Posts Tagged ‘museums’

Three tiny gems… museums

Friday, February 27th, 2004

The Louvre, the Uffizi, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art are certainly some of the finest museums in the world. However I prefer the tiny gems. The small museums that focus on only one, or perhaps a handful of artists; yet their collections will amaze you. I have three favorites: the Villa Borghese, the Frick, and the Rodin.

The Villa Borghese, which is located in the Borghese Gardens in Rome, is absolutely breathtaking. The Villa was designed in 1605 for Cardinal Scipione Borghese and exhibits sculptures on the ground floor and artwork on the second floor. The collection of Bernini sculptures, including Apollo and Daphne, is the most impressive I have ever seen.

The Frick Collection on Fifth Ave in New York City is housed in a mansion built for Henry Clay Frick in 1914. Paintings and sculpture are placed throughout the mansion in much the same way as Henry Frick did when he lived here. It is this relaxed atmosphere that makes the Frick so unique. The Living Room, Dining Room, East & West Gallery are adorned with such masters as Rembrandt, Degas, El Greco, Turner and Vermeer.

The Rodin museum in Paris is another treat. A beautiful chateau built around 1730, surrounded by perfectly manicured gardens, provides a great venue to appreciate the works of Rodin. He actually lived there for 6 years prior to his death in 1917. He donated all his work, including his private collection with pieces by Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh. Rodin’s sculptures are fabulous, and the collection includes The Thinker and The Kiss. During the warmer months, a walk through the garden of boxwoods and roses intermixed with sculpture is particularly enjoyable.

Sometimes it is much more moving to visit a tiny museum and appreciate just a few pieces of exquisite art, than diluting the experience by being overwhelmed by too many choices.