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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Details and Textures in the Victoria and Albert Museum

Details and Textures in the Victoria and Albert Museum

One of my favorite museums in the world is the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). Founded in 1852, it is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design. My last visit was in September 2012, when I was in London for a friend's birthday weekend. I may only have been in town for two days, but I [...]

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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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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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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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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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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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Gardens of the Way of the Cross - Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal

Gardens of the Way of the Cross - Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal

My Montreal museum cocktail for the week led me to the small museum in Saint Joseph's Oratory, the grand basilica located on one of Mount Royal's peaks. I had already passed the Oratory and its enormous dome several times, and I was excited to learn what it was exactly. On a sunny May day, I arrived at the base of the Oratory's hill and was faced with seemingly never-ending outdoor stairs winding their [...]

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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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Niobids in the Louvre

Niobids in the Louvre

"Niobides suppliantes". "Niobides en fuite". As I made my way through the Louvre one evening, it felt like every artwork that intrigued me was some version of a Niobid. I would be pulled to one Ancient Greek statuette, and then another, and each time the label would say “Niobid”. But what [...]

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Touch in the Louvre

Touch in the Louvre

This is an installment of Creative July on the theme of Love (f you missed it, check out a description of the project here!) One of the most beautiful expressions of love is touch. So, I went on a photo safari in the Louvre's Ancient Egypt galleries, on the hunt for touch. A photo safari is a visit to a museum focusing on details found [...]

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Expulsion from the Garden: The Louvre's Cour Marly

Expulsion from the Garden: The Louvre's Cour Marly

The Cour Marly in the Musée du Louvre is grand. Filled with natural light and a forest of ficus trees, the courtyard houses an army of grand marble statuary. These stone figures display movement despite their insistent stillness, with rearing horses, racing gods and goddesses, harmonious allegories of rivers and [...]

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Ancient Egyptian Work in the Louvre

Ancient Egyptian Work in the Louvre

This is part of Louvre Photo Safaris, a series that focuses on details found in Louvre artworks around various themes, with the aim of looking at everything differently. I know very little about Ancient Egyptian art. So during a recent stroll through the Louvre's Egyptian Antiquities galleries,  I needed help looking at the objects. One of the first artifacts [ ... ]

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Louvre Photo Safari: Movement

Louvre Photo Safari: Movement

This is part of Louvre Photo Safaris, a series that focuses on details found in Louvre artworks around various themes, with the aim of looking at everything differently. It is astonishing how objects as static as statues can suggest movement so powerfully. Walking through the palatial galleries of the Sully wing of the Louvre, I had [ ... ]

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Exhibition: Rhodes

Exhibition: Rhodes

The current exposition-dossier at the Musée du Louvre is on Rhodes, a Greek island that was an important trading hub between the East and West in Antiquity. This exhibition focuses on Rhodian archeology from the 14th to 6th centuries BCE (from the Bronze Age to the Archaic period). It is literally the first exhibition in [ ... ]

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Exhibition: Jeff Koons

Exhibition: Jeff Koons

The Centre Pompidou just opened its retrospective on Jeff Koons, the contemporary artist behind Balloon Dog and the porcelain Michael Jackson and Bubbles. I have never been a huge Koons fan, so I was hoping this exhibition would help me understand what the hype is all about. The first part of the exhibition was unexpected [ ... ]

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The Queens of the Luxembourg Garden

The Queens of the Luxembourg Garden

I've always been intrigued by the series of statues of French queens and saints that surround the basin of the Luxembourg Garden. These women are look strong and purposeful, each unique in her pose and attitude. The statues make up the Reines de France et Femmes illustres, a series of twenty notable women from French [ ... ]

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