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Art Museums

The prohibition against taking photos in art museums means that we don't have much in the way of a photographic record of our visits to these museums in London. But there were a couple of places where photography was allowed, and the buildings themselves, of course, are quite impressive. So we have the following shots, plus a few more in this Flickr set, to prove we were there.

You can also check on my first impressions by looking at these blog posts: National GalleryCourtauldTate BritainTate Modern visit 1Tate Modern visit 2

The National Gallery makes up for not allowing photography in its exhibits by putting a lot of really neat images on its website. Probably (!) with better production values than my photos would have, anyway. But we do have these nice shots of the building, from the outside, and the lobby's dome, from inside:

National Gallery National Gallery lobby dome

Unfortunately, we didn't get any exterior shots of the companion National Portrait Gallery, but its street face is a lot less impressive. However, we enjoyed our brief tour of its exhibits as well. I was particularly thrilled to see a portrait of Vera Brittain that she sat for during World War II and talks about in her memoir, Testament of Experience, a book I found quite valuable in developing my course about the War.

I made a couple of trips to the Tate Britain, and especially enjoyed a guided tour of their Turner collection. Another "art work" I witnessed without realizing what it was—rather thinking it was just another weird London thing—was a series of runners sprinting through the galleries. Was this a Tate tradition? Nope, but a "living sculpture" piece that happened to be set up during Fall, 2008, as I learned long after the fact in this Guardian article. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the runners, but here's at least one of the outside of the Museum, located along the riverside upstream from Westminster:

Tate Britain

The other Tate, the Modern, has a more central location, right across the Millennium Bridge from St. Paul's. And it had some very interesting pieces in its cavernous galleries; here are two that we were allowed to photograph:

Tate Modern spider Tate Modern apple

The Tate Modern building, a former power station, is huge enough to show not only pieces like this, but also a very impressive Mark Rothko exhibition I saw late in my London stay. And it's also rather striking on its own. Here is a nice shot of the Museum from midway across the Millennium Bridge, at sunset after our tour of St. Paul's. And a more closeup look at that impressive tower.

Tate Modern at sunset Tate Modern's tower

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