Thursday, 13 February 2014

my favourite art museums

My last post about Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft got me thinking about other art galleries and museums that have a special place heart. The places that have given me the best experience are those where I look not just at what is on the walls but at the walls themselves, and the floors, windows, ceilings, furniture, staircases. Viewing interesting art in inspiring surroundings completes the experience for me. With that in mind here are three of my other favourite art museum experiences:

Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge - this was originally the home of Jim Ede, which he gave to Cambridge University, along with his collection of early 20th century art. Ede used to give personal tours over afternoon tea & lend paintings to students to hang on their wall during the term. I love the experience of viewing art in such an intimate and informal setting and it seems fitting that visitors are left to explore the house themselves...and for free.

Benesse House Museum, Naoshima, Japan – designed by Tadao Ando the building also houses a hotel as well as an art gallery displaying international art. There's lots of lovely concrete, unusually shaped spaces and appealing outdoor areas. It's spacious and light and projects an enormous sense of peace. The design is based on the concept: "Coexistence of nature, art and architecture". To that end the art isn't confined to just the museum, it's also dotted around the small island making discovery part of the experience.

2 Willow Road, London - the modernist home of architect Erno Goldfinger designed in 1939. As well as featuring Goldfinger's personal possessions and period furniture it houses his collection of modern art. Much like Kettle's Yard this is an intimate viewing experience and will satisfy anyone who longs to look into other people's homes. It's a smaller and more compact space than Ede's former home and the design of the rooms and furniture reflect the functional aesthetic of Modernism, while the art on the walls gives it a bit of personality.