This month we are heading to Asia for the first time to visit China! We’ll be stopping in Hong Kong, Macau and Beijing. I am nervous about the long distance we have to travel and how difficult it may be to get around with the language barrier, but I’m also very excited to see the Great Wall, Victoria Harbour and the largest casino in the world!
Over the summer, Will and I took a day trip to Philadelphia to check out two newly opened art venues, the Rodin Museum and the Barnes Foundation. Both are located in the downtown area, close to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The Rodin Museum, which just completed a $9 million renovation, is small but effective. It houses over 140 pieces by French sculptor, Auguste Rodin, the most famous being The Thinker and The Gates of Hell. The layout is compact, but the space is large enough to wander around the statues and really get a good look at them. While you can get through the exhibits fairly quickly, it may be hard to pull yourself away from the beautiful french garden and reflecting pool outside.
Directly across the street sits the brand new Barnes Foundation, featuring the art collection of the late chemist, Albert C. Barnes. Moving it to Philly was controversial as one of Barnes’ dying wishes was that his treasures always be kept in his personal gallery in Merion, PA. The intention was to keep the rooms homey and intimate, like Barnes’ original setup and, while this is achieved, the presentation is so cluttered and crowded that the paintings get lost in a sea of bobbing heads and nearly overlapping frames. This is extremely unfortunate given that the Barnes collection is perhaps the finest and most important collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art in existence. In addition to holding the largest number of Renoirs in the world, 181, it also boasts 69 Cezannes, 59 Matisses and 46 Picassos. The collection is amazing and, ultimately, too overwhelming.