18 04 2014

I was recently asked which of the world’s greatest galleries I’d had the chance to visit.

Fabulous question, and it got me thinking. I wondered if I could even list all the galleries I’ve been to. Having backpacked around Western Europe for a few months (many moons ago) and living in Europe for a few years, there are many cities I’ve visited and many galleries I’ve walked through…

Would it be weird if I wanted to list the galleries and museums?
Well even if it is, do indulge me … or let me be weird I say.
Pretty sure I won’t be able to name all of them, but the major ones that I remember are:


  • V&A Museum – when I was living in London I went here many times; the jewellery room is amazing, as is their collection of embroidery
  • Tate Modern – the Turbine Hall is a thing of beauty and wonder; my favourite memory is visiting with a friend, I was on the other side of one of the rooms, she was reading about a work that was a glass half-full of water on a small glass shelf about 6″ high on the wall; it was apparently about oak trees; she calls out across the room: “Karen, this guy’s nuts” … so dignified (and hilarious)
  • British Museum – astounding; I remember falling in love with the Arabian astronomy instruments
  • National Gallery – it’s got to be done, but it’s not a favourite of mine (yes yes, I’m not into figurative art, so a portrait gallery is never going to be a place I adore)
  • British Library – amazing documents and maps

Rest of United Kingdom





New York

  • Guggenheim – I loved the building but didn’t like the works on display
  • Metropolitan – honestly, I wish I had more time to wander and spend more time here; so it’s still on the list
  • sadly MoMA was being renovated when I was there

Of the most important galleries though, the one that stands out as necessary for me to visit before I get too decrepit is The Hermitage in St Petersburg.  And the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is still on the list, as it was closed when I was in the city.

Without meaning to sound poncy about it, it’s doubtful I can remember the cities I’ve visited, let alone the galleries. It is certain I’ve seen more of the major ones than above, and certainly there is no way I will be able to recall the smaller ones I’ve seen (for I always see as many of the galleries possible when I visit a new city).

It’s been a beautiful prance down memory lane researching and ruffling up my memories for the above listing. Thank you for indulging me.



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