Today was another small, free adventure. I guess whenever we do something here it is an adventure, because everything is an exciting or very unusual experience. Today we ventured over to the Dean Gallery, which is part of the National Galleries of Scotland. There are four buildings that comprise three parts of the National Galleries of Scotland: the Modern Art Galleries (Dean Gallery, Modern Art Gallery), the National Gallery Complex (on Princes Street), and the Portrait Gallery.
So we purchased our day tickets for the bus and rode out to Princes Street where we were rumored to be able to catch the 13. There is severe construction going on all over the city right now, because they’re installing trams and this caused our bus to not come out onto Princes Street. So we walked up to Charlotte’s Square (a block North from Princes Street) and found the 13 Bus Stop.
It was a very small bus and there were mostly elderly people riding it, which meant watch where you sit or you’ll be attacked with a cane, walker, purse, or shopping bags. I’ve seen all four happen. It was not a very long ride, though, and we were shortly at Belford Road in West Edinburgh. Right across from the bus stop was the large lawn and relatively steep incline leading up to the Dean Gallery. The Dean Gallery “shows works from the Gallery’s internationally renowned Dada and Surrealist collection alongside pieces by Eduardo Paolozzi.” For those of you who don’t yet know, this is where Ray will be interviewing for a job on Thursday. Don’t want to jinx it, though, by talking about it too much.
I snapped off a few quick photos of some of the neat things around the outside and then of the front of the building. After that we went inside where photography is indefinitely forbidden.
La Vierge d'Alsace [The Virgin of Alsace], Emile-Antoine
The first exhibit we went into was the huge sculpture of Eduardo Paolozzi’s Vulcan.
Then we went into the Surrealist and Dadaist exhibit. It is here that Ray and I had the most fun looking at paintings. I even discovered a new painter I had never heard of but am now completely in love with. This painter is Yves Tanguy (1900-1955).
Here are a few of his paintings that we saw firsthand:
There were also several paintings by Salvador Dali, which was really exciting for Ray, since Dali is one of Ray’s favorite painters. Also, I’ve never seen a Dali painting in person, so this was extremely exciting for me. Almost like seeing the Mona Lisa.
Tête Raphaëlesque éclatée [Exploding Raphaelesque Head] (this was my favorite of the three.)
Oiseau [Bird] (Ray had never seen this one before and was very excited about it.)
And right before we left this section of the gallery, Ray saw one more painting that he really enjoyed, which was painted by Max Ernst, called La Joie de vivre [The Joy of Life].
I also enjoyed Max Ernst montrant à une jeune fille la tête de son père [Max Ernst Showing a Young Girl the Head of his Father], as well.
Then we moved on down the gallery to the Paolozzi Gallery area, which featured works by Eduardo Paolozzi, as well as a room that was set to replicate his work studio in New York. The “room” was donated to the gallery so that viewers could experience the man’s work environment. We even saw a Star Trek: The Next Generation figure of Geordi La Forge, a huge stack of National Geographics, and some really old Rolling Stones. Very interesting. Paolozzi also had some very interesting sculptures that were inspired by films, such as Star Wars, Terminator, and the Wizard of Oz.
In this exhibit was two interesting paintings by someone named Max Beckmann, which were part of a series called Die Hölle (Hell).They were really interesting black and white drawings. Here are the two they had on display:
Another painting that I liked was René Magritte's Le Temps Menaçant (Threatening Weather):
Ray was ready to go after our walk-through, but I wanted to go see the special Exhibit upstairs about Ben Nicholson. Sadly, I somewhat regret it, as he wasn’t that impressive. We made it through, though, and were able to see the Vulcan from the second level. I experienced a strange sense of vertigo in my legs and feet, despite that fact that I knew I was completely stable. I’m really starting to wonder about this whole “fear of heights” thing.
Once we had made it through the last part of the exhibit, I went downstairs to grab a few postcards for my postcard collection and I wanted to get one for Kyle. They have a really cute foldable card with monkeys on it, so I got that for him. Then I got some postcards of the pictures that I really liked. The guy at the counter asked me where I was from and it turns out the girl who went on break was also from Wisconsin! He said he had lived in Toronto for a while. He asked me about the Wayne’s World quote about Milwaukee (“it's pronounced "mill-e-wah-que" which is Algonquin for "the good land.") and I totally blanked and felt silly, but it’s all good. He was very friendly.
Ray and I walked out and sat on the stone railing looking at the Gallery and talked for a bit. Then we walked down to our bus stop, where I discovered the Waters of Leith Walk starts!! I was so excited! So I snapped a few pictures while we waited half an hour for the bus.
We were feeling in the food for a little naughty food, so we stopped at McDonalds. Granted, the fast food at McDonalds and Burger King here is so much healthier than in the states. I’ve actually looked up the nutritional facts and McDonalds offers Subs of the Day! McDonalds here was doing Monopoly, which is the only reason I bring up that we stopped there. We were like “NEAT!” And we tore the pieces off of our drinks only to discover that they changed all the places on the board!!! Instead of Boardwalk and Park Place there is Mayfair and Park Lane. Instead of the Traditional Railroads (Reading, B&O, Pennsylvania, and the Short Line) there were Fenchurch St. Station, Liverpool St. Station, Kings Cross Station, and Marylebone Station. If you want to see the whole thing, you can check out this pdf (http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/money/HowToPl
ay/gameboard.pdf). So yeah. It was just really interesting to see how they do that here, as well.
Then it was time to come home and get back to work. For some reason my head and tummy were really bothering me, so we weren’t able to make it out to the Filmhouse to see the American Grindhouse (they split it in Europe, so it didn’t have all the awesomeness). I think I might try to go next Sunday before we leave for London, because it is being screened at the Cameo and a friend of mine, I know for sure, is going.
So I hope you enjoyed our little day out and I’m sure there will be more coming. Now back to my school work. Advisor meeting is only a week away!!!