Reframing the Frame, Exhibition at the Louvre

Reframing the Frame, Exhibition at the Louvre

“Excuse me,” demanded a tourist armed with an open Louvre map and a huge camera, “where is the art?” I had been standing with my nose in an intricately sculpted wooden frame that was, in fact, empty. Indeed, all the frames surrounding us in the gallery were missing their paintings, their raisons d’être. The resulting room was quite eerie at first [...]

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Picasso Sketches and the Doctoral Exam

Picasso Sketches and the Doctoral Exam

The autumn semester starts today. This past spring, I completed all of the seminars for my Museum Studies PhD. The next step in this process is the infamous examen doctoral, an exercise that involves diving deep into the theory in which my research will be grounded. I'll be investigating museum interpretation [...]

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A Traveling Christmas Story: The Chapelle Cardon at the Musée du Louvre

A Traveling Christmas Story: The Chapelle Cardon at the Musée du Louvre

Looking for a way to take the Christmas story with you wherever you go? The 15th century German world had a solution: mobile personal chapels. Take the “Chapelle Cardon” in the Musée du Louvre: this small mobile chapel would have been used for private devotion when it was made in the early 1400s. It includes [...]

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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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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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My Louvre Museum Themed Wedding

My Louvre Museum Themed Wedding

It all started off innocently enough. I was newly engaged, and it was time to design ‘Save the Date’ announcements for our upcoming wedding. I wanted a beautiful image to go behind the text. Luckily, I had just spent an afternoon in the Musée du Louvre’s Department of Islamic Art and my memory was saturated with colorful [...]

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Make a Mummy Mask

Make a Mummy Mask

I was really into masks last year. After I learned how to make papier-mâché masks for Halloween, I started to see masks in every museum I visited. The obvious reaction? Copy them in papier-mâché! My first museum-inspired mask was based on the deliciously grotesque horror masks of French 19th century artist Jean-Joseph Carriès. The project really helped me take in [...]

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My Home in the Louvre

My Home in the Louvre

I've been in Montreal for only four months, but my life in Paris already feels like another lifetime. I recently traveled to New York City (to visit the lovely Sara, another 'Expat American-Expat-in-Paris'), which obviously meant dedicating a significant amount of time in the Metropolitan Museum of Art [...]

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Love in a Garden

Love in a Garden

This painting, this fête galante, full of lovers in a garden, is a celebration of flirtation and love. While the young lovers are the focal point of the painting, a full half of the painting is dedicated to the landscape, to the architecture, to the physicality of the scene. As I looked at this painting by Nicolas Lancret, newly [...]

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The Louvre at Paris Plages

The Louvre at Paris Plages

Every summer, Paris installs sand and beach chairs along the Seine for a few weeks for an event called Paris Plages. And for the second year in a row, the Musée du Louvre is participating with an activity area, complete with reproductions of artworks from its collection [...]

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Paris in the Whitney: Scenes of a Love Affair

Paris in the Whitney: Scenes of a Love Affair

Garlands in Paris in the midst of a creativity series on the theme of Love. Today, I’m excited to introduce you to Sara, who reflected on this month's theme in New York City. Sara is one of the most creative and caring people I know, so I was excited to get her take on love in a museum. Here's Sara: Bonjour! I’m Sara of Simply Sara Travel, my [...]

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Museum and Cocktail Pairings

Museum and Cocktail Pairings

Museums can be very romantic places. My favorite museum dates have been in quiet, off the beaten track institutions with eclectic collections. These places facilitate good conversations and set a mood for the whole encounter. You can really get to know someone by hearing his or her reactions to an artwork or artifact [...]

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Aquariums: Zoos of the Seas and Rivers

Aquariums: Zoos of the Seas and Rivers

If you’ve been following along for the past few weeks, you know that Garlands in Paris in middle of a creativity series on the theme of the Outdoors. Today, I’m happy to introduce you to Nolwenn, a dear friend and fellow blogger. I asked her to reflect on this month's theme in a Parisian cultural institution. So, without [...]

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The Grounds of the Château de Malmaison

The Grounds of the Château de Malmaison

A video of dreamy June afternoon spent on the grounds of the Château de Malmaison. The Château de Malmaison was the home of Joséphine and her then-husband Napoléon (you can read more about their love affair here and about Joséphine’s famous rose garden here).

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Smell the Roses at Malmaison

Smell the Roses at Malmaison

Some heritage is meant to be inhaled. Empress Joséphine’s roses at Malmaison are a prime example. Visually beautiful, yes, but their real power lies in their luscious perfume. Stick your nose in one of the enormous blossoms and you are instantly, and forcefully, transported. Certain blossoms were almost the end of [...]

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Sainte-Chapelle: Inside and Out

Sainte-Chapelle: Inside and Out

Sainte-Chapelle is a decidedly interior space. To experience its full glory, you have to enter its depths, climbing from the lower chapel to the upper chapel. But it has an intimate relationship with the outdoors. At its origins, it was utterly dependent on the light of the sun for the stained glass to come to life. Morning light, evening [...]

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