Category Archives: Museums & Galleries in Europe

Our pick of museums and gallerires in Europe, covering some well known, as well as lesser known European museums and galleries. Museums focusing history, art and science fiction to transport, folklore and even art fakes. Galleries featuring modern and traditional art.

Above Below Beyond by Janeanne Gilchrist at the Fergusson Gallery, Perth, Scotland

When I visited the Fergusson Gallery in mid November 2017, it was the day before the Above Below Beyond exhibition was due to open. The photographer Janeanne Gilchrist is the recipient of the 2018 Fergusson Arts Award.

These underwater images were taken by Gilchrist when free diving off the Scottish coast.

The Above Below Beyond exhibition at Perth’s Fergusson Gallery runs until the 13th of April 2018.

Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art Porto

The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art was high on my must-visit list in Porto. The museum is located to the west of the city centre. Fortunately, there was a direct bus from close to our apartment.

There’s a 10 Euro admission fee to the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, which includes admission to Serralves Park. As I had a Porto Card, I received a 25% discount on the entrance charge.

I started my visit in the PHOTOstructurism exhibition.

I loved the lights suspended from the ceiling above the library.

My favourite exhibition was the Serralves Collection 1960-1980.

I liked a couple of the painting by Ethiopian artist Julie Mehretu.

I really appreciated that the building, by architect Alvora Siza, made the most of the location withe some large picture windows.

As I didn’t spot any restaurants in the vicinity of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, I decided to have lunch in the museum restaurant. I sat inside, as I didn’t want any exposure to the sun. I had a table by the window which overlooked the park.

It cost 17 Euro for a very tasty buffet including a small bottle of sparking water.

I have to admit that I wouldn’t rate Serralves that highly among the European museums of contemporary art which I’ve visited. The building is beautiful, I just wasn’t impressed by many of the pieces being exhibited.

Visiting the Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis in Porto

I visited the Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis in Porto on a Sunday when I thought that it was free to enter. It was rather embarassing as when I sauntered in, a member of staff came after me saying that I had to pay an admission fee. I turned out that free admission is only on the first Sunday of the month.

As I had a Porto Card, I received a 50% discount on the standard adult charge of 5 Euro.

I went out to the museum’s garden upon arrival. There was beautiful blue tiling on the walls and some outdoor seating for cafe customers.

I would’ve liked to sit in the garden for a few minutes, but In the upper part of the garden there was only one bench which was in the sun.

Below is a selection of my favourites at the Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis.

The Yellow Skirt by Joaquin Lopes

Boats to Dischare into the River Douro by Joaquin Lopes

D Maria Bridge View of the City of Porto by Eduardo Viana

Old Porto by Dordio Gomes

Mother and Daughter by Sarah Alfonso

Lisbon by Joao Hogan

View of Portalegre by Miguel de Cantaloupe Barrias

Meditation by Manuel D’Assmupcao

Girls by Antonio Quadros

Self Portrait by Jose Tagarro

Baiser by Ernesto Canto Da Maya

Decorative Arts section

View to garden from landing

There were a lot of paintings that were too traditional and dark for my personal taste at Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis. I most enjoyed some of the more contemporary pieces.

Daughters of Penelope Exhibition at the Dovecoat Studios Edinburgh

The Daughters of Penelope exhibition at the Dovecoat Studios in Edinburgh runs until 20 January 2018. The exhibition features work by various female weavers and artists.

Below are some of my personal favourite pieces.

‘True Love (Her)’ and ‘True Love (Him)’ were very striking.

‘Shadow series 1-18’ is a piece by Finnish textile artist Aino Karjaniemi. She describes her work as “impressionism in tapestry”.

‘Moss circle/square by Caroline Dear had an ethereal feel.

TI’d have liked to walk through Caroline Dear’s ‘Soundings iv – hearing the reed’s voice’.

Joanne Soroka was the most prolific artist on display at the Daughters of Penelope exhibition at the Dovecoat Studios.

I loved the textures in Soroka’s ‘For Irene Sendler’ tapestry.

‘Water of Life’ is a early piece by Soroka dating from the 1980s.

Another exhibit by Soroka was ‘quick, slow’.

When I first saw Maureen Hodge’s ‘Field of Endeavour, Territory II‘ it made me think of WW1 graves. I watched a video by the creator and learnt that the tapestry was a commission for the new Scottish Parliament building in 2004, in which Hodge examined the concept of home.

Add It Up Exhibition by Jac Leirner at Fruitmarket Gallery Edinburgh

The Add It Up exhibition featuring the work of Brazilian artist Jac Leirner runs until 22 October at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh.

Much of Leirner’s work is constructed of everyday objects. Below are my favourite pieces in the exhibition.

Leveled Spirit consists of 38 spirit levels.

Blue Phase is made of 50.000 obsolete Brazilian bank notes, which are threaded together.

Metal, Wood and Black consists of rulers.

My photo of Little Light, which contains more than two miles of copper wire with a light bulb at one end, doesn’t really do justice to the installation. The patterns and reflections on the copper wire are much more evident in real life.

120 Cords is very colourful.

On the ground floor of the Fruitmarket Gallery, there are also some watercolours by Jan Leirner.

On the first floor, there are several pieces made with the products of Leirner’s former smoking and drug taking habits. The three narrow pieces pictured below are made of rolling papers and their packaging.

Below is my favourite of three Crossing Colours works.

Viking Gods and Mosaics at Gothenburg City Museum

The Gothenburg City Museum charts this Swedish city’s history.

gothenburg city museum

I’ve always been rather intrigued by the Vikings, so as I had limited time in the museum, I went straight to the ‘Vikingr – Between Odin and Christ’ exhibition.

There were sculptures of several Viking Gods.

I hadn’t heard of any female Viking gods previously. Freyia was the god of female sensuality.

Freyia the God of female sensuality twin sister of Freyr in Gothenburg City Museum Sweden

Her twin brother Freyr was the male fertility god.

The fertility god Freyr in Gothenburg City Museum Sweden

Odin was the main Viking god. He only had one eye. Legend recounts that he was willing to sacrifice an eye in his quest for wisdom.

The God Odin in gothenburg city museum

Thor was one of Odin’s sons.

The God Thor in Gothenburg City Museum Sweden

I was glad that I decided to venture out onto the museum’s courtyard, as there were mosaics on the benches and a plant pot.

gothenburg city museum mosaic bench

gothenburg city museum cat mosaic

gothenburg city museum horse and rider mosaic

gothenburg city museum mosaic plant pot

gothenburg city museum train mosaic

Entry to the Gothenburg City Museum is included in the Gothenburg City Card.

My stay in Gothenburg was organised by the West Sweden Tourist Board.

Boarding Maritiman in Gothenburg Sweden

Maritiman is a maritime experience centre located on Packhuskajen quay close to the Opera House. It consists of nineteen moored ships joined by walkways.

maritiman gothenburg

I hadn’t planned to visit the Maritman, it was en route on my walk from the Gothenburg City Museum to Gotheborgsutkiken (aka the Lipstick). I’m not that interested in ships, but once I checked that the SEK 120 admission fee was waived by having a Gothenburg City Card, I decided to take a look.

The lightship Fladen, reminded me of the North Carr lightship, which is moored in Dundee in eastern Scotland. The Fladen was built in Stockholm in 1915.

lightship fladen at maritiman gothenburg

HMS Smaland, which left active naval service in 1979, is the largest preserved destroyer in Scandinavia.

The destroyer Smaland at Maritiman Gothenburg

I found it eerie to be up close and personal with the Smaland’s massive firing power.

Artillery on the destroyer Smaland in Maritiman Gothenburg

There are some good views towards the Opera House and the Lipstick from the front of Smaland.

View from the destroyer Smaland at Maritiman Gothenburg

The Paddam sightseeing boat tours pass the Maritiman.

paddan boat from martiman gothenburg

There are another two naval vessels, HMS Hugin and HMS Kalmarsund moored at behind Smaland, which are not accessible.

Looking toward HMS Hugin and HMS Kalmarsund from Maritiman Gothenburg

The cargo ship Fryken was built in Denmark in 1938. It sailed between harbours in Lake Vanern (the largest lake in Sweden), Gothenburg (via the Gota Canal) and the east coast of Britain.

maritiman gothenburg fryken

There was some light rain during my visit to Maritiman. I was really glad that I decided to play it safe by putting my camera phone back into my handbag and using both hands to hold on the side of ladders and walkway ropes, as it did get a bit slippery.

There are several Sea Laboratory stations featuring experiments and puzzles located around the Maritiman. Some kids were having great fun learning about hydrodynamics and surface tension.

You should check the opening times at the Maritiman before visiting. Hours vary, and t’s closed from October to Easter, except for the local Autumn holiday, which is usually the first week in November.