My fondest memories of places I’ve visited are of ‘going to their museums and galleries’. Finding priceless art hanging on the walls or painted on them as they are in the Vatican Museum just brings pure joy. There are some gems that you can’t take your eyes off and just want to keep staring at the sheer genius of the artist’s work. I had the privilege of walking around the Vatican Museum and then visiting the chapel in Milan which houses da Vinci’s immortal “The Last Supper”. Sadly we were not allowed to take pictures of the classic painting of Jesus and his disciples at the table. But I have come back with pictures from the Vatican Museum, the Met in New York, The Smithsonian in Washington DC, a few galleries in Abu Dhabi and the streets of Honolulu. Here are some samples of art around the world:
Smithsonian Institution, Washington
The Smithsonian Institution has 17 museums , galleries and a zoo. We chose to walk from our hotel as Washington DC is a great place to walk around. There’s little traffic and not many people around except at the tourist attractions like the Lincoln Memorial. The museums weren’t too far from our hotel but they are big and would require a large amount of time to cover them all. We chose to go to the galleries which were divided into many sections. We were more interested in paintings so that’s what we concentrated on. Our prime focus was the ‘Impressionists’ and we feasted on them.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
On a cold, windy and rainy day we headed for the Met as the Metropolitan Museum is known as. We took the subway from Penn Station and had our umbrellas out when we approached the museum. There was a huge crowd gathered outside the main entrance despite the foul weather. But we noticed a smaller crowd entering the building from a side entrance and were told that we could also go in that way. So we did and saved ourselves a lot of time and trouble. There are many sections even in the one museum that we visited. We managed to see the paintings and the Egyptian section. We spent most of our time admiring the paintings of Dutch and French masters like Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Monet, Gauguin, Pissaro, Renoir etc.
The Vatican Museum
Throughout my journey around Italy, my mind was focused on the Vatican Museum. We did get to see ‘The Last Supper ‘ in Milan but weren’t allowed to shoot pictures. We visited a gallery dedicated to Da Vinci in Florence and some churches with amazing frescoes in Venice but the focus here is on the Vatican Museum. Photography being banned in some areas, some of the best works could not be captured. But most of the art works in the museum are fascinating especially the ones that have a 3-D effect. As expected there were massive crowds at the Vatican but they were exceptionally well managed and we walked through the numerous galleries and many floors without any problem.
Honolulu Street Art
In Honolulu, one doesn’t have to be bent on finding art to see one. They are all over town in the form of street art. Not that there aren’t any galleries and museums of art in this wonderful city, there’s quite a few and one of them displays Manga art in all its glory. I did get to see a few Monets at the National Museum of Art. Much of the local artwork is heavily focused on flowers and there are many little galleries in the shopping areas. But the street art was exceptional and I did walk quite a bit to see them all. These are from the heart of Honolulu where everyone passing by can see them.
Art in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi takes great pride in their latest art gallery, the Louvre which is exceptionally well designed. Named after the Louvre in France, I had to wait a few years to see the gallery as it had not been opened to the public during my previous visits. There is a good mix of art from the east and the west which makes this gallery so precious. Some ancient books on the Quaran are well preserved and beautifully designed. From the works of world renowned painters like Van Gogh and Picasso, there are also artistic creations of the east though we may not be familiar with the artist’s names. I also visited a small gallery on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi where artists from places like Macedonia, India and Pakistan were exhibiting their works.