Travel Tips: USA

United States of America

As we phase back into some sort of normalcy following the COVID shutdowns, international travel may still be questionable for some time. I encourage you to use this time to explore the wonderful opportunities at home for residents of the United States! Believe me when I say that America has some of the top museums in the world! Below are some of those that I can personally recommend. Bon Voyage!

New York

9/11 – New York City Remembered

9/11…New York City…

Both conjure up strong memories in my mind and heart.  As scenes of the horrors of 9/11 have been reviewed on this 20th anniversary, I flash back to memories of my personal times in NYC.  As a young woman – I lived and worked in Manhattan.  Years later, as a tour leader – I led groups of students to explore this great city. 

In this blog, I revisit and remember this city and reflect on its great resiliency. Included are some of the top places to visit.

Metropolitan Museum Cloisters

Cloisters museum, part of the NYC Met, is well worth the time to visit while in New York City. Allow about five hours for the excursion: about 3 hours in the museum, including time to enjoy the gardens and a snack/drink/lunch in one of their quaint cafes. Allow a bit more time if it is a lovely day and you want to explore the winding paths of the park as well. Fort Tryon is easy to get to, but it is the last stop on the subway line so plan on 1 hour each way in travel time just to be safe. https://www.metmuseum.org/visit/plan-your-visit/met-cloisters

Art exhibits include the Merode Altarpiece, highlighted on my blog for the Annunciation, Christmas 2020.

Museum of Modern Art: MoMA

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), along with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, need to be on the Must-See list of any culturally literate person visiting New York City! Located in mid-town Manhattan, it is one of the most influential museums of modern art in the world and plays a major role in developing and collecting it. Thanks again to Abby (Mrs. John D.) Rockefeller and 2 of her friends (dubbed The Ladies) for its inception, creation and on-going support and leadership. Recently remodeled, count on spending a couple of hours to do it justice. I invite you to read my blog articles on major pieces owned by the MoMA: “Persistence of Memory” by Salvador Dali and “Campbell’s Soup Cans” by Andy Warhol plus the connection of Robert Indiana’s “LOVE” art to the MoMA!

Admission is fairly pricey ($25/adult) but entry is included in the New York Pass, which includes entry into over 80 other NYC attractions during a select number of days as well as discounts on shipping, dining and Broadway show tickets and metro transit passes. Well worth the investment; I highly recommend it.

Illinois

Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago is a fabulous museum with a magnificent collection of famous art on any trip to the Windy City on Lake Michigan. It is along Michigan Avenue’s Museum Mile and next door to the fun sculpture of the infamous “Bean” in Millennial Park. It is a great city to visit for a long weekend; and plan at least 4 hours at this art museum! Its collection includes icons such as Nighthawks (Hopper), Water Lilies (Monet), 2 Sisters on the Terrace (Renoir), Old Guitarist (Picasso), Bedroom (Van Gogh), Paris: Rainy Day (Caillebotte), and one of my all time favorites: Sunday Afternoon on the Island of la Grande Jatte (Seurat). www.artic.edu

Iowa

American Gothic House

American Gothic House Just a few hours west of Chicago, one arrives in Iowa. If one is interested in a scenic road trip, one can drive by the famous American Gothic” house in Eldon, Iowa, take some corny selfies, visit the Visitor center – and drive though some scenic by-ways to also experience some additional “cultural literacy” by crossing some of the many covered bridges of Madison County on the way!  Bridges of Madison County is both a best-selling book and award-winning movie starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep (1995).

My blog post includes discussion of Grant Wood’s “American Gothic.”

Iowa interstate rest stops have some really fun art displays to incorporate into your travels: https://mnprairieroots.com/2017/06/07/the-art-of-an-interstate-rest-stop-in-iowa/

Washington D.C.

Phillips Collection

Dupont Circle. Along with the must-see Smithsonian Museums, I highly recommend including a side trip to see Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party” painting and others in the intimate, private Phillips Collection, housed in the Phillips’ family home, an 1897 Georgian Revival mansion in the Dupont Circle area of the city. With one of the finest collections of Impressionist works in the world, it is a nice, restful break from the Smithsonian museums – and just a short train ride away from the Mall area. The Dupont Circle area also has some fine stately homes and wonderful places to dine.

Smithsonian Museums

Smithsonian Museum complex in Washington D.C. USA is a fabulous place to visit – and ALL MUSEUMS in the complex offer FREE Admission! I recommend allowing a full week or more to fully experience it and be able to comprehend all it has to offer. PLAN AHEAD, take it slow, and allow plenty of time at each place. DO NO IGNORE some of the lesser known exhibits because each one holds its own treasures. TIP: Between, before and after museum visits, take time to enjoy the expanses of green space. If you can get lodging within easy walking distance of the Smithsonian, vs. having to figure in transportation, parking etc., the whole experience will be much more relaxing for everyone.

Freer Gallery of the Smithsonian Museums: And when travel loosens up, for an idea for state-side travelers, visit Washington D.C. and check out Whistler’s Peacock Room at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art for his magnificent display of Asian art and his “Peacock…Princess.”  https://asia.si.edu/

For my blog discussion on some of Whistler’s other works: Falling Rockets and more.

Massachusetts

Norman Rockwell Museum

Norman Rockwell Museum: If you are on a road trip on the East coast and going to Boston, consider a worthwhile side trip to through Stockbridge, a quaint stop not only as a small town on its own, but don’t miss the Norman Rockwell Museum. It not only has a vast collection of his work, but also reveals a snapshot of mid-century Americana. Norman Rockwell Museum www.nrm.org

Several of my blog posts have highlighted the work of Rockwell: “Do Unto Others” at the United Nations, NYC; “Coming and Going,” and “Freedom from Fear“, “Freedom from Want” and “Freedom of Speech” from his Four Freedoms collections.

California

J Paul Getty Museums, Los Angeles

Getty Museums: Los Angeles area (Santa Monica, north side of LA) is home to the fabulous museums of J. Paul Getty (there are two: a museum and an actual villa!).

Christ’s Entry into Brussels 1889 by Ensor, has been highlighted in my blog post relevant to pandemic wearing of masks. It, along with other great art, can be seen at the Getty.

A visit to the Getty Museums has long been on my Bucket List. I was scheduled this January on a trip to LA. Unfortunately, it was another COVID Casualty and will have to remain for another time!

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