Saturday, November 04, 2006

Doing the touristy thing

I reserved this weekend to do the unabashedly touristy things. So today, I hit Recoleta Cemetary (final resting place of Evita), the Museo de Bellas Artes, the Museo de Arte Decorativo (not to be confused with Art Deco), and the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (or MALBA). I'm going to write about the Recoleta Cemetary in another post, since I took more than 50 photos there and could have stayed longer than the one and a half hours I gave myself. Needless to say, I did visit Evita's grave, but no, I did not sing "Don't Cry for Me Argentina."

The three museums I went to today were nice, but I must admit that after going to some of the best museums in the world, I was a little underwhelmed. My friend, Dani, and I talked about this once...we were at the Met in NY and she said that after being in Paris and going to Louvre, D'Orsay and Versailles, every museum she has visited since has been a disappointment. I haven't been to Paris yet, but I'm starting to agree with her. My favorite museum in the world is still the Frick in New York, though I really liked the Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid and have a couple of favorites in Los Angeles (Getty, of course, Norton Simon, Jurassic Technology) Of the three museums, I liked MALBA most, because the museum was well-organized and art was all done by Latin American artists. Being from L.A., I do get a healthy dose of Latin American art, but this museum really showcased it well. There was actually one painting, in particular, that I really liked: "George, Gershwin, An American In Paris" by Miguel Covarrubias Maybe it's because I'm a big Gershwin fan, but I wished that they had a postcard or print that I could have bought. Unfortunately, they had none.

When I go to museums, I love buying museum-branded merchandise, whether it be mugs, T-shirts, notebooks or pens. Today was no exception: I bought a mug from Bellas Artes, a yerba mate mug from Arte Decorativo, and from MALBA, I bought 2 t-shirts (one MALBA-branded for me and a futbol one for Kip), 2 MALBA-branded teas (as recommended by my Wallpaper* City Guide) and a MALBA notebook. Because I'm a graphic designer, I just eat up well-branded merchandise. And MALBA is a well-branded museum. They also have a film series there that I might go to tomorrow night. They're showing Tropical Malady, which won the Jury Prize at Cannes. It's a Thai film about 2 men in a passionate gay relationship. It might be strange and hard to follow a film in Thai with Spanish subtitles, but perhaps it will be really good practice for me. Anyway, here's a photo of MALBA's exterior:
I also liked the Museo de Arte Decorativo, which is pretty much a grand old mansion, with a temple-front, filled with museum-quality furniture. I really liked the ballroom, which had an amazing parquet floor and an intricate carved-wood spiral staircase leading up to a mezzanine. Unfortunately, beyond that, there wasn't much else to see. I kept thinking I was missing a section, but alas, no. I would have taken pictures inside, but I was not allowed. I managed to sneak in a picture of this marble staircase, though:
And here's the temple-front:
Now, I could take photos inside the Museo de Bellas Artes, but only a few things caught my attention there:
I really liked this impressionist portrait and the kicker was that the museum guard looked exactly like the subject!

And to file under Weird:It's a bit hard to see, but this is a KISS concert diorama. It was out in the lobby with a sign asking for donations so that this exhibit could become part of the permanent collection. I kept looking around to see if there was a little plaque that said, "Just Kidding!"

To end this post, here's one that is just so exquisite:I just love her expression! I wouldn't mind happening upon that scene in the forest!

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