Carcar City Museum (Cebu)

Carcar City Museum (formerly Carcar Dispensary and Puericulture Center)

Part 6 of the Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort & Spa-sponsored City Tour

The very first museum in South Cebu, this museum is housed in the former Carcar Puericulture Center and Dispensary, a two-storey hospital for women and children. Resembling a doll house rather than a medical institution, it was perhaps meant that way to dispel the fears of the patients.

The second floor veranda

An excellent example of American-era civic architecture in the Philippines, this ornate and gracefully designed dispensary was initiated by Mayor Mariano Mercado in 1929 and inaugurated by Ms.Flora Base Mercado, the mayor’s wife, in 1937 with Gov. Sotero Cabahug in attendance.

Historical plaque

The building was inaugurated as the Carcar City Museum on July 8, 2008, during Carcar’s first anniversary as a city.

Calado woodwork

Stairs

This outstanding, beautifully restored white painted architectural landmark has a profusion of artful latticework, semicircular transoms, carved barandillas (railings) and mini-canopies and stained glass window panes. Beside the museum is a small gated park that pays homage to Don Mariano Mercado, who was responsible for many of Carcar’s beautiful landmarks.

The author at Carcar City Museum

Its galleries, in several rooms, feature objects with historical, cultural and artistic relevance such as a traditional corn milling stone, antique furniture, winning costumes used by Carcar contingents in numerous artistic performances, women’s clothing worn during that era, religious artifacts, leather cutters, kitchen utensils, journals, paintings, war weapons, medical tools, musical instruments and old news clippings about Gen. Pantaleon “Leon Kilat” Villegas.

Antique sewing machine

Farming implements

Props for Linambay (Cebuano term for komedya or moro-moro)

On the museum walls, visitors can see a chronology of events that took place in Carcar from the Pleistocene period up to the present. The terrace (terasa) is the best place to feel the cold breeze from the outside. 

Aparador

Bajo de unas (double bass) used in a rondalla 

Sousaphone

Carcar City Museum: Carcar Square, Carcar City, Cebu.  Open Mondays to Saturdays, 8 AM to 5 PM. Admission: free.

Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort & Spa: Buyong, Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City, 6015, Cebu. Tel: (032) 492-0100. Fax: (032) 492-1808.  E-mail: maribago@bluewater.com.ph.   Website: www.bluewatermaribago.com.ph.  Metro Manila sales office: Rm. 704, Cityland Herrera Tower, 98 Herrera cor. Valero Sts., Salcedo Village, Makati City, Metro Manila. Tel: (02) 887-1348 and (02) 817-5751. Fax: (02) 893-5391.

Mangrove Protection and Information Center (Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte)

Mangrove Protection & Information Center

After a lunch prepared for us by Surigao del Norte District I Cong. Francisco Jose “Bingo” Matugas II and hosted by Del Carmen Mayor Alfredo M. Coro II at Krokodeilos, we proceeded to the nearby Mangrove Protection and Information Center (MPIC). The first of its kind in the Philippines, it was inaugurated last November 15, 2014 as part of the town’s and Metro Pacific Investments Foundation’s (with the support of the Manny V. Pangilinan group of companies) “Siargao It Up!” program (started in 2009) which promotes environmental awareness throughout the whole country.

A center for the protection and propagation of mangrove trees in the coastal estuaries, including the rehabilitation of degraded mangroves in the whole island of Siargao, it aims to let locals, tourists and guests know of the importance and benefits of mangroves in terms of biodiversity and its contribution to the safety of the coastal communities.

Del Carmen Mayor Alfredo M. Coro II (in blue shirt and shades) meeting with members of print media

To date, this program has successfully propagated around 800 hectares of new mangroves. As a result of its efforts, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has conferred on Del Carmen  the Environmental Hero Award.  The town observes its Shore It Up Week every first week of March.

A complete skeleton of a saltwater crocodile on display

Mangrove forests are sanctuaries to rare and endangered wildlife species such as the Philippine Cockatoo, the Hawksbill Turtle, the Green Sea Turtle, the Golden Crown Flying Fox, Dinagat Gymnure, the Olive Ridley Turtle and the endangered dugong. It also prevents soil erosion, protects coastline from strong winds and waves, and filters off agricultural run-off and pollution. It is also a breeding ground for different marine organisms; is a source of food, medicines and firewood; and supplies dissolved organic matter for nutrient cycle.

An array of crocodile skulls

According to Mayor Coro, Siargao has an approximately 8,600 hectares of mangrove cover, the second largest in Mindanao, and 4,259 hectares of contiguous mangrove are found in Del Carmen, the largest in the Philippines. Out of the 54 mangrove species worldwide, 44 can be found in Del Carmen, and the Crocodylus porosus, the largest of all living saltwater crocodiles, can be found in the town’s mangrove forest. The town’s vast mangrove forest has also become a major tourist destination in Siargao, with 21 boat operators doing from three to four trips per day, thus generating income for the local economy.

Display case with a collection of different sea shells

On display here are educational materials, a collection of sea shells and a complete skeleton of a saltwater crocodile as well as a number of skulls. Outside is a preserved saltwater crocodile. Measuring 14 feet and 9 inches long, and 2 feet and 8 inches wide, it was discovered floating dead, last October 27, 2016, by the mangroves in Brgy. Esperanza, 8 kms. from the town proper.

Preserved remains of a saltwater crocodile

Siargao Tourism Office: Paseo De Cabuntog, Brgy. Catangnan, Gen. Luna, Siargao Island. Mobile number: (0921) 718-2268 (Ms. Donna Grace T. Estrella – Siargao Tourism Coordinator)

Mangrove Protection and Information Center (MPIC): Poblacion, 8418 Del Carmen, Surigao Del Norte.  E-mail: shoreitup.org@gmail.com. Website: www.shoreitup.org.  Facebook: www.facebook.com/SiargaoMangroveCenter.

How to Get There: Skyjet Airlines has daily, 100-min. direct flights from Manila (NAIA Terminal 4) to Siargao (Sayak Airport). ETD Manila at 6 AM (M8-421), ETA Siargao at 7:40 AM. Return flights: ET Siargao at 8:10 AM (M8-422), ETD Manila at 9:50 AM.

Skyjet Airlines: Manila Domestic Airport, Parking A, Terminal 4, NAIA Complex, Brgy. 191, Pasay City, Metro Manila. Tel: (02) 863-1333 and (02) 823-3366. E-mail: sales@skyjetair.com. Website: www.skyjetair.com.

USS Constellation Museum (Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.)

USS Constellation with Museum Gallery at left

After our visit to the World War II vintage cutter USCGC Taney, Jandy, Kyle and I walked some distance, from Pier 1, to get to Pier 5 where the museum ship USS Constellation, a sloop-of-war/corvette is berthed, the last of two ships we were to visit using our Squadron Pass. This would our first time to go aboard and explore a three-masted sailing ship.

The author with the USS Constellation in the background

Now a part of Historic Ships in Baltimore, Constellation and her companions are major contributing elements in the Baltimore National Heritage Area.

Check out “The Historic Ships of Baltimore

Exhibit at Museum Gallery

Here are some interesting trivia regarding the Constellation:

  • It had a length of 60.96 m. (200 ft.), a beam width of 13.11 m. (43 ft.), a draft of 6.4 m. (21 ft.), displaced 1,400 lbs. and had a typical operating crew of 285 including a Marine detachment of 45.
  • She was built using some recycled materials salvaged from the old, 38-gun frigate USS Constellation (launched in 1797), which had been disassembled the year before at Gosport Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia. She is the second U.S. Navy ship to carry this famous name.
  • In 1955, when the sloop-of-war was brought to Baltimore as a museum ship, it was under the mistaken belief that it was its predecessor, the 1797 frigate Constellation. Over the next four decades, the 1854 ship was “restored” to look like the older ship. In the early 1990s, a US Navy research team, led by Dana Wegner, conclusively proved the ship’s true identity.
  • Despite being a single-gun deck “sloop,” she was actually larger than her original frigate built, and more powerfully armed, with fewer (22) but much more potent shell-firing guns.  On commissioning, she had 16 x VIII-inch shell guns, 4 x 32-pounder guns and 2 x X-inch pivot mounted shell guns. During the American Civil War, she was equipped with 16 x VIII-inch shell Dahlgren guns (primary), 4 x 32-pounder guns (secondary), 1 x 30-pounder pivot mounted Parrott Rifle (bow) and 1 x 20-pounder pivot mounted Parrott Rifle (stern). She also had 3 x 12-pounder bronze howitzers for close-in fighting.
  • Her sail rigging, typical of the time, was set across 3 primary masts.
  • She had a surface speed of 21 knots (14 mph).
  • She is the last existing intact naval vessel, still afloat, from the American Civil War.
  • She was one of the last wind-powered (sail-only) warships built by the United States Navy.
  • She has been assigned the hull classification symbol IX-20.
  • About one-half of the lines used to rig the vessel are present (amounting to several miles of rope and cordage).

Here is the historical timeline of this ship:

  • Designed by John Lenthall, she was constructed at the Norfolk Navy Yard
  • Launched on August 26, 1854 and commissioned on July 28, 1855, with Captain Charles H. Bell in command, the Constellation  performed largely diplomatic duties, from 1855 to 1858, as part of the S. Mediterranean Squadron.
  • On July 1856, while on station, Constellation was dispatched to protect American lives and property at Malaga, Spain, during a revolution in that country.
  • That same year, while cruising in the Sea of Marmora, she rescued a barque in distress, receiving, from the court of the Austrian emperor, an official message in appreciation.
  • From 1859 to 1861, she was the flagship of the 8-ship Africa Squadron, taking part in African Slave Trade Patrol operations to disrupt the Atlantic slave trade. The ship interdicted three slave ships and released the imprisoned Africans.
  • On December 21, 1859, the Constellation captured the  Delicia, a brig fitted out as a slave ship (but with no slaves on board) which was without colors or papers to show her nationality.
  • On September 26, 1860, she captured the Cora, a “fast little bark” with 705 slaves who were set free in Monrovia, Liberia.
  • On May 21, 1861, in African coastal waters, the Constellation overpowered the Charleston-registered Triton, a slaver brig, one of the U.S. Navy’s first captures during the American Civil War.
  • During the Civil War, she spent much of the war in the Mediterranean Sea as a deterrent to Confederate cruisers and commerce raiders.
  • After the Civil War, Constellation spent a number of years as a receiving ship (floating naval barracks) in Norfolk, and later in Philadelphia, until 1869.
  • From March to July 1878, she carried exhibits to the 1878 Exposition Universelle in Paris
  • From March to June 1880, during the 1879 Irish famine, she carried 2,500 barrels of flour and potatoes for famine victims in Ireland.
  • In 1894, after being used as a practice ship for Naval Academy midshipmen, the Constellation became a training ship for Naval Training Center Newport.
  • During World War I, she helped train more than 60,000 recruits.
  • Decommissioned in 1933, the Constellation was recommissioned in 1940, by President Franklin Roosevelt, as a national symbol.
  • During World War II, she remained in Newport, spending much her time as relief (i.e. reserve) flagship for the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. From May 21, 1941, the Constellation was the relief flagship for Ernest J. King and, later, from January 19 to July 20, 1942 and from 1943 to 1944, for his replacement Vice Admiral Royal E. Ingersoll.
  • In October 1946, the Constellation was moved to Boston, where she was kept, together with the venerable USS Constitution, as a naval relic. She remained in commission until 1954.
  • Decommissioned, for the last time, on February 2, 1955, she was moved to Baltimore and taken to her permanent berth.
  • On May 23, 1963, the Constellation was designated as a National Historic Landmark.
  • On October 15, 1966, she was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • In 1994, the Constellation was condemned as an unsafe vessel. Her rigging was removed an she was closed to the public.
  • In 1996, she was towed to a drydock at Sparrows Point, near Fort McHenry, and a US$9 million rebuilding and restoration project was undertaken and completed on July 2, 1999. In an attempt to safeguard the wood planking, the hull from the waterline to the keel was covered in a fiberglass coating and painted an aqua-blue.
  • On October 26, 2004, Constellation made her first trip, since 1955, out of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Lasting six days, the trip to the S. Naval Academy in Annapolis  marked her first trip to Annapolis in 111 years.
  • In late 2012, it was determined the wood hull behind the fiberglass sheathing, installed during the 1996–98 rebuilding, contained significant rotting.
  • From 2014 to 2015, over a 6-month period, the ship was again put in dry dock and rebuilt with fresh (and chemically treated to resist rotting) wood planking.
  • In late March 2015, the rebuilt ship was returned to her Inner Harbor berth and her rigging was completed
  • By May 2015, she was again opened to the public.

Top or spar deck

20 pounder, pivot-mounted Parrott Rifle at the stern

To get aboard, we had to enter the two-storey Museum Gallery Building (where USS Constellation’s history is portrayed through artifacts and personal effects which belonged to the ship’s crew), climb the stairs to the second floor and cross a gangplank to the ship.

Kyle at the gun deck

Jandy beside a VIII-inch Dahlgren gun

Nearly all of the ship was accessible during our tour. We went down to all 4 wooden decks, each one different, and there were plenty of things to see on each.

Ship’s Stove

Galley Provisions

Compared to the USCGC Taney, the Constellation’s stairs leading to the lower decks , though still steep and narrow, were still much easier to go up and down.

Check out “USCGC Taney

Bilge and Fire Pump

Arms Chest

There are plenty of signs and visual aids to explain everything.The male guide, dressed in uniform of the period, was very knowledgeable on the ship’s history.

Captain’s Office

 

Captain’s Stateroom

The top or spar deck, the highest of the continuous decks running the full length (stem to the stern) of a ship, was where all sailing operations took place.  The ship’s wheel, binnaclefife rails, and so forth, are also mounted here. The ship’s sails here were large and quite impressive.

Dining Table

Officers Quarters

The next deck down is the gun deck where the ship’s main battery of VIII-inch Dahlgren guns, the Captain’s Cabin, the Officers Quarters and the Galley are located. The ship’s officers (Executive Officer; Master; Marine Lieutenant; Second, Third, Fourth & Fifth Lieutenants; Chaplain, Paymaster; Surgeon) each had individual living quarters with beds.

Executive Officer’s Quarters

Master’s Quarters

The captain, on the other hand, had a large spacious area to himself, complete with dining table, bath, study, and the only private, old-school toilet on deck (it had a window view).

Second Lieutenant-Navigator’s Quarters

Chaplain’s Quarters

We explored further, going down another flight of steps to reach the berth deck where the majority of the crew  lived and socialized and where their hammocks are slung.

Pantry

Despensary

Going down one more ladder brought us to the ship’s hold where food, water and gear for the crew  was stowed.  The top deck (spar deck) and gun deck are accessible via wheelchair lifts. The headroom on the two lower decks was low.

Stairs leading to Berth Deck

Berth Deck

A trip way back in maritime history, for tall ships it’s hard to beat the Constellation as we saw how the sailors slept (not very comfortable I should imagine as they slept on hammocks with no privacy) and ate on the ship, giving us a real feel at how hard it was to live on a ship back then.

Ship’s Hold

USS Constellation: Pier 1, Constellation Dock, 301 East Pratt St., Inner Harbor, BaltimoreMaryland 21202-3134, United States. Tel: 410-539-1797 (Main Office) and 410-396-3453 (Group Sales/ Education Office).  Fax: 410-539-6238. Open daily, 10 AM – 4:30 PM. E-mail: administration@historicships.org. Website: www.historicships.org. Admission: US$18 (Fleet Pass – 4 ships entry), UUS$15 (Squadron Pass – 2 ships entry). Tickets may be purchased on-line or at ticket locations on Pier 1, Pier 3 or on board the USCGC Taney.

Tours are regularly available, self-guided or with the assistance of staff. Tour groups can participate in demonstrations such as “turning the yards” and operating the capstan on the main deck to raise/lower cargo. Daily, a cannon firing is also demonstrated. Star-Spangled Spectacular visitors, with limited mobility and one companion, may tour the USS Constellation free on September 11, 12, 14 and 15, during her regular scheduled operating hours.

The Historic Ships of Baltimore (Maryland, U.S.A.)

The Historic Ships of Baltimore

One of the highlights during our 2-night stay in Baltimore was our visit to The Historic Ships of Baltimore, a maritime museum located in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, an opportunity too good to miss for a nautical buff. An affiliate of the Living Classrooms Foundation,  it represents one of the most impressive collections of military vessels in the world.  Exhibiting life at sea, from the mid-19th century to the mid-1980’s, it was created as a result of the merger of the USS Constellation Museum and the Baltimore Maritime Museum.

Jandy posing with the World War II submarine USS Torsk in the background

The museum’s collection, all located within easy walking distance of each other, features four historic and well-maintained museum ships from four different times in history.  The USS Constellation, a 1854 sloop-of-war in Pier 1, was the last all-sail warship built by the US Navy.

Check out “USS Constellation Museum

USCG Cutter Taney

The USCGC Taney (WHEC-37), a Coast Guard cutter in Pier 5, is the last surviving vessel to witness the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  The USS Torsk (SS-423), a World War II-era, Trench-class (one of 10) submarine in Pier 3 commissioned in 1940, torpedoed the Coast Defense Vessels #13 and #47 on August 14, 1945, the last two enemy combatants of World War II.  The Chesapeake, a lightship (which marked the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay) in Pier 3 built in 1930, was a navigational aid with beacons mounted on it.

Check out “USCGC Taney

The author posing with the lightship Chesapeake in the background

Also included in the collection is the 40 ft. high Seven Foot Knoll Light, a screw-pile lighthouse in Pier 5 built in 1856. One of the oldest Chesapeake Bay area lighthouses, it was erected at the mouth of the Patapso River, on a shallow shoal called the Seven Foot Knoll. For over 130 years, it marked the entrance to the Patapsco River and Baltimore Harbor. The three ships (USS Constellation, USCGC Taney and the USS Torsk) are National Historic Landmarks and all five are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Seven Foot Knoll Light

Jandy, Kyle and I availed of the Squadron Pass and visited the USCGC Taney and the USS Constellation (by far, our favorite). Our interesting and educational visit gave us a good overview of different parts of the nautical world and of Baltimore’s heritage as a major seaport.  Both ships were amazing to walk through as they had much of their original furnishings (like uniforms, desks, etc) for effect (where needed, accurate replicas where made).

Jandy with the American Civil War-era sloop-of-war USS Constellation in the background

Historic Ships in Baltimore: 301 East Pratt St., Baltimore, Maryland  21202-3134, United States. Tel: 410-539-1797 (Main Office) and 410-396-3453 (Group Sales/ Education Office).  Fax: 410-539-6238. Open daily, 10 AM – 4:30 PM. E-mail: administration@historicships.org. Website: www.historicships.org. Admission: US$18 (Fleet Pass – 4 ships entry), UUS$15 (Squadron Pass – 2 ships entry). Tickets may be purchased on-line or at ticket locations on Pier 1, Pier 3 or on board the USCGC Taney. Admission is free at the Seven Foot Knoll Light.

National September 11 Memorial & Museum (New York City, U.S.A.)

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum (also known as the 9/11 Memorial and 9/11 Memorial Museum), located at the former location of the Twin Towers (destroyed during the September 11 attacks) at the World Trade Center site, are the principal memorial and museum, respectively, that commemorate the September 11, 2001 attacks, which killed 2,977 victims, and the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, which killed six.

September 11 Memorial Plaza

The memorial was designed by Israeli architect Michael Arad (whose Reflecting Absence, on January 2004,was selected as the winner, from among 5,201 entries from 63 countries, of the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition) of Handel Architects, a New York- and San Francisco-based firm, who worked with landscape-architecture firm Peter Walker and Partners on the design.

Layout of Memorial Plaza

Featuring a forest of trees with two square pools in the center where the Twin Towers stood, its design was consistent with the original Daniel Libeskind master plan which called for the memorial to be 9.1 m (30 ft.) below street level (originally 21 m./70 ft.) in a plaza. Started on August 2006, the memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the attacks, an was opened to the public the following day. The museum was dedicated on May 15, 2014 and opened on May 21.

South Pool

Two 4,000 m2 (1 acre) pools, with the largest man-made waterfalls (intended to mute the sounds of the city, making the site a contemplative sanctuary) in the United States, comprise the footprints of the Twin Towers, symbolizing the loss of life and the physical void left by the attacks. Delta Fountains engineered the fountain. Many parts of the memorial were planted by Walker with white oaks while almost 400 sweet gum and swamp white oak trees fill the remaining 24,000 m2 (6 acres) of the Memorial Plaza, enhancing the site’s reflective nature.

Parapet on wall with bronze plates inscribed with victims’ names

The parapets of the walls of the memorial pools are attached with 76 bronze plates inscribed with the names, arranged according to an algorithm, of 2,983 victims – 2,977 killed in the September 11 attacks and six killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Flower offering for one of the victims

Around the perimeter of the North Pool are the names of the employees and visitors in the North Tower (WTC 1), the passengers and crew of American Airlines Flight 11 (which struck the North Tower), and the 5 employees and a visitor, all adults, of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, all memorialized on Panel N-73.

North Pool

Around the perimeter of the South Pool are the names of the employees and visitors in the South Tower (WTC 2), the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 175 (which struck the South Tower), the employees, visitors, and bystanders in the immediate vicinity of the North and South Towers, the first responders (listed with their units) who died during rescue operations, the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 (which crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania) and American Airlines Flight 77 (which struck the Pentagon), and the employees at the Pentagon.

Though company names are not included, the company employees and visitors are listed together. Passengers on the 2 United Airlines and 2 American Airline flights are listed under their flight numbers. The phrase “and her unborn child” follows the names of ten pregnant women who died on 9/11 and one who died in the 1993 attack.

Survivor Tree

The “Survivor Tree,” a symbol of hope and rebirth, is a 2.4 m.( 8-ft.) tall callery pear tree (planted during the 1970s near Buildings 4 and 5, in the vicinity of Church St.) which was recovered, badly burned with one living branch, from the rubble at the World Trade Center site on October 2001. Nursed back to health by the Bronx nursery, the then 9.1 m. (30 ft.) tall tree was returned, on December 2010, to the World Trade Center site and is now a prominent part of the memorial.

September 11 Memorial Museum

The September 11 Memorial Museum, dedicated on May 15, 2014 and opened to the public on May 21, was built at the former location of Fritz Koenig‘s The Sphere, a large metallic sculpture placed in the middle of a large pool between the Twin Towers.  Designed by Davis Brody Bond, the museum, about 21 m. (70 ft.) below ground and accessible through a pavilion designed by Snøhetta,  encloses 10,000 m2 (110,000 sq. ft.) of publicly accessible space. Its exhibits include 23,000 images, 10,300 artifacts (including wrecked emergency vehicles, two tridents from the Twin Towers and pieces of metal from all seven World Trade Center buildings including the last piece of steel to leave Ground Zero in May 2002), nearly 2,000 oral histories of those killed  (mostly provided by friends and families) and over 500 hours of video.

National September 11 Memorial & Museum: 180 Greenwich St, New York City, New York 10007. Open daily, 7:30 AM – 9 PM. Admission: US$24/adult, children below 12 years old is free.

Museum of Modern Art (New York City, U.S.A.)

Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA),  an art museum located in Midtown Manhattan, is one of the largest and most influential museums of modern art in the world. MoMA’s admission cost of US$25 makes it one of the most expensive museums in the city.

The crowd that day inside the museum

However, it has free entry on Fridays, sponsored by clothing company Uniqlo, after 4PM and this we availed of. As such, the museum was more crowded (including the inevitable Oriental selfie snappers) than I would have liked and it was hard to move around but who can complain?

Photography (minus the camera flash) was allowed here, though my pictures didn’t capture the impact of the in-real-life viewing. There are 5 floors of artwork to admire and the huge galleries, whose overall chronological flow presents a perspective of stylistic progression and place in time, were well laid out. I allow a minimum of two hours to explore the museum.

The author besides Joan Miro’s The Hunter – Catalan Landscape (1923-24, Oil on Canvas)

MoMA  has been important in developing and collecting Modernist art and its collection offers an overview of modern and contemporary art, including works of sculpturearchitecture and designdrawingpaintingphotographyprintsillustrated books and artist’s booksfilm and electronic media.

A private non-profit organization, MoMA is the seventh-largest U.S. museum by budget (its annual revenue is about US$145 million, none of which is profit).

Andre Derain (Bathers, 1907, Oil on Canvas)

Vasily Kandinsky (Picture with an Archer, 1909, Oil on Canvas)

Rene Magritte (The Lovers, 1928, Oil on Canvas)

MOMA is considered, by many, to have the best collection of modern Western masterpieces in the world.  Its holdings include more than 150,000 individual pieces in addition to approximately 22,000 films and 4 million film stills (access to the collection ended in 2002 and the collection is mothballed in a vault in Hamlin, Pennsylvania).

Claude Monet (Agapanthus, Oil on Canvas, 1914-26)

Kara Walker (40 Acres of Mules)

Andrea Bowers (A Menace to Liberty, 2012)

All the classics were here and it was moving, inspiring, immersive and absorbing but also a bit overwhelming. The nicely curated collection at the fifth floor houses such important and familiar works as the following:

Claude Monet (The Japanese Footbridge)

Jackson Pollock (One Number 31, 1950)

It also holds works by a wide range of influential European and American artists including Georges BraqueMarcel DuchampWalker EvansHelen FrankenthalerAlberto GiacomettiArshile GorkyHans HofmannEdward HopperPaul KleeFranz KlineWillem de KooningDorothea LangeFernand LégerRoy LichtensteinMorris LouisRené MagritteJoan MiróHenry MooreKenneth NolandGeorgia O’KeeffeJackson PollockRobert RauschenbergAuguste RodinMark RothkoDavid SmithFrank Stella, and hundreds of others.

Fernand Leger (The Mirror, 1925, Oil on Canvas)

Fernand Leger (Woman with a Book, 1923, Oil on Canvas) (1)

Many of the paintings have an audio option which is great for some background information.

Vincent Van Gogh (The Starry Night, 1889, Oil on Canvas)

Seeing the original painting of Vincent van Gogh’s famous The Starry Night was certainly a moving experience that I shall not soon forget. I could actually see the layers and layers of paint, the small brush strokes and all of the colors of paint that are far more vivid on canvas.

Claude Monet (Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond)

Claude Monet’s Water Lilies triptych, breathtaking to see in person, was also a big highlight worth seeing. The Picasso’s were also stunning, It was also great to see the full set of Andy WarholCampbell’s Soup Cans.

Any Warhol (Campbell’s soup cans, 1962)

An acquired taste is required for the 3rd and the 4th floors which were very contemporary and not to my liking. The perplexing abstract pieces, using garage components such as snow shovels and car tires hammered (which begs the question “what was that supposed to be?”), didn’t excited me but they were still worth seeing how imaginative (and indulgent) modern artists have become.

Shirana Shahbazi (Composition 40 2011)

Louise Bourgeois (The Quartered One)

Magdalena Abakanowicz (Yellow Abakan, 1967-68)

Certain pieces here challenged my preconceived ideas, making me scratch your head and ask the question “Is that’s art?” upon seeing 7 boards of wood painted white being called art.

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150

The very informative Frank Lloyd-Wright exhibit, with its original drawings (painstakingly rendered the old fashion way), blueprints, sketches and models for many of his projects (both completed and proposed); was very interesting.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Articles about the the myth of the great American architect provide interesting insights into his thinking and inspirations, portraying how advanced his ideas were in many ways.

Henri Matisse – Music (Sketch, 1907, Oil and Charcoal on Canvas)

Henri Matisse (Periwinkles-Morrocan Garden, Oil, Pencil and Charcoal on Canvas, 1912)

Henri Matisse (Still Life with Aubergines, Oil on Canvas, 1911)

Henri Matisse (The Rose Marble Table, Oil on Canvas, 1917)

MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design, was founded in 1932, is the first museum department in the world dedicated to the intersection of architecture and design.  Philip Johnson, the department’s first director, served as curator between 1932–34 and 1946–54.

Henri Matisse (La Serpentine, Bronze, 1909)

Henri Matisse (Dance-1, 1909, Oil on Canvas)

Henri Matisse (The Morrocans, Oil on Canvas, 1915-16)

The collection consists of 28,000 works including architectural models, drawings and photographs and one of its highlights is the Mies van der Rohe Archive. It also includes works of legendary architects and designers Frank Lloyd WrightPaul László, the EamesesIsamu Noguchi, and George Nelson.

Pablo Picasso (Les Demoiselle d’Avignon, Oil on Canvas, 1907)

Pablo Picasso (Woman with Pears, 1909, Oil on Canvas)

Pablo Picasso (The Studio, Oil on Canvas, 1927-28)

The Design Collection contains many industrial and manufactured pieces, ranging from a self-aligning ball bearing to an entire Bell 47D1 helicopter.

Bell 47D1 helicopter

In 2012, the department acquired a selection of 14 video games, the basis of an intended collection of 40 which is to range from Pac-Man (1980) to Minecraft (2011). The world-renowned Art Photography Collection, founded by Beaumont Newhall in 1940, includes photos by Todd Webb.

Pablo Picasso (Nude with Joined Hands, Oil on Canvas, 1906)

Pablo Picasso (Two Nudes, 1906, Oil on Canvas)

Pablo Picasso (Ma Jolie, 1911)

Pablo Picasso (Bather, Oil on Canvas, 1908-09)

The building also features an entrance for school groups, a 125-seat auditorium, an orientation center, workshop space for teacher training programs, study centers, and a large lobby with double-height views into the beautiful outdoor Sculpture Garden, at the mile of the museum, which features Aristide Maillol’s The River, a great statue of a woman diva laying on her back above the water.

Aristide Maillol (The River)

Alexander Calder (Sandy’s Butterfly, 1964)

From about 1.5 million a year, MoMA has seen its average number of visitors rise to 2.5 million after its new granite and glass renovation. In 2009, the museum reported 119,000 members and 2.8 million visitors over the previous fiscal year.

Paul Cezanne (Still Life with Apples, 1895-98, Oil on Canvas)

Paul Cezanne (L’Estaque, 1879-83, Oil on Canvas)

Paul Cezanne – Château Noir 1904-06, Oil on canvas, 73.6 x 93.2 cm.)

During its 2010 fiscal year, it attracted its highest-ever number of visitors of 3.09 million. However, in 2011, attendance dropped 11% to 2.8 million.

Paul Cezanne (The Bather, 1885, Oil on Canvas)

Paul Cezanne (Pines and Rocks – Fountainbleau)

Since its founding in 1929, the museum was open every day until 1975, when it closed one day a week (originally Wednesdays) to reduce operating expenses. In 2012, it again opened every day, including Tuesday, the one day it has traditionally been closed.

Henry Rosseau (The Sleeping Gypsy, 1897, Oil on Canvas)

Henri Rosseau (The Dream, 1910, Oil on Canvas)

The museum’s awesome gift shop had a lovely selection of gifts such as magnets, prints and more unique items like socks and scarves with art on them as well that summed up all of the amazing art throughout the museum. 

Vasudeo S. Gaitonde (Painting No. 4, 1962)

Mademoiselle Pogany (Constantin Brancusi)

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA): 11 West 53rd St. (between Fifth and Sixth Ave.) , New York City, NY 10019, USA. Open 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM (8 PM on Fridays). Admission: US$25/adult, children below 12 years old is free. 

How to Get There:

Bus: Any line to 53rd Street

Metro: Any line to Fifth Avenue or 53rd Street

Bonifacio Trial Museum (Maragondon, Cavite)

This two-storey bahay-na-bato (stone house) was the site where Andres and Procopio Bonifacio were court martialed by a military court presided by Gen. Mariano Noriel from May 5 to 6, 1897. The court  found the two accused guilty of treason and recommended execution.

Bonifacio Trial Museum

Built by Teodorico Reyes in 1889, this house was formerly known as the Roderico Reyes House (which was the name of the former owner). The house now belongs to Mr. Jose Angeles.  In 1999, it was fully restored and declared as a National Heritage Site. Today, this stone, brick and wood ancestral house has been converted into a museum called the Museo ng Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio or Bonifacio Trial Museum. It was formally inaugurated on November 28, 2014.

The house has capiz sliding windows, ventanillas and calado woodwork on the eaves

The museum has five galleries.  Gallery 1 (Maypagasa) provides a short background on Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan; Gallery 2 (Pagsalubong) focuses on the conflict between the two Katipunan factions in Cavite, the Magdalo and Magdiwang; Gallery 3 (Pagdakip) narrates the events leading to Bonifacio’s arrest; Gallery 4 (Ang Paglilitis) re-enacts the Bonifacio brothers’ court martial through a light and sound presentation; and Gallery 5 (Kadakilaan) recounts the anguish of Bonifacio’s widow, Gregoria de Jesus, in learning of her husband’s death.

National Historical Institute (NHI) Plaque

The museum also has an audio-visual corner offering a brief documentary about the trial and death of Andres Bonifacio and an e-learning room for online lessons on the history of the Philippines. The shrine is administered and managed the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (formerly the National Historical Institute).

Philippine Historical Committee (PHC) Plaque

Bonifacio Trial Museum: Col. Crisostomo Riel St., Brgy. Poblacion 1-A, Maragondon, Cavite. Mobile number: (0917) 553-7375 (Mr. Melanio Guevarra – museum curator). E-mail: bonifaciotrialmuseum@gmail.com. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 8 AM – 5 PM. Admission is free.

Royal Regalia Museum (Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei)

Royal Regalia Museum

Royal Regalia Museum

After our visit to the Jame’asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque, we proceeded to the Royal Regalia Museum (MalayBangunan Alat-Alat Kebesaran Diraja), built on the site of the Winston Churchill Memorial Museum (perhaps the only such memorial to Churchill in this part of the world), constructed in 1971.

The domed ceiling

The domed ceiling

A fire destroyed the previous roof and the domed roof was built by a Japanese company. The builing was modernized and considerably extended and, on September 30, 1992, was opened as the Royal Regalia Museum which has a profusion of exhibits related to the commemoration of the 25 years of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah‘s rule of Brunei.

The Royal Regalia Exhibition Hall

The Royal Regalia Exhibition Hall

This large gold-domed, semicircular structure is fitted with specially-designed mosaics. Gleaming marble has been used extensively in its interior.  The floor is covered with plush carpets and the spectacular, beautifully-lit circular gallery is topped with a mosaic-tiled dome sitting on the cup of the original crescent-shaped building.   

The gold-leafed Royal Chariot

The gold-leafed Royal Chariot

Prior to entering, we all removed our shoes.  On display at the entrance hall is the huge, stunning Royal Chariot, a winged chariot covered in gold leaf, surrounded by regalia from the royal crowning ceremony, that was used for the parade carrying the Sultan through the streets of the city on the occasion of his 1992 silver jubilee celebration of his coronation in 1968. In front of the chariot are a bevy of headless mannequins dressed in traditional attire.

Pedang Dan Perisai

The “pedang dan perisai” are 16 swords, with gold, silver and brass bands on the hilt, and 16 shields that were carried by 16 “awang-awang” (aristocrats)

At the reception desk, we were required to sign our names and nationality in the guest book and then deposit our bags, cameras and mobile phones (photography is only allowed in the lobby) in plastic bins before proceeding on our guided tour. Lockers are also provided free of charge, and you keep the key yourself. A historical review of the present Sultan’s life was then narrated by our guide Mohammad through the Sultan’s family pictures with detailed narrative texts (one particular photograph of interest shows the Sultan smiling at his circumcision ceremony), many of his portraits and a hologram.

The Payung Berwarna

The “payung berwarna” are 40 (8 yellow, 8 green, 8 red, 8 white and 8 black) multi-colored umbrellas with golden tops borne by 40 “awang-awang” (aristocrats) who stand on either side of the area below the “peningkah lapau”

Payung Kawan

40 “payung kawan” (yellow and red umbrellas) are carried by 40 “orang muda-muda” (the young) who stand at both sides at the area below the “peningkah lapau”

Payung Dadu

8 “payung dadu” (umbrellas with gold tips) were carried by “awang-awan” (aristocrats) who stand on both sides of the area below the “peningkah lapau”

It recreates his early childhood, chronicling his schooling in Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and finally in Britain at the Sandhurst Royal Military Academy. Other historic pictures cover independence, the Sultan meeting his people afterwards in the mosque and in the districts; and his return from the Hajj.

Lembing Kerajaan Dan Taming

The 6 special “lembing” (royal spears) and “taming” (shields), with golden tips, are borne by 6 “beduanda kecil” (pages)

Film footage of the magnificent ceremony is screened in a small theater. A small room also houses the many military honors and decorations to his military service from well over twenty different countries.

Tumbak Benderangan

The 16 “tumbak benderangan” (royal ceremonial spears), plated in gold and silver, are borne by 16 “awang-awang” (aristocrats) decked in ceremonial attire

Artifacts that were used for royal ceremonies coronation in the country were also exhibited.  They included gold and silver ceremonial weaponry; ornate gold crown embedded with jewels; ceremonial costumes;  the symbolic Golden Cats; the silver kris; the Sultan’s costume; a solid golden forearm with  upturned palm  (which are depicted on the Royal state crest) that the Sultan used as a prop for his chin at his coronation; and orchestral instruments used during the ceremony.

Puan Kerajaan

The 4 octagonal “puan kerajaan”” (royal betel boxes), made with silver, are used for keeping flowers and are usually borne by the 4 sons of the “cheterias” (common nobles), in ceremonial attire, on both sides o the “petarana”  (throne)

A large side room on the ground floor depicts the 1968 coronation scene at the Lapau using models, pictures, words and exhibits.  Inside is an enormous, house-like and more modern (the Sultan’s tiger-skin throne was airconditioned) second chariot, equipped with an engine, which was used in the coronation of the sultan.

Sinipit Dan Taming

40 “sinipit” (spears) decorated with red “bendera pisang-pisang” at each tip, an 40 “taming” (shields) are carried by 40 warriors in red suits an “dastar”

Rows of life-size mannequin figures, clad in black and red military uniforms, stand proudly in front and behind the chariot. On the outskirts of the room are life-size photographs of adoring onlookers, probably people who were actually in the crowd that day.

The Chanang

The Chanang is a gong used in the MajlisBerjaga Jaga (before the proclamation and coronation), Gendang Jaga Jaga and other royal ceremonies

There is a scaled replica of the entrance gates of Istana Nurul Iman, the world’s largest residential palace (incidentally designed by my uncle, the late National Artist Arch. Leandro V. Locsin). Also of interest are the costumes worn by the Sultan and his two consorts during the Silver Jubilee. Queen Saleha’s costume is decorated with gold and diamonds while that of Pengiran Isteri Hajah Mariam, the Sultan’s then second wife, is decorated with gold and pearls.

Dian Alam Bernaga

The 8 readily lit Dian Alam Bernaga (candles) are placed before the Petarana (throne), at the time when the Sultan sits on the throne. During the procession, they are borne by 8 Pengarah (overseers).

Also on display are gifts from heads of state to the Sultan. They include gold-plated as well as sparkling glass miniatures of world-famous national landmarks; diamond encrusted vases; delicate porcelain tea sets; ceremonial daggers; stunning wooden carvings;, eye-catching paintings; jewel-encrusted ornaments; commemorative plates with inscribed messages and blessings; objects made from shining silver; ornate coffee tables; decorative glassware; intricate hand-made textiles; and more.

Gendang Labik

Gendang Labik (cylindrical drum)

To the left of the main entrance is the Constitutional History Gallery. Set up in 1984 as part of the country’s independence celebrations, it traces the history and development of the constitution – from 1847 when the first Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation was signed with Britain, to the proclamation of the 1959 constitution.

The author at the Royal Regalia Exhibition Hall

The author at the Royal Regalia Exhibition Hall

Jandy in front of the Royal Chariot

Jandy in front of the Royal Chariot

Inside is the signed APAC plaque from the time Brunei held the conference (November 15–16, 2000.) The plaque contains signatures of the APAC members leaders including then US President William “”Bill” Clinton’s.

Members of B.E.A.T. in front of the Royal RegaliaMuseum

Members of B.E.A.T. in front of the Royal RegaliaMuseum

Royal Regalia Museum: Jln Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien, Bandar Seri Begawan, BS8611, Brunei. Tel: +673 224 4545 extension 201. Admission is free. Open 9 AM – 5 PM, Sundays – Thursdays, 9-11:30 AM and 2.30 – 5 PM, Fridays (closed 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM for Friday prayer), and 9:45 AM – 5 PM, Saturdays.  Last entry at 4.30 PM. You can only take photographs in the lobby and visitors are required to remove their shoes before entering the building.

Palazzo Grimani di Santa Maria Formosa (Venice, Italy)

Courtyard o the palazzo

Courtyard o the palazzo

The  Palazzo Grimani di Santa Maria Formosa, originally the ancient casa da stazio, an L-shaped building located at the intersection of the rios of San

Bronze bust of Antonio Grimani (Andrea Briosco)

Bronze bust of Antonio Grimani (Andrea Briosco)

Severo and Santa Maria Formosa, was the residence of the Venetian doge Antonio Grimani. It was substantially altered in 1532-1569 by his grandsons Vittore, procuratore generale of the city, and Giovanni Grimani, cardinal and Patriarch of Aquileia, giving it a classical stamp.

Giovanni allegedly collaborated with celebrated architects such as Jacopo Sansovino, Sebastiano Serlio and  Andrea Palladio.

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Two new wings, doDSC00364ubling the size of the building, were added.  A vast Roman-style inner courtyard, with loggias of marble colonnades (unusual in sixteenth-century Venice) and asymmetrical porticoes, was laden with artfully arranged sculptures, reliefs and inscriptions.The palace was completed in 1575 by Giovanni Rusconi while Alessandro Vittoria was responsible for the ornamentation of the doorway.

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The palace is composed of three parts with a small backyard. The façade, sporting

Bronze bust of Hadrian (Ludovico Lombardo)

Bronze bust of Hadrian (Ludovico Lombardo)

characteristically massive windows arches, is decorated with polychrome marble.

The most striking feature of the interior is the Sala di Psiche (c. 1540), with frescoes by Mannerist artists such as Francesco MenzocchiCamillo Mantovano and Francesco Salviati.

Other artists who worked to the palace’s decoration include Taddeo Zuccari and Giovanni da Udine.

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Bust of Antinoüs, favorite of Hadrian

Bust of Antinoüs, favorite of Hadrian

The palazzo once held the archaeological collections (one of the finest of the time), strikingly displayed on shelves, mantelpieces and plinths in settings of the high ceiling, specially designed Tribuna and the courtyard, amassed by Cardinal Domenico Grimani and Giovanni Grimani, and donated to the Republic.

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Palazzo Grimani, internationally important for its architectural originality, the quality of its decoration and the history of its development, was purchased by the State in 1981 and, in 2001, a decree of the Ministry of the Cultural Heritage gave responsibility for its management to the Superintendency of State Museums in Venice. On December 20, 2015, it was reopened as a museum.

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An especially valuable addition to its museum circuit, the palace displays a few HiDSC04670eronymus Bosch paintings from the Grimani collection: depicting the dream-like Visione dell’Aldilàl’Ascesa all’Empireo, and la Caduta dei dannati e l’Inferno; and the Triptych of Santa Liberata, and the Triptych of the eremiti (Sant’Antonio, San Girolamo and Sant’Egidio).

Sculpture gallery

The Sculpture Gallery with “The Rape of Ganymede (Reinhard Gomer)” hanging on the ceiling

The extraordinarily high quality decoration of the rooms iDSC04680ncludes outstanding stucco work and frescoes, reflecting the confidently unconventional taste of the Grimanis.

Palazzo Grimani, unique in Venetian history and architecture, is a fascinating treasure house of cultural, artistic and historical riches.

Statue of Laocoon and his sons

Statue of Laocoon and his sons

Palazzo Grimani di Santa Maria Formosa: Ramo Grimani, 4858, 30122 Venice, Italy. Tel: +39 041 241 1507 and +39 041 5200345. E-mail: info@palazzogrimani.org and sspsae-ve.grimani@beniculturali.it. Website: www.palazzogrimani.org. Open 8:15 AM – 7:15 PM. Admission: € 4.00 + € 1,50 reservation fee.

Murano Glass Museum (Venice, Italy)

Murano Glass Museum (Museo del Vetro)

The Murano Glass Museum (ItalianMuseo del Vetro), a museum on the millennial history of glass, including local Murano glass, is housed in the Vescovi Palace, the former residence of the bishops of Torcello. Originally built in the Gothic style, this patrician’s palace became the residence of Bishop Marco Giustinian in 1659. He later bought it and donated it to the Torcello diocese.

Jandy, Cheska, Grace and Kyle at the museum garden

This Glass Museum, founded in 1861 by Abbot Zanetti, became part of the Venetian Civic Museums in 1923, following the fusion of Murano with Venice.  In 1932, its collections were put in order under the guidance of Giulio Lorenzetti and Nino Barbantini who adopted more modern criteria regarding display techniques.

Museum exhibit

The museum’s collection, further expanded by the addition of the Correr, Cicogna and Molin Collections, includes, among other things, the most beautiful Renaissance pieces in the museum. Except for occasional purchases, the museum’s contemporary collection are enriched by donations made by the island’s glassworks.  It is run by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia (MUVE).

A collection of glass beads

Paintings of famous glassmakers

The museum is divided into the following sections:

  • Archaeological Section  (Ground floor) – its most outstanding exhibits come from the necropolises of Enona (Zara), noteworthy Roman works dating from the 1st to the 3rd century A.D. including objects with depictions of animals and plants, glass murrini and examples of applications and decorations used in ancient times.
  • Murano Glass in the 15th Century – the evolution, from ‘crystal clear’ glass, to the pure and transparent glass that, during the next century, leads to the development of new decorative techniques.
  • Murano Glass in the 16th Century – the century in which the precious Murano glass goes beyond national borders to spread throughout Europe,  on display are lattimo glass; white opaque glass like porcelain; glass used in filigree or decorated with enamels; and ice glass with a typical cracked outer surface.
  • Murano Glass in the 17th Century – considered to be the century of the so-called glass à la façon de Venise, the most prestigious Murano glass, the 17th century is also the beginning of the decline because of the massive exodus of Murano glassmakers abroad. Towards the end of the century the market began to prefer Bohemian glass.

Murano Glass in the 13th – 17th Century

  • Murano Glass in the 18th Century – Murano Glass acquired new life thanks to Joseph Briati. Examples of his vast output on display include chiocche (crystal chandeliers decorated with multiple arms); deseri (table triumphs), famous for their ornamental richness and variety of the subjects represented; and beautiful mirrors.

Murano Glass in the 18th Century

  • Murano Glass in the 19th Century – production of Murano Glass art goes through a period of technique and aesthetics decline. From the second half of the 19th century, blown glass by Antonio Salviati and reproduction of Roman mosaic glass by Vincenzo Moretti offered new ideas to the glassmaking industry.
  • Murano Glass in the 20th Century – the traditional techniques of glass working began to be used for more modern creations at the beginning of this century– as demonstrated in the ‘Peacock  murrina‘ and Vittorio Zecchin’s Plate. After the First World War, many artists began working closely with the furnaces on the island. Umberto Bellotto, with the cooperation of the Barovier artists and fantastic glassy fabrics created by Carlo Scarpa for Venini, designed daring combinations of glass and wrought iron. After World War II, Murano develops an interest in the chromatic effects of the glass as can be seen in the works of Ercole Barovier, the noteworthy sculptures of Alfredo Barbini and the creations of watermarks by Archimede Seguso.

Murano Glass in the 20th Century

The upper floor houses a collection of glass from the 15th to the 20th century (one of the most complete in the world), including world famous realizations by the famous Barovier & Toso glass company and glass textiles designed by Carlo Scarpa in the late 1930s.

Chiocche (crystal chandeliers)

The exhibit, interspersed throughout with innumerable glass objects reflective of the era covered and the specific techniques of production for each century, took us through the history of glass making solely on Murano, starting with the 14th -17th century apogee of the art and, continuing into modern times, in more detail with the 18th and 19th century of jousting of Murano with Bohemia as the world’s leader in this art form. Then, it continues with its downturn, after Napoleon,  and revival in the late 19th century (thanks to enterprising locals of the industry).  Modern day art ended our tour.

Miniature garden made entirely of Murano glass

Also on display are a fine collection of beads and an equally splendid exhibition of classic table ware. At a small hall just by the entrance, we watched a cool video presentation on glassware making.

The Minimalist displays, in 6 big, easy to navigate and wheelchair-friendly rooms, were.impressive and occasionally stunning to the eye and our 2-hour visit here was educational and worthwhile.

Murano Glass Museum: Fondamenta Giustinian 8, 30121 MuranoVeniceItaly. Tel: +39 041 739586. Website: www.museiciviciveneziani.it. Open from April 1 to November 1, 10 AM – 6 PM (ticket office: 10 AM – 5 PM); from November 2 to March 31, 10 AM  – 5 PM (ticket office: 10 AM – 4 PM); closed on December 25 and January 1. Admission: €4.00 (reductions for pensioners and students), €6.50 for a ticket which usually combines entrance to the Glass Museum and the Lace Museum on Burano.

How to Get There: The museum is located close to the “Museo” vaporetto water bus stop.