Thursday, May 7, 2015

Day at the Museum, part 1 of 2

Painting at the special exhibit on Mexico
My last full day in Bogotá. And it was a rare sunny day in Bogotá. (The weather in Bogotá is like that in San Francisco. Gloomy and overcast, light-jacket weather for much of the year, but it never gets cold.) So, with the sun shining, it was time to head to the great indoors, the Museo Nacional de Colombia.

Front entrance
This is the Museo Nacional. It looks kinda-sorta like a prison, doesn't it? Well, that's because it WAS a prison. It was originally built in the 1800's to be the major prison of Bogotá. It was later re-purposed into a museum.

Street life outside the Museo Nacional
The lobby has the cold vibe of a prison.

Museum lobby
I first explored the special exhibit titled "Encuentros México-Colombia." Was it an exhibit of Mexican art? Was it an exhibit of art concerning Mexico done by Colombian artists? Was it art about Colombia by Mexican artists? Or none of the above? I don't know! The exhibit was all in Spanish, and I speak "muy poquito" español.

Let's have a look-see at the exhibit, shall we? Let's.

Same artist as the picture above.
After these paintings, I began taking pictures of the descriptive text beside the paintings
so I could have a record of who the artist was.
One of the great things about Colombia in general, and Bogotá in particular, is that it is very lightly touristed. The downside is that there are very few concessions made to the fact that English is the lingua franca of international travel. Tourists around the world speak English to the locals. But not a lot of tourists from around the world make it to beautiful Bogotá, so the national museum of a Spanish-speaking country is largely geared toward Spanish speakers. Amazing, I know.

Laguna de Pedropalo. Francisco Antonio Cano, artist.
I especially liked this piece in the Encuentros exhibit because it had the look and feel of a painting by Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, my personal favorite artist when I feel the snobbish need to mention that sort of thing.

El burrito amarrado. Translation: The tethered donkey. Rosario Cabrera, artist.
This is the other piece I really liked. But, then again, I like major artworks that prominently feature burros.

After walking the Encuentros exhibit, I noticed a small stream of people going into a room off to the side of the lobby. So, of course, I follow. Turns out, there was a piano recital from young champion pianists from the Old Eastern Bloc playing in the theater room.

Radostina Petkova tickling the ivories (and ebonies, too)
With its stone walls, this room definitely had the look and feel of a prison. But the hour-long piano recital from the four young pianists was very entertaining. They were amazingly talented.

Now, at this point, this being Thursday morning, I need to stop blogging for the day and catch a plane to Cartagena for the final stop on this trip. I will continue with the day at the museum later today when I have wi-fi access, probably not until Cartagena. So, for now, I will leave with a museum security guard surveying the crowd outside the museum:

Outside the Museo Nacional

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