Athens’ National Archaeological Museum Part Two: Gods and Mortals


…continued from Part One… The incredible collection of statues in the National Archaeological Museum shows the continuation of the Greek efforts to create three dimensional figures, first to depict deities, then to commemorate individuals. I know that a lot of people don’t like Archaic art – that is, the style that was in vogue before the Classical style, which is…

Athens’ National Archaeological Museum Part One: Establishing Greece


National Archaeological Museum, Εθνικό Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο, Athens, Greece When you’re in a city like Athens, you can’t help but feel spoilt for choice when it comes to museums.  In fact, I found it almost overwhelming trying to decide which were the must-visits of our week in the city.  The National Archaeological Museum was clearly top of the museum list –…

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Enigmatic Faces: The Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens


Museum of Cycladic Art, Μουσείο Κυκλαδικής Τέχνης, Athens, Greece There were so many museums in Athens that I was really looking forward to visiting, but funnily enough, the Museum of Cycladic Art was one that I was particularly keen on.  We’d passed it in the taxi on our way into the city when we arrived from the airport, and it…

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Serving Sundborn: A Special Swedish Church


Sundborn Church, Sundborns Kyrka, Sundborn, Sweden Situated on a picturesque spot by Lake Toftan are two little red buildings.  These are the church and bell-tower of Sundborn, both covered with wooden shingles, and both sitting charmingly by the water.  Although it presents a very traditional Swedish image from a distance, when you get closer, you notice small, ‘modern’ touches, like the…

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Gimme, Gimme, Gimme: All Bow To ABBA in Stockholm


ABBA The Museum, Stockholm, Sweden ABBA.  Love ’em or hate ’em, they are one of the most influential bands in the history of modern music.  From 1974 to 1982, the group topped charts all around the world, and in the last few decades they’ve re-emerged and caught up a whole new legion of fans. Even though I love many of…

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All Concept, No Knickers: a Trip to Marseille’s Mucem


Mucem: Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France Sometimes, when you see that there is a really hyped museum, you can’t help but be carried away by the idea that it’s going to be great.  Then, when you’re somewhat disappointed, you walk away feeling kinda grumpy.  And, if you’re me,…

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Not Just in the Eye of the Beholder: Looking at Beauty in Athens


The Countless Aspects of Beauty Exhibition, “Οι αμέτρητες όψεις του Ωραίου“, National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece The vast and incredible collection of ancient artefacts in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens is almost too overwhelming.  Literally every room is packed full of incredible objects and what a joy it is to explore. However, the museum clearly doesn’t have that much…

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Continuous Tradition, Evolving Style: Christian Art in Athens


Byzantine and Christian Museum, Βυζαντινό και Χριστιανικό Μουσείο, Athens, Greece Having attempted to write an ill-fated PhD dissertation on early Christian art, I have a somewhat difficult relationship with the subject.  One the one hand, I find the whole subject of creating a visual language for a new religion fascinating, and on the other hand I associate it with the…

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Dining With Romans: an Exhibition on Food in Marseille


We’ve Invented Nothing!: Products, Commerce and Gastronomy in Ancient Rome, On n’a rien inventé ! Produits, Commerce et Gastronomie dans l’antiquité romaine, Museum of Marseille’s History, Marseille, France   Sometimes it feels like the modern world has an obsession with food which is unlike anything European society has experienced before.  Social media is playing its part in exaggerating the natural…

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Swedes on the High Seas: the Maritime History of a Nation in Stockholm


Maritime Museum, Sjöhistoriska museet, Stockholm, Sweden Maritime history, and the way that people have used the sea for exploration and trade, is fascinating.  I never really got it until I visited the oh-so wonderful Maritime Museum in Amsterdam.  Since then, if there is a museum on the subject, I’m there. Unfortunately none of the ones I’ve visited since have really…

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People of the World in Stockholm’s Ethnographic Museum


Ethnographic Museum, Etnografiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden What is interesting about going to Ethnographic Museums in different countries is that they all have a slightly different emphasis: some, like the Museum of Culture in Basel, have a lot of objects from Papua New Guinea; the Ethnographic Museum in Zurich has an extraordinary Chinese collection.  Each reflects the interests of the people…

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Aix-en-Provence’s Granet XXe: 20th Century Boys


Granet XXe Collection Jean Planque, Aix-en-Provence, France It’s an interesting juxtaposition for the modern art of Aix-en-Provence to be housed in a pretty little chapel built in 1654.  It’s been adapted to house the impressive collection of Jean Planque, which is 20th century heavy, and made up of works which he sometimes got straight from the artists, which is pretty…

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