Art and architecture, cultural sites and special cultural events
This is a very incomplete list of museums and cultural sites I visited, plus
few others that I plan to visit, eventually.
- New York
- Metropolitan Museum of
Art, one of the main attractions on my many short trips to New York. Some recent exhibits:
- 2009, to see.
- Arts of the Ming Dynasty: China's Age of Brilliance, till Sept. 2009.
- Choirs of Angels: Painting in Italian Choir Books, 1300 - 1500, till 12 April 2009.
- Early Buddhist Manuscript Painting: The Palm-Leaf Tradition, till March 27, 2009.
- Tibetan arm and armour, through Fall 2009.
- Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection and Raphael to Renoir: Drawings from the Collection of Jean Bonna, till April 12, resp. 26, 2009.
- Reinstallation of the South Asia Galleries
Gandhara, Mathura, Andhra and Gupta Sculpture.
- Reopening of renovated Byzantine Art and the Medieval Europe Gallery
- The Cloisters
- Morgan Library
- The Frick Collection, New York.
- MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), New York.
- New York Public Library. Exhibits:
- Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea. A Picasso late works exhibit, Los Mosqueteros, curated by Picasso biographer John Richardson. April 2009.
- New England (Massachusetts, Connecticut)
- New Jersey
Baltimore Museum of Art
Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore
- Washington DC
- Stanford University Art Museum
- Taliesin West, Scottsdale in Phoenix, Arizona.
Winter residence of Frank Lloyd Wright. Beautiful and fragrant at the time when the desert is
- Taliesin, main residence of Frank Lloyd Wright.
In Spring Green near Madison, Wisconsin. One of my misses, I arrived too late to catch the last tour of the day - so I must go back and visit it, eventually.
- Palazzo Publico Siena, Lorenzetti's frescoes (Allegory of Good and Bad
- Catedrale (Duomo), Libreria Piccolomini, Museo del Opera del Duomo, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena
- Musei a Roma:
- Padova, Capella Scrovegni
- Museo Nazionale San Matteo,
a jewel of a museum, small (i.e. human size) but filled with beautifully displayed superb quality artwork from the region.
- Museo dell'Opera del Duomo,
next to the Leaning Tower. I was so entranced when I visited this museum, that I didn't notice that they were closing it, and I found
myself locked among all those treasures. Not feeling prepared to live up a Hollywood movie plot, I managed to open a window and, in
rudimentary Italian, asked some passer-by's to come to rescue by notifying the museum guards.
Museo delle Sinopie, right next to the Duomo. Contains very interesting sinopie of the famous frescos from Camposanto.
Museo del Camposanto Vecchio. Superb rescued and restored frescos of the Camposanto (cemetery). An absolute must-see.
Collezioni Egittologiche. I haven't seen this yet, it's on my list for the next visit.
Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti per il Calcolo. This sounds fascinating! Must go there next time.
Museo Nazionale Palazzo Reale. I missed it, so I must see it next time.
- Il Duomo di Pisa,
Il Campanile, or la Torre Pendente (Leaning Tower) di Pisa (it was undergoing major
structural work when I visited Pisa in 1997).
San Paolo a ripa d'Arno, a little jewel of a church (chiesa).
, a World Heritage city
- The splendid baroque co-cathedral of St John
in Valleta. Not to be missed: the cathedral's museum, where the tapestries used for decorating the cathedral at special occasions are displayed,
as well as illuminated manuscripts and paintings by Andrea Preti and Caravaggio's "Beheading of St John"
- Unique and absolutely spectacular fortifications
the beautiful Silent City with memorable sights from its ramparts. This walled city is simply a living museum.
The Low Countries
- Hermitage. One of the world's richest museums. Spectacular.
- The Russian Museum, with a superb collection of Russian icons, including some fantastic Rubliov's, as well as classic Russian painting: Repin, Serov.
- Petrodvorets, or Petehof, Peter the Great and future tsars summer residence and pleasure gardens.
- The cosy Summer palace, which was closed when we tried to visit. On the banks of Fontanka River near the Neva, in the nice Summer Gardens, with their famous wrought-iron fence and gates.
- Peter the Great cabin, on the banks of Neva. Was closed when we got there.
- StIsaac's Cathedral. A museum of agnosticism during Stalin's times. Among the current exhibits, a striking photograph taken during the Great Siege of Leningrad, showing a harvest of cabbage heads in the square in front of the Cathedral.
- Peter and Paul Fortress, with a great view across the Neva towards the Winter Palace.
- Dostoyevsky's memorial museum. Touching. The apartment he lived in, at the time when he was becoming a famous writer.
- Pushkin's apartment on Naberezhnaya Reki Moyki. He was brought here to die after the fateful duel. His study is very elegant and inspiring.
- Church of Saviour on Spilled Blood. Tsar Alexander II was assassinated on the grounds where the church was later built. His political achievements and conquests, marked on plaques around the church, were sobering, and clarified to me why some aspects of 19th century Romanian history were never properly taught in school during communist times.
- Museum of political history of Russia. Sobering.
- The many beautiful Canals and rivers of StPetersburg going to the Neva: Fontanka, Moyka, Griboedov.
- Forbidden City, Beijing
- The Great
Wall of China
- Hong Kong Museum of Art and
Hong Kong University Museum
- Qin Terracotta army, Xian, China -
one of my dreams is to visit it one day. Update: I visited Xian in December 2005. Fantastic!
- The wonderful Beijing Opera museum in Tianjin, in the actual building previously used for live performances. The ground floor is like a tea-room, with tables and chairs, and the hall is surrounded by displays of dolls clad in classical opera costumes. Fascinating!
- Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park.
My favorite gallery in the Honkan was the collection of
Japanese woodblock prints, and this spectacular
from the Jomon period.
- I just learned that the Tabacco and Salt Museum in Shibuya has
four prints from
Hiroshige "53 stations of the Tokaido".
- Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art in Harajuku, Tokyo. Was closed when I got
there. Next time :-)
Here is a web site with a large collection of ukiyo-e's,
and another one, and
a Library of Congress exhibit, the
Japan Ukiyo-e Museum, the Ukiyo-e Society of America,
Ukiyo-e art dealers
and the Kotobuki Ukiyo-e auction site. An interesting finding about
Frank Lloyd Wright, dealer of ukiyo-e!
- Senso-ji, or Asakusa Kannon temple, with its charming and busy
shopping street Nakamise and
large-scale fireworks on the last
evening of July.
- Kyoto Gion festival, mid-July
- Imperial palaces, villas and castles:
- Budhist Temples and Shinto Shrines
- Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion. Really covered in gold leaf.
- Ginkaku-ji, the Silver Pavilion. No silver, though. From there, continue on the
Philosopher's Path along a canal, passing several smaller temples and heading
- Ryoan-ji, the most famous Zen Rock Garden.
- Ninna-ji, with a most beautiful palace and gardens. One of my favorite sites.
- Sanjusangen-do, the Temple of the 1000 Buddhas. Mesmerizing.
- Kiyomizu-dera, "Pure Water" and a fantastic view.
- Nanzen-ji. A spectacular Sanmon (gate).
- Toji, with its elegant
pagoda and collection of Buddhist sculptures.
- Nishi and Higashi Hongan-ji, large Buddhist temples of the Jodo sect, in the center of Kyoto.
- Tenryu-ji in Arashiyama area,
with its wooden bridge and bamboo groves,
and the charming Rakushisha, the former residence of Kyorai Mukai, an 18th century haiku poet.
- Yasaka shrine in the attractive, artistic and turistic
- Fushimi Inari Shrine, with its miles and miles of red torii gates
- Heian shrine, one of the few we missed.
- Nara, Japan's first capital
- Todai-ji temple, the world's largest wooden building.
- Nara Park, with its freely roaming deer
- Horyu-ji, founded by Japan's legendary prince Shotoku,
one of the oldest temples in Japan. A short train and bus ride from Nara.
- Kasuga Taisha shrine, with its many lanterns.
- Odawara in Kanagawa, with its samurai castle and donjon.
This is the shinkansen stop on the way to Hakone, on the shores of
Ashinoko (lake Ashi), the hot springs up the mountain and the spectacular
views of Mt Fuji.
- National Museum of Art, Bucharest
- Bruckenthal Museum, Sibiu
- Zambaccian Museum, Bucharest
- Museums in Bucharest
- Muzeul Satului, another site, and
English Village Museum
- The fortified citadel in Alba-Iulia, build on top of an old Roman castrum, has some very interesting sites, including the Archeological Museum and the "Unirii" museum.
- I visited some of the fortified churches, some on the UNESCO World Heritage list, in Southern Transylvania: Cristian near Sibiu and Biertan, as well as Sighisoara and the peasant fortress Rasnov near Brasov.
- The old salt mine in Turda has, at 100 meters under the ground, a huge cavity which is sometimes used as a concert hall: one of classical and folk Romanian music was organized when we visited it in the summer of 2013.