Saturday, August 14, 2010

Yesterday I FINALLY got myself over to the National Museum of Decorative Arts and History. I live about a 15 minute walk from the place and I'd never been! (Unless you count the cafe, which I visited with a sleeping infant while babysitting.)And now I'm sorry I never went before, of course. I met my friend Ariel there, even though the weather turned out to be kind of nice. Here's the view from outside the entrance:

It's in Collins Barracks, and sort of reminded me of IMMA (the modern art museum in Dublin), minus the lovely grounds.
Once you get inside the courtyard, it looks like this:

It seems desolate and you'd never guess there was a museum in the place, but once inside the building, you realize that it's actually a pretty popular destination!
We entered the building at about 3pm, two hours before closing, and we didn't get to see everything! The place is huge! It figures that the batteries in my camera died, so I took some stealthy shots with my cell phone. I'm not sure what the rules are on this sort of thing, but I think it's safe to say that these crappy cell phone shots are no substitute for the real thing. Here are some of my favorite displays/items, etc:
From the Neilli Mulcahy exhibit, which made me absolutely droooool:

Keeping in Fashion, there was another exhibit called The Way We Wore, which (as the name suggests) had some fantastic clothing as well some of the creepiest mannequins I've ever seen:

I had never heard of the architect/designer Eileen Gray, but man, now that I've seen the exhibit about her, I totally want to know more!

They had some very cool mod furnishings, all set up together in mock living spaces:

Of course the non-modern items were exquisite, like this bird harp:

It was nice to see that the museum had items from all over the world, most notably in the Albert Bender collection of Asian Art. I took a (blurry) photo of the back of a kimono that took my breath away:

Oooooh and I may have been content to spend many hours looking at all the AMAZING jewelry. Here I am, admiring some serious gems:

Unfortunately, just as we got to a really cool and interesting part of the museum, the Soldiers and Chiefs exhibit, the museum was closing and we had to leave. I managed to snap a photo of one of their many realistic looking manequins, which I admit I found amusing:

When we got outside, I missed the opportunity to check out the grassy area in front of the museum, as it had closed too, but I definitely want to get a closer look at this:

I will definitely return to the Museum of Decorative Arts and History many times, especially on a rainy day. It really was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.

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