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.

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.

The Art Museum in Gothenburg

Visiting the Gothenburg Museum of Art was one of the highlights of my stay in the city.

I started on the top floor in the Nordic at the Turn of the Century and Swedish Modernism galleries.

Helmer Osslund’s ‘Autumn Evening Nordingra’ was one my my favourite pieces in this museum. The combination of the large size and the vivid colours used in the painting gave it real presence.

Autumn Evening Nordingra by Helmer Osslund at Museum of Art Gothenburg Sweden

‘River Landscape Hjartum’ by Ivan Ivarson was another very colourful landscape.

River Landscape Hjartum by Ivan Ivarson at Museum of Art Gothenburg Sweden

I liked another of Ivan Ivarson’s paintings ‘Flowers in a Window’.

Flowers in a Window by Ivan Ivarson at Museum of Art Gothenburg Sweden

I’ve heard quite a bit about the Norwegian artist Edward Munch, with ‘The Scream’ being his best known work. ‘Vampire’ was the first Much painting I’d seen in real life.

gothenburg museum of modern art vampire by edward munch

The ‘Woman in Blue’ featured in Ake Goransson’s painting looked rather downcast.

Woman in Blue by Ake Goransson at Museum of Art Gothenburg Sweden

Next, I went down to the Sculpture Hall on the third floor of the Gothenburg Museum of Art.

The first piece I encountered was ‘Double Blind’ by Charlotte Gyllenhammar. It made me think of a hostage situation.

Double Blind by Charlotte Gyllenhammar at Museum of Art Gothenburg Sweden

The rotating ‘Seconds in Ecstasy’ by Cajsa Von Zeipel was bathed in pink light.

‘Ingeborg’ by Gerhard Henning, was a more traditional sculpture of the female form.

Ingeborg (female figure) by Gerhard Henning at Museum of Art Gothenburg Sweden

I wondered if the name of Jonathan Josefsson’s ‘Rug No 83’ related to the number of small circular tufted wool rugs making up the installation.

Rug No 83 by Jonathan Josefsson at Museum of Art Gothenburg Sweden

Just off the Sculpture Hall, there was an exhibition of paintings by the Gothenburg based artist Kent Lindfors.

art museum gothenburg kent lindfors

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art museum gothenburg kent lindfors2

All too soon, it was almost the 5pm closing time. As I made my way to the exit, Isaacs Grunewalds’ ‘Self Portrait (created with buttons) caught my eye.

Self Portrait by Isaacs Grunewald at Museum of Art Gothenburg Sweden

Entry to the Gothenburg Museum of Art is free to holders of the Gothenburg City Card.

If I return to Gothenburg, I’ll be back at the Museum of Art.

My visit to Gothenburg was organised by the West Sweden Tourist Board.

Karla Black Sculptures at the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art Edinburgh

When I was in Edinburgh in late November 2016, I visited the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. I had limited time to spend at the gallery, so I decided to stick to one exhibition Karla Black and Kishio Suga | A New Order.

I much preferred the pieces by Karla Black, a Scottish artist based in Glasgow.

My favourite was an installation featuring ‘Can’t Regard’ (made of pastel panels) and ‘Recognises’ (made of cellophane and paint.



Below are some further sculptures by Karla Black which I liked,


‘Couldn’t Want’


‘Invite Often’


‘Other Civil Words’

The Karla Black and Kishio Suga | A New Order exhibition runs until 19 February 2017 at the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh. Admission is free of charge. The gallery is open every day from 10am – 5pm.

The Hepworth Gallery Wakefield

The Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield opened in 2011. The gallery is named after the sculptor Barbara Hepworth, who was born in Wakefield.

hepworth wakefield exterior

The gallery is situated on the souther bank of the River Calder. Large windows afford great views of the river.

hepworth wakefield view to river

It was interesting to see a mock-up of Hepworth’s studio and watch videos about her work, particularly how she created enormous outdoor sculptures such as ‘Single Form’ which sits outside the United Nations Building in New York.

hepworth wakefield barbara hepworth studio

Hepworth used several different materials for her pieces including wood, marble, string and bronze. Below is ‘Two Forms with White (Greek)’ made with Guarea wood.

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You can see use of string in the model of ‘Oval Form with Sting’. I like the pattern created by the sting in the hole of the sculpture.

hepworth wakefield4

A model of ‘Winged Figure’. commissioned by John Lewis for their Oxford Street store, is at the back of the photo below.

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Below are some more sculptures by Hepworth.

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There were several exhibitions of photos by Martin Parr when I visited.

The ‘Rhubarb Triangle’ depicted the production of early-forced rhubarb in West Yorkshire.

hepworth wakefield rhubarb triangle collection

Evidently, rhubarb craft beer which had been brewed in coincide with the exhibition was for sale in the gallery shop. As a teetotaller I wasn’t tempted.

hepworth wakefield rhubarb triangle

‘Autoportrait’ was a display of photos of Martin Parr in a variety of locations.

hepworth wakefield9

Here are some photos of other pieces that I liked at the Hepworth.

In this piece the man had what looked like black rocks for brains.

hepworth wakefield13

I thought that the Snoopy canvas was cute.

hepworth wakefield snoopy canvas

I liked the way that the Laburnum, visible through the window, provided a backdrop for the sculpture.

hepworth wakefield

I thought that the Hepworth Gallery was wonderful.

I’s free to enter. Opening hours are 10am – 5pm Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Monday). Late night opening until 9pm is on the third Thursday of the month.

The Laing Art Gallery Newcastle

The Laing Art Gallery is located in the city centre of Newcastle upon Tyne. Entry is free. Opening hours are 10am – 5pm Tuesday to Saturday, and 2pm – 5pm on Sunday.  It’s closed on Mondays.

Laing Art Gallery Newcastle entrance

I loved that the Gallery has several al fresco murals on one of its exterior walls.

Laing Art Gallery Newcastle exterior painting

Laing Art Gallery Newcastle painting on exterior wall

Close to the Gallery entrance, there’s a bench sculpture.

Laing Art Gallery Newcastle sculpture bench

One of my favourite parts of the Laing Art Gallery was the Arts and Crafts stained glass window.

Laing Art Gallery Newcastle Arts and Crafts stained glass window

The glass vases were beautiful shades of blue and green.

Glass vases at the Laing Art Gallery Newcastle

Below is a selection of paintings that l liked.

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Laing Art Gallery Newcastle2

Laing Art Gallery Newcastle1

Laing Art Gallery Newcastle

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Glass vases at the Laing Art Gallery Newcastle6

If you’re in Newcastle. I recommend a visit to the Laing Art Gallery.