Friday, January 6, 2012

My Love Affair with Museums

I must say, I have been to many museums in my life. Whether it hold paintings, sculptures or history, I'm usually always in the mood to check out what is inside these grand buildings. As awe-inspiring as the contents inside may be, the exterior of a museum can be just as remarkable. The architecture of a place can often make your experience even more memorable and enjoyable.

Having visited my fair share of museums, I would have to say my top five include:
1) The Louvre in Paris -- This one is a no-brainer. The Lourve is a world-wide showcase of elegant and classic art. Only the best of the best make it inside its walls. People line up to see items, such as the 'Mona Lisa' and  'Venus de Milo.' It is a must for all museum devotees.

2) The Metropolitan Museum of Art -- Again, the Met is to the United States like the Lourve is to France (maybe more like Europe). The only time I've been was when I visited New York six years ago. Thinking we would only spend a few hours at most, I learned quite quickly that you cannot spend just a couple of hours in the Met. Two hours turned into five and I was never more happy.

3) Holocaust Museum in D.C. -- If you want an experience that will humble you, bring about multiple emotions, and teach you valuable life lessons, this is a museum that you MUST visit. Located in Washington, D.C., the Holocaust Museum is a multi-floored building filled with photos, videos and heartwrenching stories that will cause you to wonder how evil man can be. Advice: Whether or not you have a child with you, you must go through "Daniel's Story." It is a world created through the eyes of a Jewish child and his experience during the Holocaust.

4) Vatican Museums in Rome -- Comprised of various buildings and rooms, the Vatican Museums provide sculptures and art from all types of artists, from various time periods. The most amazing and unforgettable piece is naturally, the Sistine Chapel. Those who visit Vatican City and do not see the Sistine Chapel, well, you're a moron. Stepping inside, it is a room that will literally take your breath away. Viewing "The Last Judgement," one who is religious, as am I, feels a sense of hope and horror all in one.

5) Crystal Bridges in Bentonville -- My family and I visited this museum during the Thanksgiving break and I must say, it is a beautiful addition to the state of Arkansas. Holding art that spans from the 18th century to today, visitors can see popular artists, such as Norman Rockwell's "Rosie the Riveter," Andy Warhol's "Dolly Parton," and Asher Brown Durand's "Kindred Spirits." The outside, although not finished, has beautiful walking trails and biking paths for those who want the best of both worlds -- art and nature.

Here are a few photos from our visit:

It may not look like much in these photos (I was trying to take photos while walking), but seeing it in person, it is truly unbelievable.


Anonymous said...

I went to the Holocaust many years when my camp visited DC. Being that it was a Jewish camp, we had visited the Jewish museum in lower Manhattan. But the Holocaust museum in DC was like nothing i had ever experienced before. Truly something.

And of course the Louvre is a must for me! If and when I do make it to Paris, I will surely be asking you for recommendations :)

Meri said...

I haven't been to any of those- some of my favorites are: The Prado and Reina Sofia (Madrid), MoMa (NYC), Art Institute of Chicago, The Walker (Minneapolis), The National Gallery (London), and the Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam). I usually prefer modern art museums, but once in a while like a science or natural history museum or similar!

Nicole said...

@Alyssa- WHEN you go to Paris, not if, you will LOVE the Louvre! Make sure you make plenty of time for it though. I was only in Paris for 3 days and my sister and I had to make a mad dash to the items we wanted to see.

@Meri- Gosh, I've been to the MoMa but none of the others you mentioned. They sound wonderful though and of course, are all places I'd love to travel to one day! When I make it to any of those, I'll make sure to make these museums part of my trip :)

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