Oh hello Thursday, lovely to see you! Today I have a wonderful throwback to our my trip to Spain, but first, a bit of background. New York City is home to some of the best museums in the world but that does not stop me from visiting other collections while traveling. When doing research on Madrid I knew I wanted to go to the Prado Museum, which you can read about in this post, but with the limited amount of time I did not know if we would have enough time to make it to any of the others.
Even though we only had four days in the Spanish capital I heard that the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum was really not to be missed so we shifted our calendar to make it work – allowing for a morning at the museum before we headed to Toledo (take a look at Toledo Part One and Toledo Part Two). My mom and I arrived ten minutes before it opened and sipped our coffee on the sidewalk patiently, happy that we were two of the first people in the doors when they opened at 10am. Like most museums on our trip where we were not able to have a guided tour, we rented out audio guides and headed to the second floor to start the tour.
I have a deep appreciation for well designed audio guides and collections in museums that are set up in a logical progression. This one started with portraits dating back to 1510 and went through a chronological history leading us from one peach colored room to the next as we made our way through the second floor and then down to the firsts.
There were a handful of top works at the Thyssen-Bornemisza by artists I had not heard of and dozens by famous artists like Rubens and Rembrant that were well known and stunning. My mom and I spent the most time in the the late 19th century collection with gorgeous impressionist pieces by Renoir, Degas, van Gogh, Monet, and Pissarro. Two of our favorites from these were Edgar Degas’s Swaying Dancer (Dancer in Green) and Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Woman with a Parasol in a Garden, both seen below.
From there we progressed through the museum crossing the threshold into the 1900’s and I fell in love with a painting by André Derain, an artist I had only heard of tangentially. The piece was called Waterloo Bridge and it was gorgeous – you can see it below! The audio guide was fascinating especially with regards to artists I did not know a lot and in addition to the bridge, a few of the most memorable pieces were Salvador Dalí’s Dream caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second before Wakening up (such a long title), Edward Hopper’s The “Martha McKeen” of Wellfleet, and Roy Lichtenstein’s Woman in Bath.
I documented our entire evening on Snapchat and in case you did not see it, walking out of the Thyssen-Bornemisza I called this one of the best museums I have ever been to. I loved the great array of art. Make sure you are following along, @kellydonlin.
What is your favorite museum?