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Museums

Berlin is Museum City. The tourist site visitberlin.com publishes a list of over one hundred museums within the city.  Several are world famous like those on Museum Island: the Pergamon Museum; Bode Museum; Altes Museum; Neues Museum (with the bust of Nefertiti); and the Alte Nationalgalerie, where visiting art exhibitions take place. 

 

Gemäldegalerie; Kunstgewerbemuseum; Deutsches Technikmuseum; Märkisches Museum; Museum Island (as listed above)

 

Like cities every museum has objects that are one of a kind.  So every museum is also unique.  But uniqueness is not, of itself, grounds for a visit.   I find it hard to get excited about stamps or coins, particularly when there are hundreds or thousands of them. So the Numismatic Museum in Athens that specialises in coins was low on my priority list.  Similarly I find it hard to get excited about some cities.

But I'm interested in painting and sculpture because I like to dabble myself so I'll usually find something to catch my interest in an art gallery.  The art museum that has surprised me the most is the Gemäldegalerie near Potsdamer Platz. It's not on the normal Tourist Schedule.  If you are familiar with the European art collections at the National Gallery in London or the Orsay in Paris or the Uffizi in Florence or the Prado Madrid or the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam you'll still be very impressed. 

The Alte Nationalgalerie on Museum Island is good and it's on the tourist itinerary but it's put into the shade by the Gemäldegalerie collection.  This includes a dozen or so Rembrandts, and several works each by Hals, Vermeer, Titian, Rubens, Boucher, Holbein, Brueghel, Durer, Cranach, Botticelli and even English masters like Gainsborough.  Amazing! 

 

Rubens (being copied); Holbein; Cranach; Boucher; Vermeer; Rembrandt; Tiepolo; Canaletto; Caravaggio; Velázquez;
the list goes on.

 

And there was no queue to get in.

I'm also interested in technology, history and natural history: biology and geology. So in Berlin almost every museum is interesting and it's possible to spend weeks visiting and revisiting them - and that's before you even begin to scratch the contemporary arts scene.  

Perhaps this is best illustrated by the amount of street art and graffiti.  Graffiti is everywhere. It is said that for many years there was a lack of paint in East Berlin and so buildings were drab and grey - an ideal canvas for street artists who could lay their hand on some paint.  Today there are still many disused buildings where artists gather to play music and paint and there are some very public areas where street art is actively encouraged.

 

Berlin Street Art

 

 


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Travel

The United States of America – East Coast

 

 

In the late seventies I lived and worked in New York.  My job took me all around the United States and Canada.  So I like to go back occasionally; the last time being a couple of years ago with my soon to be wife Wendy.  She had never been to New York so I worked up an itinerary to show her the highlights in just a few days.  We also decided to drive to Washington DC and Boston. 

 

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Fiction, Recollections & News

My Mother's Family

 

 

All my ancestors are now dead.  I'm an orphan. So for this history I've had to rely on my recollections a small pile of documents left by my mother. These include short biographies of several of her relatives. Following the female line; these recollections briefly span the two world wars; to the present.

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Opinions and Philosophy

When did people arrive in Australia?

 

 

 

 

 

We recently returned from a brief holiday in Darwin (follow this link).  Interesting questions raised at the Darwin Museum and by the Warradjan Cultural Centre at Kakadu are where the Aboriginal people came from; how they got to Australia; and when. 

Recent anthropology and archaeology seem to present contradictions and it seems to me that all these questions are controversial.

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