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Posts from the ‘ArtSmart Roundtable’ Category

The Imperial Treasury of Vienna

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 Hidden Gems.  Check out all the stories below.  At the risk of being too literal, I’m bringing you a story of a “hidden gem” museum filled with gems!

Imperial Crown, Orb, and Sceptre of Austria

Imperial Crown, Orb, and Scepter of Austria created between 1602-1615. (Photo: Michiel2005, flickr)

You don’t have to be an art or history focused traveler to appreciate real jewels.  There is something about gold and gemstones that just draws people in as we gaze at the glittering wealth, power, and beauty of these objects.  The most impressive collection of priceless jewelry that I’ve ever seen belonged to a real royal dynasty.  The House of Habsburg oversaw a massive and prosperous empire for roughly 800 years.  Sometimes lost in a city of fantastic art and architecture, you must visit the spectacular family jewels housed in the Imperial Treasury of Vienna.

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Caesar and the Snail: “Royal Purple” in Imperial Rome

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 Color.  Check out all the stories below!

As the old saying goes – “Clothes make the man.”  Nowhere is this more true than in Ancient Rome.  They had a purple dye so rare and so valuable that wearing it was reserved for the elite.  Eventually only the Emperor was allowed to wear full garments of this color, known as Tyrian purple.  So where did this precious color come from?  A sea snail native to Lebanon.

Justinian in purple

Emperor Justinian I wears a purple robe while his chief advisers have a broad stripe of purple in their garments. The Byzantines inherited the connection between purple and power.  This mosaic is from Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna (Photo)

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Finding the “Awe” in Awesome Art

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are finding Art that Inspires from our travels.  Check out all the stories below!

looking at Pollack in a museum

Contemplating a Pollock at (Photo: Pete Aylward, Flickr)

Art by itself is empty; it requires an audience to react, contemplate and interpret it for themselves.  It is the skill of the artist that turns pigments on a board and chipped away marble into something that can elicit emotion or opinion from viewers.  Every art connoisseur is different, so it is very common for us each to like different styles or pieces.  I certainly have my favorites and not-so-favorites.  This month the ArtSmart Roundtable is looking at “Inspiring Art” so I thought I’d take a look at not just art that is beautiful or emotional, but art that simply astounds me.

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Masterpieces for Free: An Art Day in Washington DC

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are treating you to An Art Day in some of our favorite city.  Check out all the stories below!

Pablo PIcasso's "Family of Saltimbanques" at the National Gallery of Art

Viewing “Family of Saltimbanques” in the Picasso Gallery at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

I am so lucky to live in Washington DC!  We have interesting architecture, great music and performing arts organizations, very active international Embassies, beautiful public art and monuments, and an incredible collection of museums and galleries.  Since the National Gallery of Art and Smithsonian Museums are administered by the US federal government, admission is always free.  While this is a dream come true for DC’s students, it is great symbolic gesture for visitors to the city – the visual arts should be enjoyed freely and shared with all.  With all the special exhibits to see, I practically get an “art day” every month and so I absolutely recommend an art trip to DC!

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Brunelleschi the Architect: More Than Florence’s Duomo

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are looking at architecture.  Check out all the stories below!

Florence Cathedral Duomo

Florence Cathedral Duomo (Photo: Flickr, Bruce Stokes)

If you know Florence, Italy, then you know Filippo Brunelleschi.  He was the architect who designed and constructed the soaring dome of the Florence Cathedral.  While still impressive today, this engineering feat was revolutionary in the 15th century.  But what many people don’t realize is that Brunelleschi completed several other equally influential buildings in Florence.  Brunelleschi’s chapels and churches set the standard for Renaissance architecture by re-introducing and expanding on Roman architectural concepts.  The harmonious and proportioned designs of Brunelleschi’s buildings makes them a must-see, even in a city overflowing with fantastic art.

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