Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio

Adult Entry: Free
Nearest Tube: Heathrow T5 (Piccadilly Line)

Toledo-Museum-of-Art

Toledo, Ohio, is a city that has suffered. Caught by the black hole of financial crisis radiating from Detroit, this car manufacturing city lost a lot. I finally understood the term ‘Ghost Town’ as I was walking from the very centre of the city to the museum. On this 40 minute walk, I passed maybe a dozen people, and no more than 50% of the buildings were occupied, not to mention how few were doing business. This is a cruel start to a review you say, to pitch so starkly the state of automotive America, but it is essential to lay out this context so that I can properly explain the El Dorado that is the Toledo Museum of Art. Continue reading

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Canaletto & The Art Of Venice, Queen’s Gallery

Adult Entry: £11
Nearest Tube: Victoria (District, Circle, and Victoria lines)

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If asked to name some of the great British collections of antiquities and art, you would probably start with the well-known national museums. What you probably wouldn’t start with, or indeed mention at all, is the Royal Collection. That’s right, the Queen has quite a collection of art and antiquities- she even has her own gallery. In fact, the Royal Collection includes some surprisingly famous pieces, for example the Crouching Aphrodite (Lely’s Venus); a star piece at the British Museum. Continue reading

Giacometti, Tate Modern

Adult Entry: £18.50
Nearest Tube: Blackfriars, District & Circle Lines

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It is very difficult to review the exhibition of an artist that you love. There is constant temptation to wax lyrical about the art itself rather than the exhibition, making an interesting essay but a poor review. I have tried to ignore the Giacometti’s ability to contain such potential energy with his static figures, or comment on the unrefined emotion straining from every angle of those unbearably human faces. Putting my (admittedly first-world) struggles to one side, imagine how high I set my expectations upon hearing of this Giacometti blockbuster exhibition at the Tate Modern.  Continue reading

Every Object Tells A Story

Adult Entry: Free
Nearest Tube: South Kensington

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The title of this exhibition, ‘Every Objects Tells A Story’, hangs somewhere between pretentious and redundant, and is all the more disappointing because of how good everything else about it is. That dealt with, I can begin my praise of this uniquely presented exhibition.

Continue reading

Guildhall Art Gallery

Adult Entry: Free
Nearest Tube: Bank, Central Line

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When I decided to visit the Guildhall Art Gallery on one overcast Sunday afternoon, I was expecting to find an enjoyable collection of renaissance views of the city skyline. What I was not expecting to discover was the site of a major Roman era London (Londinium back then) landmark. Continue reading

Tate Britain

Adult Entry: Free
Nearest Tube: Pimlico, Victoria Line

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Most conversations about the Tate Britain start with a 5 minute digression about where it is, what it is, and whether or not it’s the one with the giant empty room. This is not great advertising for a national art gallery.
I decided to visit the Tate Britain for one main reason: I remembered that it existed. Usually, I wouldn’t admit to that. But it raises an interesting point about famous names, and how they can often do more harm than good.
Everyone knows about the Museum of London, but the Museum of London Docklands anyone? No? How about the V&A? Easy. But the V&A Museum of Childhood? Suddenly, not so popular.
These big names are keen to spread their plumage and take subsidiaries under their wing; failing to see that this leaves their prodigies deep in the shade. Maybe we should start questioning whether they would stand better alone? Continue reading