You've seen it in the news. Tourists outnumbering locals in Venice. Anti-tourist protests and graffiti in Barcelona. As overtourism becomes an increasing concern for governments, travellers and residents of high-tourism areas, the travel industry must be part of the solution…
When we think of exotic escapes, we tend to think of fragrant spices and tropical air. But the truth is, you can find something exotic in every corner of the world, no matter the temperature. Here are 10 exotic experiences you may have never considered.
Fish For A Living Dinosaur In Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia
B.C.’s Fraser River is home to more than 40,000 sturgeon – the largest freshwater fish in North America, with a history dating back 200 million years…
Read the rest on the Odyssea website, part of the syndication network for Ensemble Travel.
Hermitage – Jewels!
This in-depth exploration of the jewelry of the Russian court features portraits, snuffboxes, clothing, and – of course – the jewels themselves. The Hermitage’s extensive jewelry collection is showcased in ballrooms typical of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when tsarinas and duchesses wore them to grand balls at the Russian Winter Palace. Watch for Empress Elizabeth’s jewel bouquet featuring more than 850 diamonds along with sapphires, emeralds, and rubies, and Catherine the Great’s jewelry box encrusted with rubies, sapphires, and amethysts.
Sept. 14, 2019 – March 15, 2020
Rijksmuseum – Rembrandt-Velásquez: Dutch and Spanish Masters
This partnership between the Rijksmuseum and Madrid’s Museo Nacional de Prado showcases works from the seventeenth century, known as the Golden Age of painting in both the Netherlands and Spain. Sixty artworks are displayed in pairs, grouped by theme, each featuring one Dutch master’s work and one Spanish. Viewing the works this way highlights the similarities between these artists who worked in the same time, but never met or communicated, while also revealing differences in how they saw their world.
Oct. 11, 2019 – Jan. 19, 2020
Rijksmuseum – Louise Bourgeois in the Rijksmuseum Gardens
This free exhibition featuring 12 works spanning 50 years is the first to focus specifically on Bourgeois’s outdoor sculptures. Three of the artist’s enormous spider sculptures anchor the exhibition, which explores themes of childhood, family, friendship, and motherhood. One of the most important female artists of the twentieth century, Bourgeois also uses her large works to unpack concepts of fear, materiality, and the vagaries of the human body. Guided tours (€75 for up to 15 people) can be booked two weeks in advance.
May 25, 2019 – Nov. 3, 2019
Stedelijk – Hybrid Sculpture
This exhibition of large-scale works showcases pieces by 19 artists from nine countries who blur the lines between sculpture and other types of art. Many of the works, some never exhibited before at the Stedelijk despite being part of the collection, don’t look like traditional sculptures at all. From motorcycles to porcelain plates to mirrors to mannequins, these installations use everyday objects in unique settings to explore pop culture and personal themes.
March 23, 2019 – Jan. 12, 2020
Stedelijk – Chagall, Picasso, Mondrian and Others: Migrant Artists in Paris
Highlighting works by more than 50 artists, this exhibition of pieces from the Stedelijk collection focuses on how migrant artists living in Paris at the beginning of the twentieth century interpreted and expressed the contrasts of liberal freedoms and growing xenophobia. Anchoring the exhibition are 40 works by Marc Chagall, some restored specifically for this exhibition, displayed together for the first time in nearly 70 years. Female artists are also strongly represented, from the avant-garde to the abstract.
Sept. 21, 2019 – Feb. 2, 2020
Van Gogh – Jean-François Millet: Sowing the Seeds of Modern Art
Celebrated after his death as a national hero, Millet was viewed as a radical during his lifetime. Nonetheless, his successful career marked by inventive techniques and progressive rural themes set the stage for the modern art movement. Van Gogh in particular studied Millet’s work and practiced his technique by making copies of Millet’s art. This exhibition explores for the first time how Millet’s work inspired the likes of Van Gogh, Monet, Munch, and Dalí.
Oct. 4, 2019 – Jan. 12, 2020
Rotterdam Kunsthal – Thierry Mugler: Couturissime
After premiering in Montreal, the first retrospective of work by Thierry Mugler makes its first European stop at Kunsthal Rotterdam. Focusing on Mugler’s ready-to-wear and haute couture work, the exhibition also includes videos, sketches, and accessories, as well as a hundred images by contemporary fashion photographers. Set in immersive galleries with custom-made mannequins, the exhibition traces the evolution of Mugler’s career and innovations through 150 outfits created between 1977 and 2014, many of which have never been displayed before.
Oct. 13, 2019 – March 8, 2020
Rotterdam Kunsthal – Joana Vasconcelos: I’m Your Mirror
Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos creates sculptures and installations from everyday objects like kitchen pans, plastic spoons, and tampons to highlight contemporary social and political themes such as oppression, identity, and gender. This retrospective exhibition features more than 30 works, anchored by an enormous Venetian mask made of mirrors and bronze, created especially for this exhibition. Other highlights include a helicopter decorated with ostrich feathers and Swarovski crystals and the 23-metre-long “Material Girl (2015),” from the artist’s Valkyries series.
July 20, 2019 – Nov. 17, 2019
Het Noordbrabants Museum – Van Gogh’s Inner Circle: Friends, Family, Models
Featuring 99 paintings, sketches, photos, and letters from Dutch and international museums and private collections, this exhibition highlights the connections Van Gogh had with people during his life, aiming to dispel the notion that he was a lonely and misunderstood artist. Presented in chronological order, the exhibition traces Van Gogh’s life from his childhood in Brabant to his death in France in 1890, exploring his family relationships, friendships, and loves.
Sept. 19, 2019 – Jan. 12, 2020
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag/Kunstmuseum – Monet: The Garden Paintings
In this first Dutch exhibition of Monet’s garden works, the Gemeentemeseum’s “Wisteria” is displayed alongside six works on loan from international collections. Showcasing Monet’s paintings of his gardens in Giverny, the exhibition traces a quarter century of Monet’s explorations and stylistic changes, from 1900 to 1926. The exhibition includes several paintings from Monet’s Water Lilies series, as well as “The Water Lily Pond” and “En Norvégienne, or La Barque à Giverny.”
Oct. 12, 2019 – Feb. 2, 2020
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag/Kunstmuseum – Barbara Nanning
Marking 40 years of Barbara Nanning’s glass and ceramic creations based on circular motions and forms, this exhibition features 20 of the artist’s pieces that blur the line between natural and created shapes and objects. Nanning has said she aims to capture “the essence of movement and growth” in her work. The pieces in this exhibition capture that sense of movement through Nanning’s signature use of organic, shifting color and shape.
Aug. 31, 2019 – Dec. 1, 2019
Mauritshuis – Nicolaes Maes: Rembrandt’s Versatile Pupil
This first international retrospective exhibition of the work of Nicholaes Maes highlights the artist’s ability to find inspiration in everyday domestic scenes. Like his mentor, Rembrandt, he fully captures the emotions of his subjects. The works included in this exhibition span Maes’ early interest in biblical scenes through to the elaborate portraits he painted later in his career. Several of Maes’ intimate “eavesdroppers” paintings are on loan for this exhibition.
Oct. 17, 2019 – Jan. 19, 2020
Acropolis Museum – Archaic Colors
The Acropolis Museum’s extensive research on color in archaic statues explores what color means and how it would have been perceived by the people living at the time the statues were made. This exhibition features the world’s most extensive collection of archaic statues, many of which retain their original colors. Families can explore the exhibition through a series of games at the museum, while adults can interact with the exhibition digitally through the online game “Color the Peplos Kore.”
July 31, 2012 – Dec. 31, 2019
Museum of Cycladic Art – Picasso and Antiquity: Line and Clay?
In this exhibition, 68 of Picasso’s ceramic works and drawings are juxtaposed with 67 ancient works to explore the connections between ancient and modern art. The Picasso works on display, created from the 1920s to the 1960s, feature creatures from mythology and scenes inspired by ancient dramatic works, as well as everyday animals, birds, and people. One key pairing places Picasso’s 1953 white clay centaur with similar objects from the sixth and tenth centuries.
June 20, 2019 – Oct. 20, 2019
Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki – ? From the South to the North: Colonies of the Cyclades in the Northern Aegean
Featuring 478 artifacts displayed across two interconnected halls, this exhibition explores the colonization of the northern Aegean in the seventh century B.C., asking questions about why the Cyclades moved into the Aegean region and how the two societies were affected by colonization.
Mythology, literature, and epigraphs combine with anthropological, archaeobotanical, and archaeological data to present a picture of life in the cities of Andros, Paros, and their respective colonies. Three areas of the exhibition are designed especially for children.
July 12, 2019 – Aug. 31, 2020
Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki – Copying (In) the Past: Imitation and Inspiration Stories
Artists have copied and drawn inspiration from one another since the first artworks were made. This exhibition explores imitation as a form of cultural creation, and examines how ancient Greek artists laid the foundation for European art. The 110 artifacts displayed range from the Proto-Cycladic era to the twentieth century and show that imitation is a timeless and ongoing phenomenon. The exhibit features a musical score and two videos, as well as special programming for children.
Nov. 24, 2018 – Nov. 30, 2019
Ludwig Museum – Pattern and Decoration: Ornament as Promise
Featuring works from the Peter and Irene Ludwig collection, this exhibition showcases the diversity of the Pattern and Decoration art movement developed in the 1970s in the United States. Works displayed include mosaics, textile collages, paintings, graphic works, videos, and large installations. The artists represented in this exhibition include founders of the movement like Joyce Kozloff, Miriam Schapiro, Robert Kushner, and Valerie Jaudon. It is the first time such an extensive selection of Pattern and Decoration works have been displayed together in Europe.
Oct. 5, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020
Irish Museum of Modern Art – Desire: A Revision From the 20th Century to the Digital Age
Spanning more than 100 years, from the early 20th century to the present, this international group exhibition includes works by masters of the last century alongside newly commissioned contemporary works. Displayed together, these artworks present a picture of desire’s role in the creation of art, how desire is depicted, and how desire’s function in art shifts with changes in technology and society, while examining how the development of desire has been shaped by modern structures of power.
Through March 22, 2020
Irish Museum of Modern Art – Life above Everything: Lucian Freud and Jack B. Yeats
Bringing together works by British artist Lucian Freud and Irish artist Jack B. Yeats for the first time in 70 years, this exhibition includes 57 oil paintings as well as various works on paper, many on loan from international public and private collections. Seven Yeats paintings appear in a special grouping – these are works Freud selected for a friend looking to acquire art. Freud’s studio assistant, David Dawson, assisted in selecting which works to display.
June 28, 2019 – Jan. 19, 2020
National Gallery of Ireland – Bauhaus 100: The Print Portfolios
Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus, this free exhibition in cooperation with the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart presents 52 works by 45 artists, including Lyonel Feininger, Paul Klee, Franz Marc, Max Beckmann, George Grosz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Marc Chagall, Wassily Kandinsky, Umberto Boccioni, and Natalia Goncharova. Printed between 1922 and 1924 at the State Bauhaus in Weimar, these prints form four complete Bauhaus portfolios made up of woodcuts, etchings, lithographs, and linocuts.
July 20, 2019 – Dec. 1, 2019
National Gallery of Ireland – Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light
Referred to as the “master of light,” Joaquín Sorolla (1864–1923) is one of the most celebrated artists in Spain, known for his impressionist works depicting local life. Organized by the National Gallery, London and the National Gallery of Ireland in collaboration with Museo Sorolla, this first exhibition of his paintings in Ireland includes more than 50 master works spanning the artist’s career, from his sunny beach scenes to intimate family portraits.
Aug. 10, 2019 – Nov. 3, 2019
It’s no secret that Amsterdam has an over-tourism problem. Dam Square is thick with tourists and pickpockets, and the Red Light District (properly known as De Wallen) has become an adult Disneyland where stag parties run wild.
But all is not lost for visitors to Amsterdam. In the city's outlying neighborhoods, there's plenty to experience away from the central crowds…
Read the rest at Make Change
In my first piece for Ensemble Vacations magazine, I spill the dirt on all the best places to go in the neighbourhood I call home.
Read the piece in the digital issue of Ensemble Vacations.
There’s no better way to understand a destination than to see how locals live. From exploring cozy houseboats to touring grand canal homes, here’s how to get an inside look at life in the Dutch capital.
Museum Van Loon
Built in 1672, this grand canal house was the former home of the Van Loon family. The Van Loons were well connected in Dutch society: Willem van Loon was a co-founder of the Dutch East India Company, and later generations included Amsterdam mayors, bankers and ladies in the queen’s court…
Read the rest on the Odyssea website, part of the syndication network for Ensemble Travel.
When reading a menu in an unfamiliar language, Google Translate is usually your best friend. But in the Netherlands, the literal English translations of some Dutch staples will leave you scratching your head.
For these five Dutch foods, Google Translate is no help at all…
Read the rest on the G Adventures blog
From the Rhine to the Danube to the Elbe, Europe's rivers are the backbone of this continent, connecting major world capitals and small country towns. Here, we look at 10 of our favorite European destinations to explore from a river cruise ship.
Read the rest in the Ensemble Travel Experience Travel E-zine
Sure, Amsterdam offers plenty of fine dining – but you'll get your share of that on your river cruise ship. Fueling yourself with classic grab-and-go street food favorites gives you a real taste of Dutch life for just a few euros as you snack your way through the city. Here are our top picks..
Read the rest in the Experience Travel E-zine