museum

Johannesburg Art Gallery

i’m in Joburg at the moment on a spontaneous week long trip, and yesterday we visited the Johannesburg Art Gallery. it was quite an eye opening experience for me. JAG is situated in Joubert Park, right in the thick of inner city Joburg. which, to the uninitiated, is quite an intense part of town. it houses one of the largest collections of art in Africa, but only displays 10% of the work at any one time.

you’d think that an art gallery that has Rodin, Picasso, Kentridge, Monet, Boldini etc etc in its collection would be bustling on a Sunday. but we were the only people there. it is an extraordinary & beautiful place that seems to be falling apart at the seams. walking through it made me quite sad, but also hopeful that one day it will be restored to its former glory.

Johannesburg Art Gallery
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Johannesburg Art Gallery

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Art Scrub

don’t know what it is about Art Scrub, but i spent an inordinate length of time looking through these images of art museums that contain no art (sometimes that infinite scroll on tumblr just sucks you in, ya know?) they are hilarious, silly and occasionally sad to look at. brought to you by the same anonymous genius who does Great Art In Ugly Rooms – which is also worth a lengthy scroll. also check out my Art Appreciation post (which contains actual art)

Art Scrub
Art Scrub
Art Scrub
Art Scrub
Art Scrub
Art Scrub
Art Scrub
Art Scrub
Art Scrub
Art Scrub
Art Scrub
Art Scrub

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Art Appreciation

i have been wanting to do this post for years (not an exaggeration!). every time i came across one of these pictures of people appreciating art, as it were, i would bookmark it and put the idea into my memory bank – but eventually i had close to 10,000 favourites on flickr and i never actually mucked up the courage to look through them to compile it.

then Mallory actually did it over at Gems (*shakes fist* damn you Mallory for being so clever!) and so i was reminded that (a) Mallory is awesome and (b) i need to get off my ass.

one of my favourite things about travelling is visiting museums of any kind, but mostly art museums of course. i will never forget walking through the national portrait gallery in London for the first time, alone, with just my iPod to keep me company. i spent hours looking through everything and it was just the best. and that’s yet another reason why i’m so excited about going to NYC in October. think of all the museums that will be at our proverbial fingertips!

i’ll kick it off with a photo i took in the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris almost three years ago now (!) please click on the photos to go to their originals – the photographers are listed below each one. i will make an effort to keep adding to this post as i discover more.

– by me

– by hannah & landon metz

– by Nicholas Van Orton

– by Chuck Burgess

– by Sam Coldy

– by Valeria Lazareva

– by fannyelizabeth

– by Hendrik van Leeuwen

– by Nick DeWolf Photo Archive

– by LollyKnit

– by Joshua Foster

Life archives

– Elliott Erwitt, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1995.

– Alécio de Andrade

– by me

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musée

besides being basically my favourite places to hang out in general, art museums are prime spots for interesting people watching. in the musée d’orsay i lurked in the same room as courbet’s origin of the world for about 5 minutes, and enjoyed witnessing a variety of reactions … naturally the piece generates a lot of interest and giggles – mostly from men. in the l’orangerie i sat and watched these two women who gazed at monet’s water lilies for ages. when i squinted my eyes they started blending in with the blue water.

in the louvre i stood and watched as people went crazy around the mona lisa. this was my third visit, and it’s always the same story: jostling to take a photos & jamming at eachother’s elbows so they can stand as close to her as possible. the guards in the room are almost permanently rolling their eyes at the tourists who all flash away with their little digital cameras, even though there are several signs that say no flash… all the while lisa is just chilling with that disarming smile on her face, and the eyes that watch you no matter where you are standing in the room.

actually, all the paintings seem to be watching you… all the time.

so i retreated to the calm of the decorative arts museum – still my favourite of them all. it is currently hosting an animals & toys exhibit (excellent!) and they were busy setting up for the mobi-boom exhibit in the nave opening on 23 september, which will showcase furniture design from 1945 to 1975 – seriously bummed i’m missing that.

all photos by me, more of paris at my flickr

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