A visit to the lovely sandy beaches and old fishing villages of what King James called 'The Golden Fringe' of Fife is always well worth the trip, especially on the weekends of 2nd and 9th June, when over 30 professional artists open their studios to all.
Half hour's drive from St Andrews (station, Leuchars) or an hour from Edinburgh. Details of open studios: www.eastneukopenstudios.org, or telephone for illustrated brochure, 01333730249
An often more interesting alternative to the big institutional galleries of Canberra, representing local contemporary artists across 4 locations.
"CCAS is one of a national network of contemporary arts organisations (CAOs) dedicated to the generation, presentation and promotion of innovative contemporary visual arts practice in Australia. Its program of exhibitions, performances, artists’ talks and publications aims provide opportunities for artists in the ACT to exhibit their work within a context of current national and international practice."
CCAS Gorman House & Cube2
Gorman House Arts Centre,
Ainslie Ave, Braddon A.C.T, Australia
1am to 5pm, Tuesday to Friday
10am to 4pm Saturday
Ph: +612 6247 0188
Google map: tinyurl.com/mq9dd4
19 Furneaux St,
Forrest, A.C.T Australia
Gallery Hours: 11am to 5pm,
Wednesday to Sunday during advertised
Ph: +612 6295 3112
Google map: tinyurl.com/l4usco
It's one of the places that you'll miss if you walk past it. Located in the basement of an apartment building it has an extensive exhibition of propaganda posters published during the cultural revolution. It's a part of Chinese history that can't be found anywhere else in China.
More info can be found here: www.chinasnippets.com/shanghai-cultural/propaganda-poster-art-centre/
Room B-OC, 868 Huashan Rd. Shanghai
If you want to see art in Venice, it doesn't come any better than this. Tintoretto's painting of the crucifixion literally took my breath away. This has been described as the Venice equivalent of the Sistine Chapel in Rome and I wouldn't disagree. It is a real tour de force by Tintoretto and shouldn't be missed.
My other favourite place for his paintings is Santa Madonna dell'Orto in the north of Cannaregio.
Right by the Frari church in the lovely and quiet San Polo sestiere.
A gem of a museum in a city that has several. (The Museum of Fine Arts just around the corner and the Fogg on the Harvard campus are also worth visiting). The excellent collection of Old Master paintings is set in a mock Venetian Palazzo. Hanging out in the central courtyard with its seasonal flower displays is restful but the real draw is the paintings. It's a pity some were stolen in America's biggest ever art theft, but because of the terms of Ms Gardener's will, the layout of the paintings can't be changed and empty canvases remind the visitor of what's missing.
280 The Fenway, Boston MA 02115
Nearest subway stop: Museum on the Green line
A stunning shop-cum-gallery selling original etchings and frames made by the artist-owners and their friends. No "art snobbery" here - the owners are English-speaking and happily spend time with you, explaining how they make the etchings and frames. With our purchase, we got a cup of tea and a fab local restaurant recommendation. Whether you want a unique memento of Florence or an original gift, Il Tamarino is well worth a visit.
Il Tamarino Stampe d'Arte
via del Moro 46R
Tel. 055 282457
A five minute stroll from the top of O'Connel Street is the recently renovated and extended Hugh Lane, the official Dublin City Municipal Art Gallery. Its bright, naturally lit spaces make it one of the most pleasant places to spend an afternoon in Dublin, especially if it's raining. The highlight is an exact recreation of the chaotic studio of Francis Bacon, which you view through the room's windows and door. There is a wide variety of painting, photographic and stained glass and sculptural work on display, both modern and classical, a well stocked art book shop, and chic (if slightly pricy) cafe. Best of all, it's totally free.
Parnell Square North.
Between the villages of Coniston and Hawkshead, this sculpture forest is home to more than 70 treasures hidden in the woodland. There are several walking/cycling routes which snake through the trees and allow for arty pit stops and beautiful views over Coniston Water.
The artist lived on the island from 1956 until his death in 1983, and his old studios have been converted into a museum with a permanent collection of hundreds of his later works as well as temporary exhibitions, workshops and a shop selling Miró souvenirs, prints etc.
29 Carrer de Joan de Saridakis, Cala Mayor (miro.palmademallorca.es)
Building the enormous gothic Seo cathedral began in 1230 and has been going on, more or less, ever since.
Gaudí contributed some typically modernista interiors in the early 20th century but even that has been upstaged by the vast ceramic tableau of cracked mud, fish and skulls in St Peter’s chapel. The work of Mallorca’s foremost contemporary artist Miquel Barceló, it is loosely based on the miracle of the loaves and fishes and was officially opened in February this year.
"El Ministerio de Educacion Publica" houses an incredible collection of Diego Rivera murals.
These are his early murals (the 20s) and are on three floors surrounding an open courtyard with jacaranda trees.
Calle Argentina No. 28, Centro Historico, near Donceles. Free admission.
I recently had the opportunity to visit the new (or renovated) Musée des Arts Decoratifs here in Paris. Set just next to the Louvre on the rue du Rivoli, it has taken the arts & crafts movement to the next level.
Next to 14th century glassware or pottery, you'll see exhibited a similar item made last year. But it's not just about pottery and chairs, the toy exhibit is incredible!
The museum is really well laid out to keep one's interest - is small enough that it doesn't take you all day - and close to many of the other "must see" sights of Paris to make it worth the visit. To get a feel of the variation of the museum, go here: www.parisdailyphoto.com/2007/04/muse-des-arts-dcoratifs.html
Les Arts Décoratifs
107, rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris France
Official Website: www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr/index_gb.html
Museum of Valencia History reminds me a bit of the Museum of London, one of my favourite UK museums.
50 display areas taking visitors chronologically through 22 centuries of Valencia history.
However, beware the school groups, there were three in while I was there, which made it hard to concentrate.
The Chester Beatty Library is a wonderful collection of old manuscripts and artefacts of Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and a few of its offshoots.
The importance of the items and the background on them is very impressive, and the museum hosts a very elegant and complete display of the works (beautiful garden enclosed within the old Dublin Castle as well).
The Chester Beatty Library.
Tel: (+353 1) 407 0750
Fax: (+353 1) 407 0760
The Chester Beatty Library and Galleries are situated in the gardens of Dublin Castle in the heart of the city centre. They are a two minute's walk from Dame Street via the Palace Street Gate of the Castle and close to Christchurch Cathedral (enter via the Ship Street Gate of the Castle). Nearest DART Station: Tara Street.
13, 16, 19 & 123 (from O'Connell St)
October - April: Tuesday - Friday 10.00am-5.00pm
May - September: Monday - Friday 10.00am-5.00pm
Saturday, 11.00am - 5.00pm
Sunday, 1.00pm - 5.00pm
(Closed 1 January, Good Friday, 24, 25 and 26 December, Monday public holidays)
Ireland's National Gallery (not to be confused with the nearby National Museum sites!), tucked away near the Dail (Parliament) buildings, is home to a collection that's quite simply staggering.
There are over fifty rooms which take you through the ages of Irish art, from 17th century painters to the extraordinary work of Jack B Yeats - WB's brother. There's plenty of Italian Renaissance painting and Dutch masters to keep you going as well, and some great modern Irish portraiture. Add a fantastically-stocked shop and two great cafes to the mix and well, you've got the makings of a whole day's worth of wonder, and occasional repose.
National Gallery of Ireland
Merrion Square West
This is a modern recreation of one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's competition designs and it's simply stunning. It's been meticulously matched to the drawings he provided and extra design features from his wife Margaret MacDonald and is a great example of his vision for family living. There's also a great restaurant in the basement!
Nearest underground - Ibrox
Nearest overground rail - Dumbreck Road
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