Thursday, February 23, 2012

GOing to van Gogh

van Gogh at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt 

Rain, van Gogh
Why you must GO:
Van Gogh Up Close  at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through May 6, 2012 focuses solely on the works produced in response to his relationship with nature from 1886 until his death in 1890. Photographing artwork is one of the hardest things to do even for museum professionals. The photographs you have seen in coffee table books can't even come close to the brilliance and complexity of colors in the actual paintings. The exhibition includes a wonderful audio tour that is thorough as well as entertaining. The silky narrations include excerpts from van Gogh's letters as well as curatorial comments. Philadelphia will be the only US stop for this show-- next it travels to Canada. There are many pieces in this show borrowed from museums across the country and others from elsewhere that have never been exhibited in America before. Besides, this is van Gogh, so no other reason really necessary.

Wheat Fields at Auvers Under Clouded Sky, van Gogh
Where to stay:
We stayed at the Rittenhouse which had a great van Gogh package that included priority untimed tickets. The hotel staff was amazing and booked us for three consecutive nights of dinners. We loved the sky-lit hotel indoor pool, the fully equipped hotel gym and spacious rooms. The only thing in the hotel we did not like was the "truthful" bathroom scale and that there was no coffee pot in the room. However, each night we were treated to Lacroix chocolates with the turn down service and the first night a plate of freshly baked cookies and milk. This is a very kid friendly hotel and I understand your pets are welcomed there.

Butterflies and Poppies, van Gogh
Where to eat in Philly: 
We loved the following restaurants and so will you:

Tinto a few blocks from our hotel, this small plates restaurant and wine bar had the best of both. We loved the artful presentation of the food and the mushrooms were divine as were the desserts. 

Barbuzzo is also within walking distance of our hotel. don't show up to this popular restaurant without a reservation. On a Sunday night, walk-ins were told there was a two hour wait. Another small plates type of restaurant, the food does not disappoint. The brussel sprouts were our favorite.

Estia This Greek/Mediterranean Restaurant is across from the theatre and caters to that crowd with a specially priced Prix fixe menu that we thought was the best deal. We loved the fruit plate with Greek style yogurt for dessert and the complimentary cookies we grabbed on our way out the door.


mentioned in this article: @philamuseum, @TheRittenhouse,  @EstiaRestaurant, @barbuzzo, @GarcesGroup