creating Content For an Audio Tour

SFMOMA and Museum Hack: Creating Content For an Audio Tour

As soon as I read about SFMOMA’s new app, I had an immediate audioguide crush. The app features exciting technology and innovative content. It reimagines what a relevant audio tour experience can be. The app proposes several Immersive Walks, which are 15-45 minute audio “journeys”. These tours are wonderfully creative. You can choose the mood you want for your visit, from the hilarious “I Don’t [...]

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