As the weather cools and Fall takes over, folks in the north start to daydream about the Caribbean for a sun-filled weekend away. While I’ve never been much of a beach person, I recently took a quick trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico and enjoyed it. The old town was lovely to wander through, I enjoyed the historic fortresses, and the public beaches were relaxing. While Puerto Rico’s status as an American territory makes travel there easier, the unique local culture and cuisine made it feel like I was exploring another country.
The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme. This month we are discussing Death & Darkness! Take a look at all the creative interpretations of his topic at the bottom of the page.
November 1 was All Saints Day which got me thinking about this pantheon of holy men and women. The Saints can be grouped based on their spiritual achievements, like the Scholars, Leaders, Mystics and the Martyrs. For frightening, chilling stories, Halloween’s monsters have nothing on this last group! While they are revered as holy people, the lives of these Saints contain some gruesome tales of torture and execution. Since images have historically been used to educate viewers, may of the most disturbing images in art history depict the various grisly deaths of the martyr Saints.
The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme. This month we are discussing Concepts in Art! Take a look at all the creative interpretations of his topic at the bottom of the page.
Art museums are sometimes criticized for being stale and distant. Mill about, look at the pieces, and under no circumstances do you touch the art! Paintings haven’t always received this degree of reverence. While today we analyze the artist’s intent and interpret the underlying meaning of the work, for centuries paintings we just decorations. Owners could change something as easily as we repaint a bookcase or substitute a bathroom light fixture. So today I want to think about the concept of “finished” art and what it means when paintings are changed by people other than the original artist.
I’m usually a much better planner than this. I arrived in Basel with a vague idea to explore the old city center because, as I’d already discovered, old Swiss city centers are amazing. Basel’s old town is dominated by the bright red Rathaus, or town hall. Already impressed by the Rathaus’ exterior decorations, I jumped at the chance to take a guided tour of what I thought was a museum inside or minimally a preserved historic interior. Even though the tour was in German (which I don’t speak), I completely enjoyed this insider’s look at the art, history, and, surprisingly, the contemporary life of the city housed inside this Basel landmark.
It’s nice to tour gorgeous, historic music venues, but it’s even more enjoyable to appreciate the interior while taking in a concert! The Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest is a Neo-Renaissance masterpiece from the late 19th century (like many other architectural wonders in the city). With nearly nightly performances and very reasonable ticket prices, the Opera is a great way to spend an evening. Just make sure you leave plenty of time before and after the show to wander the elegant lobbies and corridors.