Tag Archives: Museums

Don’t Wait for the Louvre

An ordinary day at the Louvre. Photo Guia Besana for The New York Times

One cloudy afternoon this month, the line to enter the Louvre stretched around the entrance pyramid, across one long courtyard and into the next,” according to yesterday’s New York Times article about the ever increasing crowds at premier art museums. Scenes like that are why we regretfully decided not to revisit the Louvre on our most recent trip to Paris.

The Times focuses mostly on worries that such large crowds may start damaging the artwork. It goes without saying that these crowds also routinely ruin what is supposed to be a peaceful and contemplative experience for visitors. But they don’t have to. There are ways to beat the crowds.

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Fireplaces of the Phillips

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It wasn’t until our third visit to Washington, D.C., that we made it to the Phillips Collection, a gem largely overshadowed by the city’s larger Smithsonian museums. This time, though, “America’s first modern art museum” was a mere five-minute walk from our Dupont Circle apartment, making it an easy place to spend an afternoon.

Seeing the collection reminded me that modern art doesn’t always mean contemporary. The term modern actually covers a period extending over one hundred years and is broad enough to include such giants as van Gogh and Monet.

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