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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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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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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Creative September: Women

Creative September: Women

September's museum theme is WOMEN. All month, I'll be highlighting women in museums: women as subjects, women as artists, women as museum workers. The mascot for this month's museum theme is this utterly celebratory Nana by Niki de Saint Phalle. According to Tate Liverpool: "The Nanas, large-scale and [...]

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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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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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Exhibition: Niki de Saint Phalle

Exhibition: Niki de Saint Phalle

The Niki de Saint Phalle exhibition at the Grand-Palais is a joy, a pleasure, a celebration. Before this exhibition, I only knew Saint Phalle as the artist behind the Stravinsky Fountain by the Centre Pompidou, and other such colorful creations. I was not expecting to be blown away (as I was) by the force of her artworks’ color, form [ ... ]

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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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