Dramatic Skies in the Palazzo Barberini

Dramatic Skies in the Palazzo Barberini

It was turning into a rainy evening in Rome. The downpour was steady: persistent enough to slowly seep through my raincoat, but not aggressive enough to convince me to stop meandering through the drizzly streets, past intriguing old churches and lazily flowing fountains. Eventually, I made my way to […]

Read More

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 [...]

Read More

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 [...]

Read More

What I Learned as a Kid in UMMA

What I Learned as a Kid in UMMA

My first ever museum was the glorious University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) in Ann Arbor. UMMA has always been a magical place for me. As my hometown museum, it was a cabinet of curiosities for my young self. I saw things there unlike anything I had ever seen: intriguing objects from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe. During a trip this month to see my family in Ann Arbor [...]

Read More

Posing in the Groeningemuseum

Posing in the Groeningemuseum

In honor of #MuseumWeek, the week-long celebration of museums on Twitter, this post is dedicated to today's theme of 'poses' (#poseMW). During a recent visit to the Groeningemuseum, a museum of Belgian art in Bruges, I was struck by the poses found in the paintings. These artists used bodies and gestures to convey [ ... ]

Read More

San Gimignano

San Gimignano

(As I finish up my thesis this month, this blog will be temporarily transformed into Garlands in Florence with posts about summer in Italy) We were going to San Gimignano for the day. We were right by the train station in Florence, and this clueless young couple, obviously in town just for the day, came up to us, and [ ... ]

Read More

Giardini di Boboli

Giardini di Boboli

(As I finish up my thesis this month, this blog will be temporarily transformed into Garlands in Florence with posts about summer in Italy) I had to wake up early for a drawing class field trip. We went into Florence to the Boboli Gardens, the Medici’s massive formal gardens behind the Pitti Palace. They were lovely [ ... ]

Read More

Ferragosto a Siena

Ferragosto a Siena

(As I finish up my thesis this month, this blog will be temporarily transformed into Garlands in Florence with posts about summer in Italy) As August 15 is Ferragosto, a holiday in Italy, I was worried that everything would be closed . But then I read that the Palio race was going to take place tomorrow in Siena [ ... ]

Read More

Cortona

Cortona

(As I finish up my thesis this month, this blog will be temporarily transformed into Garlands in Florence with posts about summer in Italy) Inspired by reading Under the Tuscan Sun, I decided to spend a weekend by myself in Cortona, a hilltop Tuscan town. I would wander little streets, reflect on life [ ... ]

Read More

Two Medici Villas

Two Medici Villas

(As I finish up my thesis this month, this blog will be temporarily transformed into Garlands in Florence with posts about summer in Italy) My drawing class took its first field trip; we went to two nearby Medici villas. At the first villa, the Villa Medici di Castello, we sat out in the gardens and drew whatever we [ ... ]

Read More

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

(As I finish up my thesis this month, this blog will be temporarily transformed into Garlands in Florence with posts about summer in Italy) Today was a trip to Cinque Terre. Sandwich fixings were laid out in the Villa dinging room for us to make our lunches. Freshly picked lettuce and tomatoes, local olive oil [ ... ]

Read More

Arrival at the Villa

Arrival at the Villa

(As I finish up my thesis this month, this blog will be temporarily transformed into Garlands in Florence with posts about summer in Italy) Today has been a dream, a wisp. The descent into Florence was breathtaking. As I came out of the small plane directly onto the tarmac, the air smelled so [ ... ]

Read More

Abu Dhabi Delights

Abu Dhabi Delights

I recently found myself in Abu Dhabi for a week. This was my first trip to the region, and I was excited to see the differences in culture, tastes, scents, the quality of light... On the plane, I was giddy when I saw on my seat's screen that we were flying over Mesopotamia and [ ... ]

Read More

I Am American, Give Me Ice

I Am American, Give Me Ice

A French friend came to visit my childhood home over the Christmas holidays this year. It was his first time visiting the great US of A, and I wanted to shock him with the cultural differences between our two countries. I took him to an enormous Costco, I made him drink a Root Beer Float, we almost got run over by [ ... ]

Read More

Musée des Augustins de Toulouse

Musée des Augustins de Toulouse

Toulouse is known as la ville rose due to the pink bricks used to construct many of its buildings. The Musée des Augustins is no exception. Built in 1309 as a Augustinian convent, today the building houses a collection of paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. The galleries [ … ]

Read More

Daisy Crowns

Daisy Crowns

I was in Toulouse this weekend, visiting a friend’s family. On Sunday, we spent a lazy afternoon lounging in the backyard, soaking in the warm southern sun. We put down blankets and stretched out in the soft grass. It turned out the lawn was scattered with tiny daisies. My friend's cousin's [ ... ]

Read More

A Rosy Birthday Party

A Rosy Birthday Party

I found myself in the midst of a polar vortex for my birthday this year, at the tail end of visit to my family in the Midwest. In the midst of record-breaking amounts of snow, I decided to throw a small party with hints of Spring. There would be roses, punch, and lots and lots of streamers. When I was a little girl, my idea of [ ... ]

Read More