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 […]

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7 PhD Lessons, as seen in The Met Museum

7 PhD Lessons, as seen in The Met Museum

I just finished my first year as a Museum Studies PhD student at the Université du Québec à Montréal. I took all of the program's classes in this first year (!) and I've started research for my thesis on storytelling using digital media. It's been a very full year... Here are some of the lessons I learned [...]

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Music in the Museum: An Operatic Demise

Music in the Museum: An Operatic Demise

The (currently defunct) musical audioguide at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts paired different artworks with various musical selections. I was a big fan of the experience, and I was particularly moved by the pairing of a painting and an aria inspired by the tragic fates of two women [...]

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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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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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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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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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Fancy French Bows in the Metropolitan Museum

Fancy French Bows in the Metropolitan Museum

Do you ever find yourself in a museum, looking but not seeing? This happened to me recently on my three-day retreat in the Metropolitan Museum. On my second morning, I was wandering from gallery to gallery, and I couldn’t quite register what I was seeing. I was so inundated with beauty that it was all blurring together. That’s when I decided to go on a photo safari, a trick in my museum toolbox that [...]

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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 [...]

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Home Furnishings from the Museum

Home Furnishings from the Museum

I am (still) in the midst of furnishing my new Montréal apartment. I have spent hours searching for fun and functional furniture and decorations to make this nest feel like home.  After spending a recent morning assembling furniture, I decided to treat myself with a visit to the Montreal Museum of [...]

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Museum-Inspired Christmas Ornaments

Museum-Inspired Christmas Ornaments

This month's Creativity Theme is CELEBRATION. So, with Christmas approaching, I gave myself a challenge for my visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: find a way to celebrate Christmas inspired by artwork seen in the museum. I figured the most literal way to be inspired would be by [...]

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Napoléon et Paris: exhibition at the Musée Carnavalet

Napoléon et Paris: exhibition at the Musée Carnavalet

Napoléon et Paris at the Musée Carnavalet offers a glimpse at the steamy relationship between Napoleon and the city of Paris, presenting “Paris as seen by Napoleon and Napoleon as seen by Parisians”. I would describe the exhibition as jam-packed and elegant, not two words [...]

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New Colors in the Louvre

New Colors in the Louvre

There is a fresh coat of paint this month at the Musée du Louvre! The Musée du Louvre recently renovated its galleries dedicated to 19th century French painting, complete with new colors on the walls and a reshuffling of the artworks. The paintings underwent acts of preventative [...]

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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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Green in the Orsay

Green in the Orsay

This is the first installment of Creative June on the theme of the Outdoors. (If you missed it, check out a description of the project here!) When thinking about the outdoors, the first image that came to mind was the color green. And what better museum to scour for instances of green than the Musée d’Orsay? I first thought of the [...]

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Google Glass in the Grand Palais’s Velázquez exhibition

Google Glass in the Grand Palais’s Velázquez exhibition

For its Velázquez exhibition, the Grand Palais in collaboration with GuidiGO is offering a guided visit using Google Glass. This was my first time using Google Glass, and I was impressed by how intuitive the glasses were. It didn’t take very long to feel like they were an extension of my own body. The glasses only offer 12 commentaries, far [ ... ]

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Moms in the Musée d'Orsay

Moms in the Musée d'Orsay

This is part of Photo Safaris, a series that focuses on details found in artworks around various themes, with the aim of looking at everything differently. In honor of Mother's Day, I spent an afternoon in the Orsay on the hunt for representations of mothers. I did not have to look far. Moms surrounded me: from symbolic figures of maternity to [ ... ]

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Pierre Bonnard, exhibition at the Orsay

Pierre Bonnard, exhibition at the Orsay

The Musée d'Orsay's current exhibition Pierre Bonnard: Peindre l'Arcadie is a delight. I walked out of this celebration of color feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. The (well-written and accessible) wall panels summed up Bonnard's style as possessing elegance, vitality, charm, deftness and humor. These words describe the exhibition as a whole. Pierre [ ... ]

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A Table of Desserts

A Table of Desserts

Still lives are incredibly sensual beings. But not only do they exemplify virtuosity, their aim is to sneakily make you think about the very nature of life itself. Given this, why are they so easy to just skim by in museums? Filmed partially in the Louvre in 2011, this little video aims to explore both the sensual and moral aspects of this subtle genre [ ... ]

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