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Posts tagged ‘ceramics’

How to (Legally) Bring Home a Piece of a UNESCO Site

Recently I wrote about the incredible Matthias Church in Budapest which along with Castle Hill has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Given the astounding decorations inside the church, I was definitely going to pick up something from their gift shop.  I thought maybe some note cards or a bag or a book, but I found something way better.  Half-hidden on a shelf at knee level was the most random but also the most incredible “souvenir” I have ever encountered in all my travels.  You better believe I bought one which is how I managed (legally) to bring home a piece of the church itself.

Budapest, Matthias Church tile roof

The Matthias Church from the exterior (Photo: adapted from Wikipedia)

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The Art of a Confucian Temple

Several religious practices are popular in Taiwan, although the line between them is often blurred.  Buddha can be found in Taoist temples and living by Confucian ideals is compatible with any faith tradition.  Reliably it is actually the art and architecture of a temple that can be used to determine the beliefs of its worshipers.  One excellent contrast between temple design can be found in north Taipei where literally across the street from the Taoism Baoan Temple is the Taipei Confucius Temple.  Let walk through this elegant temple to understand what is unique about its decorations and why the temple is decorated this way.

Roof of the Lingxing Gate Taipei Confucius Temple complex

Moss and ferns cling to the roof of the Lingxing Gate which leads to the Taipei Confucius Temple sanctuary.

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Ceramic Folk Art from Around the World

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are focusing on National Art – whether iconic styles that remind us of a certain place, or a movements that developed in and became emblematic of a region.   Be sure to check out everyone’s posts below!

Italian olive dish

Simple but very functional, I got this olive dish in Siena, Italy.

Every culture makes utilitarian objects like furniture, clothing and ceramics.  Folk art is decoration applied to these functional items which reflects the tastes of a people.  In addition to seeing works from professional artists in a national museum, I am always on the look-out for local craftspeople or cultural museums that show off local folk art.  As a lens to compare several cultures, let’s take a look at some traditional ceramic styles around the globe.

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Egyptian Blue Faience

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!  Color has enchanted artists and art lovers for centuries and we’ve picked some exciting topics; you can find links below for the rest of the group’s posts.  I love bright colors, contrasting color, subtle transitions of color, and rich tones, but this month I want to talk about one particularly unique color which is intrinsically tied in my mind to entire collection of objects.  I have always been fascinated by Ancient Egyptian blue Faience.

Blue Hippopotamus at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, blue faience

The iconic Blue Hippopotamus at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most well-known blue faience pieces.  It was created in approximately 1981–1885 BCE in Middle Egypt.

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