Some cities like Bruges, Rouen, and Sienna are locked into one architectural style. Huge swings in economic prosperity followed by war or plague created these time-capsule cities preserving their perfect medieval core. But this kind of preserved architectural purity can still happen!
Detailed railings and shutters at 44 Balfour St. make this one of the most decorative homes in the White City.
A huge wave of Jewish immigrants from Europe landed in Israel in the 1930’s. Moving just North along the coast from Jaffa, these new residents build the city of Tel Aviv. Skilled architects and brilliant modern designers created the city in the Bauhaus, or International Style. Originally an industrial design ascetic which focused on pure lines, simplified geometric forms, and maximal utility, the Bauhaus concepts developed into a unique and thoroughly modern sytle. Much of “old” Tel Aviv was built during this period which has resulted one of the most consistent modern architectural neighborhoods in the World. In 2003 UNESCO recognized this so called “White City” as a World Heritage Site For visitors, its a living museum of pure Bauhaus.
When the first thing you see inside a museum is a Chihuly hanging over a classical male statue, you know that you’re in for something good!
I wandered into the the Cincinnati Art Museum with no expectations. I’d forgotten to check their collection ahead of time and I didn’t know what the special exhibits were. I ended up having what was probably one of the funnest museum experiences I have ever had! The programing, creative presentation of their art and friendly staff were so impressive that I left at the end day totally floored and a new fan of the Cincinnati Museum.
The restaurant I’m recommending for “Best Brunch in Boston” actually has only average to above average food. The dim sum at Empire Garden is good and certainly satisfying, but I really want you to go there because of the unbelievably beautiful and historic dining room.
Empire Garden Chinese Restaurant, Boston (photo: Wikimedia)
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about genre paintings of the Dutch masters, it’s the importance of the domestic interior. In some of these paintings you see individuals, families, and colleagues carrying on their daily business with a quiet diligence. I am always impressed by the clean and orderly world these characters occupy. Nothing is ostentatious, nor it is boring. Judging from the open windows throughout Amsterdam, the modern Dutch have maintained their historic skill at creating peaceful interior design.
Here are just some of the modern and recreated examples of Dutch interiors I found in Amsterdam along with their art historical counterparts.
Rembrandt, “De Staalmeesters (The Sampling Officials)” 1662, Rijksmuseum Museum, Amsterdam
I’m very excited to have joined a group of excellent bloggers for the monthly ArtSmart Roundtable! These folks love travel and art history as much as I do, so it’s a great fit. Each month we pick a theme to write about and for October it is architecture. Check below for links to all the other awesome ArtSmart Roundtable posts!
My travel itineraries always include visits to restored or recreated historic homes. It brings me just a little bit closer to the past when I can see a Tudor, Victorian or Art Deco building complimented by its matching contemporary decor. Many times they are more impressive on the inside than they are on the outside. There is one historic American home though with such an elegant Neoclassical design that it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, VA.
Monticello’s west portico in early April (Photo: Daydream Tourist)