Monday, July 25, 2011

Galleries Galore

I recently went to the Dulwich Picture Gallery to see the exhibition Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters. First of all, I was very impressed by the Dulwich Picture Gallery itself. It was designed by Sir John Soane, whose house in London I recently visited. The strength of the permanent collection was the seventeenth and eighteenth-century Old Master paintings. The exhibition was curated by Nicholas Cullinan, who is actually the Curator of International Modern Art at the Tate. Twombly and Poussin’s work have never been shown side by side before. Despite being separated by about two centuries, the two artists shared many themes including Arcadia, Venus and Eros, and mythological figures. The show demonstrated how Poussin clearly had an influence on Twombly’s work.

I also visited the Dennis Servers’ House at 18 Folgate Street. The house is like a time capsule that is staged much the same way that it likely appeared in the early 18th century. There is minimal interpretive text, speaking is forbidden, and children are discouraged from visiting. Yet, after touring the house, I left with of an understanding of how a family of Huguenot silk-weavers would have lived. The rooms were lit by candles, there was fresh food out on the tables (sometimes half eaten), and the rooms were scented!

Additionally, I visited the National Portrait Gallery. Their current exhibitions were the present entrants of the BP Portrait Award and the Glamour Gods, which featured photographs of Hollywood icons.

The Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Dennis Servers’ House were two of my favorite museum experiences in London so far.

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