Posts Tagged ‘Tate Modern’

Trip #2 to the Tate Modern

Sunday, Evan and I went to the Tate Modern with Ceres and Hannah. We were really excited to see some of the exhibits we weren’t able to make it to on our first trip, mostly up on the fifth floor. There were also some new installments on the third floor. My favorite one was 30 Pieces of Silver by Cornelia Parker. The piece, which took up a whole room, was a collection of 30 circular arrangements of flattened silver items — everything from forks and spoons to trophies and trombones — hanging from the ceiling and suspended about six inches off the ground. It was incredible to watch it hover, and all the steamrolled flat objects were intriguing. I wish we could have walked around the entire piece instead of just along two of its sides.

There were also some extremely well-behaved and engaged children in the museum. There were stands offering workbooks to entertain the little ones, and many of them seemed absorbed in the activities, sitting on the floor, trying to copy paintings or create their own with stickers and pieces of paper. And I heard one little kid say, “It’s about the artist expressing himself…”! Someone’s doing something right in the education department.

We also spent some time just enjoying the view of the Millennium Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the riverbank from the airy fourth-floor balcony.

St. Paul’s Cathedral and Millennium Bridge

Museum Hopping: Tate Modern, National Gallery, Portrait Gallery

The Crack at the Tate Modern

While my parents were here, I got to go to a lot of museums. More than I’d been to since I’ve been here. The first one we hit was the Tate Modern, which was incredible.

The first must-see was Shibboleth (pictured), also known as the giant crack in the floor that spans the whole building. The size and scope of the project is quite impressive, and seeing people interact with the piece was really nice. We went and put our feet up to the edge, straddled it, crossed it, looked down it and walked most of its length. It was especially cute to see the little kids examining it, and waddling along with one foot on either side of the split.

The rest of the museum housed an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures as well as other forms of art. We didn’t go in the special exhibits, since we got there a bit late in the afternoon, but I would gladly go back for those and see everything else all over again, too.

On a different day, we went to both the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square. The National Gallery, though it houses an impressive collection, got a bit boring after a while, since most of the art is old and religious. Things picked up once we hit the Constables and other 19th century pieces, but they only comprised about three rooms of the gallery.

More surprising, though, was how interesting the National Portrait Gallery was. I’d read good things about the place but I didn’t quite believe them. Portraits tend to bore me, but how they were presented, and how quickly they passed through the centuries in the gallery was great. It starts with the Tudors on the top floor, and you work your way through the galleries — which are all numbered to keep you going chronologically, which was a big help — and make your way to today. The portrait captions were also really interesting, mostly displaying facts about the sitter and often bringing some new info to light, especially for me, since I’m not quite up on my British history.

Once again, we didn’t have time for the special exhibit — a Vanity Fair portrait exhibit — but I’d be interested in going back to see it.

On the upside, not making it to any special exhibits made these museums entirely free. Amazing.