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Summer Sojourns

Oh, the places you’ll go … this summer!

Summer vacation isn’t just for students. Summer months bring the unpredictable – you may find yourself overseas for a week or so, or perhaps you’ll discover a newfound restlessness. Whatever the case may be, here are some standard, albeit beautiful, travel destinations and why they can be an adventure for the artist within all of us.

1. Paris

“Arc de Triomphe” by William Webster on Zatista.com

If you happen to stumble upon Paris in your travels throughout Europe this summer, the Louvre is the world’s largest —and most visited — museum. It’s guaranteed you will find something unforgettable, from the paintings and sculptures to the museum itself, with its grand Baroque-style architecture and intricate, complicated structure and composition. You can also “reflect on the wonders of the gallery” (according to their website) as you frolic through the Tuileries Gardens.

However, if you don’t want to stamp “I’M A TOURIST” on your wrist, Le Musée Carnavalet is a little-known (and FREE) gem. It’s also a great way to learn about Paris’ history. The museum occupies two neighboring mansions: the Hôtel Carnavalet and the former Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau, both built in the middle of the 16th century.

2. New York City

“New York Yellow Sky” by Anyes Galleani on Zatista.com

If you’re on the flip side — a European looking to see the United States — or, if you just so happen to be in what many consider the “business capital of the world”, then the world-famous and massive Metropolitan Museum of Art not only hosts an extensive collection of historical artwork and sculptures, but also the most incredible “era” fashion exhibits, which change every few months. This summer, for example, you can analyze, admire, and even feel the raw silk of beautiful James dresses worn by high-society women in the 1940s and 1950s.

If modern art is more your style — or if you just want to stay away from the biggest NYC tourist attractions — The Whitney Museum might be the perfect place for you. Their Jeff Koons exhibit runs June 27-October 19.

3. London

“London” by Andy Mercer on Zatista.com

To further state the obvious, you should visit the British Museum if you happen to encounter London this summer (if only to take a look at the Rosetta Stone). If you visit before June 22, you can see the “Vikings: Life and Legend” exhibit.

However, if you would like to take the road less traveled, then the Sherlock Holmes Museum (Doyle wrote in his novel that the characters lived at 221b Baker Street) re-creates the fireplace-and-brick scene that every fan would have imagined for the series. If you’d prefer the extravagance without the major tourist attractions, try the Leighton House Museum, which features the most gorgeous interior design from the seventeenth century.

4. Barcelona

“Casa Batllo” photo via: http://barcelona-sights.net/

Nice try, thinking you could get through this list without seeing a Spanish city? Spain is a tourist hotspot, and Barcelona might be one of the biggest tourist attractions in all of Spain. If you encounter Barcelona in your endeavors, it is imperative that you check out Gaudi architecture. Antonio Gaudi didn’t believe in traditional, “square’” buildings, and thus replaced corners with curves. His vision produced some of the most interesting, innovative architecture ever. He is also very liberal with his use of patterns and bright colors.

5. St. Petersburg, Florida

photo via http://www.antiquity.tv

Now, I know what you’re thinking — Florida looks a little out of place on this list. But, it happens to be a pretty common tourist destination any time of year, even during the summer months when the temperature and humidity reach a boiling point. Florida also happens to host the Salvador Dali Museum — a not-so-extravagant institution with the largest collection of Dali artwork in the world. What the museum lacks in decor and presentation, it makes up for in amazing art.

Though this list is short and sweet, hopefully it has shed some light on some major tourist destinations and their tributes to artwork. Or maybe you live close enough to take a train, bus, or car to check out one of the museums on this list? If you have visited any of these museums, let us know your thoughts here on WallSpin!


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