I decided to visit the Boston Public Gardens today, to see the bench from Good Will Hunting, so I could pay my respects to one of my idols. I wasn’t alone, as crowds of young and old stood near, bound together by sadness.
Rest in peace Robin.
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is located on the National Mall is focused on Western Art from the Middle Ages to contemporary art, with a particular strength in Renaissance art. Even though many people mistakenly believe the Gallery is a part of the Smithsonian, it is not. Since it is on the National Mall amongst the other museums of the Smithsonian, pacing is critical to not let both mental and physical fatigue overwhelm you. The Gallery along with the other museums along the Mall also make a nice break from the sun and heat if you visit D.C. during their brutal summers.
One thing that is nice about the Gallery is that it is open 363 days of the year (only closed for Christmas and New Year’s Day).
Cost of Admission: Free.
My Worth: $18. I think if this museum was in another city and required admission, I would be wiling to pay $18 to enter.
Must See? Repeat?: If you haven’t been, I would at least check out the West Building of the Gallery. No, I wouldn’t repeat if you haven’t been to the other museums nearby.
Here are a few works from the Gallery:
Both of these paintings are probably my favorite Monets and they are right across from each other in the same gallery.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
The Louvre Museum in Paris is one of the largest museums in the world with a collection from prehistoric artifacts to the 21st Century. More than 9 million visitors go to the Louvre, making it the world’s most visited museum. It will feel like 8 million of them are in the gallery to see the Mona Lisa if you go.
Not surprisingly, a former royal palace makes for a spectacular building to house some of Europe’s great works of art.
Cost of Admission: €12. Make sure to buy an official ticket though. There was a counterfeit ticket scam last year.
My Worth: €15. I would say it is worth €15 to visit the Louvre.
Must See? Repeat?: Everyone that finds out if you are going to Paris will ask if you are going to the Louvre. People also ask if you went to the Empire State Building if you visit New York. The Louvre is one of the those iconic destinations you should see at some point if you visit Paris. As far as repeating, that is a thornier question. I personally wouldn’t go back since I don’t get to Paris as often as I would like. With so many other interesting things to see and do in Paris, a repeat visit is a tough proposition.
My favorite works in the Louvre:
No, the next one is May 2015. http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/823-years.html
The Purple Heart is the badge for meritorious action. It is our oldest military award.
The National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (Annex) is an annex of the more popular and more visited National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The Annex is comprised of two huge hangars and is a dream playground for any fan of aviation. The Annex is also next to Dulles airport, perfect for a long layover. The Enola Gay along with a piece of fabric from the Hindenberg comprise some of the historically significant artifacts at the Annex.
Cost of Admission: Free. Like many of the other wonderful museums in Washington DC, the price can’t be beat.
My Worth: $15. I think I would be willing to pay $15 to visit the Annex if admission was charged. It is a truly unique experience. I was really lucky to see the Annex before it opened to the public at a private event back in 2003. I was like a kid in a toy store.
Must See? Repeat?: Yes, if you love airplanes and space. Yes, if you have kids that love machines. Yes, if you are stuck 3+ hours at Dulles. Yes, since aircraft are still being added to the collection.
Some of my favorite exhibits at the Annex:
Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. This is my all-time favorite plane. Just looks all kind of badass.
Concorde. I never got the chance to ride in one and wish I did. Not the most luxurious way to cross the Atlantic, but one of the coolest.
Museo Nacional del Prado (Prado) in Madrid, Spain has the best collection of Spanish Art in the world along with an impressive collection of European Art.
Cost of Admission: €14
My Worth: €12. From Monday - Saturday 6-8 PM and Sunday 5-7PM, admission is reduced to €7, so I would recommend to go then if you can.
Must See? Repeat?: Depends on your taste in art. Mine runs slightly more modern, so I wouldn’t say it is absolutely critical to visit vs. other museums in Madrid. Probably would not repeat, unless there is some special exhibition showing the next time I’m in Madrid or if 10+ years has past since my last visit.
Bacchanal of Andrians by Titian
The 3rd of May 1808 in Madrid or “The executions” by Francisco Goya
Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez
The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) is the second largest museum in the US and definitely in my top ten art museums in the world (I’ll compile the list at a future date). The collection is incredibly broad with particular strengths in Impressionist, American, and Modern Art. With a million square feet of galleries, there is a lot of art to cover if you do it all in one visit.
Even if you have not visited AIC before, many of you might be familiar with the scene above from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with their stroll thru a museum highlighting many of the works at the AIC. Nearby Grant Park and Millenium Park make for a pleasant way to spend an afternoon if the weather is nice.
Cost of Admission: $23. Not sure if the price is to be psychologically easier to handle than $25 or if the 23 is a nod to Michael Jordan.
My Worth: $25. I think it is worth $25 to visit the AIC. I think the AIC is one of the must see attractions in Chicago.
Must See? Repeat?: Absolutely on both. Even with all kinds of exhibitions the AIC manages to not feel overwhelming.
Here are a few of my favorite works at the AIC:
These next few pictures I took are from the Thorne Miniature Rooms at the AIC. I love how much attention to detail is involved. Looking at the pictures, you can be hard pressed to be able to tell the real thing from the miniatures.
While the next painting is not my favorite, you might want to check it out if you visit the AIC.