Tag Archives: Museum

Two Continents, Double the Dalí

Dali Queen Esther

We arrived at the Salvador Dalí Theatre Museum in the Spanish city of Figueres by way of St. Petersburg, Florida—three years and thousands of miles later.

Before being introduced to Dalí’s work in the Sunshine State in 2011, neither Brian nor I was all that familiar with him beyond his curled, signature mustache and Surrealist paintings. In fact, as we discovered at the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, there was much more to this multi-dimensional artist than a melting clock.

A single Surrealist painting purchased by art-loving newlyweds Reynolds and Eleanor Morse in 1941 was the first piece in the Dalí treasure trove they amassed and which eventually became the basis for the St. Petersburg museum. Dali’s paintings are presented chronologically, spanning 45 years, from Impressionism and Cubism to Surrealism and a classic period that focused on religion and science. He also dabbled in film and photography, created sculptures, and designed jewelry, clothes, furniture, and sets for plays and ballet. We left the museum intrigued by the wonderfully offbeat sensibility that conjured images like a fast-moving still life, the artist Vermeer’s ghost doubling as a table, and bicycle-riding skeletons balancing rocks on their heads.

That was the warm-up act.

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Delightfully Offbeat di Rosa

DiRosa Museum, Napa California

A chair whimsically perched on stilts sits on the edge of Winery Lake, one of some 2,000 works of art at the di Rosa. Tucked among the vineyards in the Napa Valley, the collection is considered the most significant holding of Bay Area art in the world.

A visit to the di Rosa is not a traditional museum-going experience. Guided tours—the only way to see the full collection—combine indoor and outdoor viewing in various areas of the property, once home to vintners and art enthusiasts Rene and Veronica di Rosa, the collection’s founders. The eclectic assortment features everything from painting and sculpture to ceramics and video, created from the 1960s to the present.

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Artful L.A.

The Getty Center

The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA

L.A. museums get a bum wrap. While researching things to do there, I noticed message board commenters often recommended that out-of-towners take in the city’s museums before immediately adding a caveat. Almost by way of apology, it seemed, they would note that the museums were worth a visit “but” weren’t as impressive as those in other cities like New York.

While it’s true that many museums fall short in a head-to-head with New York’s legendary Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles has plenty to offer art lovers. Here are three museums well worth a visit…on their own merit. And in addition to impressive artwork, both the Getty Villa and the Getty Center have an added bonus that Manhattan museums do not: Pacific Ocean views.

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The Magic of Marketing

King Tutankhamun

On some level, we all understand the power of advertising. We know that corporations spend billions each year selling us stuff. Presumably, they wouldn’t do that if they didn’t get some kind of return on their investment. If you’re like me, you tend to think of advertising as mostly informational. For example, I know that Axe body wash exists only because I’ve seen its T.V. commercials. Presumably that brand recognition makes me more willing to throw the product in to my cart.

On a deeper level, I understand that Axe isn’t really selling body wash at all. They’re selling mythical love potions that claim to make hot women lose their minds and their pants. We might know those claims aren’t true (they’re not true, right?) but they’re supposed to create favorable impressions of the product in the minds of the targeted audience. Even if we don’t think the product attracts lusty women, we’re reminded of lusty women when we think of the product.

But are we really all that gullible? I mean we know what the marketers are up to. We understand we’re being sold. So how effective can all of these marketing dollars really be? Judging from a recent trip to Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, pretty darned effective.

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Denver Art Musueum

Denver Art Museum

We definitely felt rushed. It simply wasn’t possible for us to adequately cover the entire 356,000-square foot Denver Art Museum in the scant two hours allowed by our parking meter. In the time we had, we did manage to cover enough ground to appreciate DAM’s high quality collection and fabulously arranged display areas.

Here are just a few of the things that caught my fancy as we whizzed past:

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