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Posts tagged ‘France’

D-Day 70 Years Later – The Omaha Beach Memorial

My first impression of Omaha Beach in Normandy was of summer fun.  Alongside the massive stretch of sand, there was a boardwalk dotted with summer beach rentals, ice cream stands and the occasional creperie.  The laughter of a visiting group of British school children added to the ambiance of carefree days.  But anyone who has studied the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944 knows that Omaha was the bloodiest of battlefields of D-Day with some units in the first wave suffering up to a 92% casualty rate.  How do we memorialize the 4,000 who died in a few hours?  Today a bold, modern memorial stands out along the relaxing beach and marks the critical military objective that the American soldiers sacrificed so dearly to achieve.

Omaha Beach Memorial

Omaha Beach Memorial

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The Bayeux Tapestry: Storytelling in Fabric

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 Art Experiences.  Check out all the inspiring and fantastic stories below!

Norman Horseman, Bayeux Tapestry

Norman horsemen riding into Battle from the Bayeux Tapestry

I’ve joked before about my “art pilgrimages” but I truly think some works need to be seen in person.  There are details that can not be conveyed in photographs, and sometimes the scope and effect of the piece can only be appreciated in front of the artwork.  I’ve experienced this sense of presence most intensely with the 12th century Bayeux Tapestry. Essentially a 230 foot long storyboard of exquisite embroidery, this object retells the the Battle of Hastings with drama, charm, and emotion.  Without even realizing it, I spent 4 hours with the Bayeux Tapestry and loved it!

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Pablo Picasso: Creative Chameleon

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 Contrast.  You can link to all the ArtSmart contributions below. For February we welcome a new team to the ArtSmart group – Lydian and Pal of Art Weekenders! They are based in Amsterdam and love sharing ideas for art and culture based getaways.  We’re so excited to welcome them to the Roundtable!

Pablo Picasso - "Portrait de Dora Maar"

Pablo Picasso – “Portrait de Dora Maar” 1937 (Photo: Musee Picasso Paris)

Contrast is a fundamental concept in art.  Artists use colors, movement, shapes and volume to add contrast and build emotion in their work.  But what happens when an individual internalizes the concept of contrast and applies it to his or her own career?  Pablo Picasso was an incredibly gifted artist but I have always been struck by how deliberate and thought-out his works were.  Wanting to explore new creative approaches, Picasso radically switched between several styles throughout his career, each one unique and captivating.  That to me is his genius and a real lesson in Contrast.

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A Look Back at the Daydream Tourist’s 2013

I hope everyone had a great 2013!  I’m looking over the Daydream Tourist and must say I’m pretty happy with my year!  My goal was 1-2 posts a week and I accomplished that (well, on average).  I wrote about a lot of cool things and saw even more amazing things in my travels, whether across the Atlantic or in my own hometown.  Here’s some of the highlights:

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The Modernist Church of St. Joan of Arc in Rouen

Rouen, France has a beautiful medieval core with wood and plaster buildings slumped and crooked from centuries of settling.  There are several beautiful medieval churches led of course by the grand Gothic Cathedral.  But when it came time to commemorate Rouen’s most famous Saint, Joan of Arc, the city erected a thoroughly modern church – L’église sainte Jeanne d’Arc.

L’église sainte Jeanne d’Arc

These oval-shaped, fragmented glass white windows circle the altar at the Church of St. Joan of Arc.

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