A stroll in the treetops, Kew Gardens, London

A stroll in the treetops, Kew Gardens, London

From its 18th-century Pagoda to its magnificent Victorian glass conservatories, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew contain wonders of garden architecture as well as nature.  A new experience for me this year was the Xstrata Treetop Walkway, an exhilarating stroll in the treetops of the Gardens’ arboretum. Xstrata was designed by Marks Barfield Architects, who […]

13.09.2013 · Filled under: Architecture, Legendary Landscapes · Tags: , , · 12 Comments »
ArtSmart Roundtable: Marianne North, Victorian adventurer & botanical artist

ArtSmart Roundtable: Marianne North, Victorian adventurer & botanical artist

After a month off for good times, I’m back in time for September’s ArtSmart Roundtable. Scroll to the end of this post for more on the Roundtable and links to my colleagues’ great blogs.  This month’s theme of Travel Art/Art in Travel inspired me to write about Victorian artist and traveller, Marianne North. The gallery […]

Brussels’ fabulous Atomium

Brussels’ fabulous Atomium

It was immense fun to visit the Atomium in Brussels, Belgium, one of Europe’s top landmarks and icon of mid-century design. Gleaming under beautiful Belgian skies, the Atomium is both symbol of Brussels and the space age. Constructed as centerpiece of the 1958 World Exhibition, the Atomium’s mid-century architecture expresses the optimism and confidence of […]

05.08.2013 · Filled under: Architecture, Belgium, Europe · Tags: , · 11 Comments »
Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World at the ROM

Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World at the ROM

There are some great shows in Toronto this summer. A must-see is Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World at the Royal Ontario Museum until January 5, 2014. This blockbuster exhibition features over 170 treasures from the acclaimed antiquities collection of the British Museum in London, England. Mesopotamia (meaning ‘between rivers’) lay in the Middle East between the Tigris and […]

31.07.2013 · Filled under: Art, Toronto · Tags: , · 9 Comments »
Greek culture & sponge fishing in Tarpon Springs, Florida

Greek culture & sponge fishing in Tarpon Springs, Florida

George Billiris oversees his sponge empire from a modest clapboard office on the sponge docks of Tarpon Springs, Florida. He’s also a repository of local history, a past and present that includes links to the legendary sponge divers of Greece. The finest sponges in the world grow in the nutrient-rich waters of the Gulf of […]

03.07.2013 · Filled under: Florida · Tags: , , · 7 Comments »
ArtSmart Roundtable: Deciphering Dalí’s The Hallucinogenic Toreador

ArtSmart Roundtable: Deciphering Dalí’s The Hallucinogenic Toreador

The ArtSmart Roundtable is focusing on painting this month. I’ll be deciphering a mindblowing painting I saw at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida: Salvador Dalí’s The Hallucinogenic Toreador (1969-1970). Be sure to scroll down for more on the Roundtable and links to my colleagues’ posts. Now, The Hallucinogenic Toreador. The Hallucinogenic Toreador is 13 […]

03.06.2013 · Filled under: Art, ArtSmart Roundtable, Florida · Tags: , · 17 Comments »
A walk home in Winnipeg

A walk home in Winnipeg

After too many years, I recently made a trip home to Winnipeg. In between sorting boxes of my childhood books and looking at old photos with my mother and godmother, I went out with my sister and revisited old haunts. Walking home from Bar Italia on Corydon Avenue one evening, I took these photos. Being […]

15.05.2013 · Filled under: Canada, Legendary Landscapes · Tags: , · 11 Comments »
In Brussels, the visual enigmas of René Magritte

In Brussels, the visual enigmas of René Magritte

Green apples, bowler hats, clouds–the imagery of Belgian Surrealist painter René Magritte (1898-1967) is familiar to all of us. His personal iconography has pervaded popular culture via countless movies (Toys, I Heart Huckabees, The Thomas Crown Affair), posters (The Exorcist), video games, television shows (the Simpsons), music videos and rock album covers (Paul McCartney owns many of his […]

06.05.2013 · Filled under: Art, Belgium, Europe · Tags: , · 7 Comments »
Rijksmuseum reopens! Amsterdam

Rijksmuseum reopens! Amsterdam

Is the Rijksmuseum now the best museum in the world? I wondered as I entered the Netherlands’ national museum for the invitation-only press preview earlier this month. Years ago, when I first visited the Rijksmuseum as an art history student, I remember floorboards creaking as I approached Rembrandt’s iconic Night Watch. The  Dutch Masters were […]

12.04.2013 · Filled under: Architecture, Art, Europe, Netherlands · Tags: , · 9 Comments »
Postcard from Europe: Rijksmuseum countdown, Amsterdam

Postcard from Europe: Rijksmuseum countdown, Amsterdam

Walking through Amsterdam’s Museumplein tonight after a gala candlelit dinner at the Concertgebouw, I noticed the Rijksmuseum is keeping its own ‘night watch’ countdown until the museum’s official reopening to the public on April 13.  The building looks spectacular from the exterior and I can’t wait to see the interior tomorrow at the press preview. […]

03.04.2013 · Filled under: Architecture, Art, Europe, Netherlands · Tags: , · 5 Comments »