Tag Archives: art

Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy

One of the world’s greatest living artists is in London for a huge exhibition!

This incredible collection of works by Anselm Kiefer just opened at The Royal Academy, so I sped right over to spend an afternoon floating through its maze of galleries.

RA Burlington House

I brought along a fellow culture-seeker and together we entered the courtyard of Burlington House.

RA Burlington House Cord Blazer

RA Burlington House Arcade

RA Anselm Kiefer Sign

I fell in love with Kiefer’s art back in 2006 when I saw his Heaven and Earth exhibition at Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. For someone who didn’t know too much about contemporary art at the time, his work made a lasting impression on me. Huge, monumental pieces full of symbolism – history, theology, war. I had never been so drawn to modern art as I was to his.

Upon entering the gateway from Piccadilly into the palatial courtyard, we encountered two of Kiefer’s large-scale installations – big lead submarines suspended inside humongous glass cases.

RA Courtyard

RA Anselm Kiefer Courtyard Exhibition

RA Burlington House Courtyard Subs

RA Courtyard Anselm Kiefer

RA Kiefer vitrines

RA Courtyard Sun

The Royal Academy has an arcane policy on non-flash photography inside their exhibitions – which is to say they don’t allow it. So, sadly, no photos of any of the wonderful pieces from the show, many of which are on loan from private collections and may not be seen again in public for decades.

It’s frustrating – like most galleries, the Royal Academy encourage visitors to engage with their social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but they fail to recognize that our global culture increasingly communicates through images.

I assume it’s only a matter of time before they get it together, like the world’s top museums such as the Louvre, Smithsonian, and Metropolitan, all of whom currently allow non-flash photography in thier galleries. But you can always count on these stuffy ol’ Brits to be the very last ones to improve their dated methods of doing things – sheesh!

RA Anselm Keifer Wings

RA Anselm Kiefer Canvas

I was allowed to get a few snaps from the entrance of the exhibition, but if you are lucky enough to get to London this fall to see it for yourself, it’s definitely worth it!

After the show, we headed downtown to have a drink. Seeing as it was looking like one of those rare clearsky London evenings, we headed to ME London and hit their Radio Rooftop Bar.

Radio Bar Lounge area

The views of the London skyline were jaw-dropping.

Radio Bar Shard

Radio Bar Somerset House Sunset

Radio Bar French 75

I like my sunsets while holding a flute of something bubbly.

In this case, a classic French 75. Champagne, gin, bitters, and a sugar cube. Radio Bar threw an orange twist in mine.

Radio Bar French 75 Sunset

Radio Bar Smile

Radio Bar Strand Aldwych

Radio Bar Sofas

We hung out until nightfall when the temperature dipped; then we headed off into the chilly autumn night.

Broughton Castle

British people have a saying, “An Englishman’s home is his castle.” The phrase is taken to mean that everyone has the right to do as they please within their own home, and no one can enter a dwelling without invitation. On a weekend trip up to the Cotswolds, we stopped in to see one of the finest private moated manor houses in the country, Broughton Castle.

Located outside of Banbury and made of magnificent golden honey limestone, the core of the house dates from 1306. It has been home to the Fiennes family since the 1400s, and has appeared on-screen in films such as Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love (1998) and Jane Eyre (2011).

The owners open the house and grounds to the public on select days of the year, and we seized the invitation to have a poke around.

Broughton Castle Entrance

The Gatehouse

The Gatehouse

Broughton Castle Outside

Broughton Castle Landscape

Broughton Castle Shells Window

Broughton Castle Viscount Falkland Portrait

I have to admit it’s a bit weird roaming around a complete stranger’s home – no matter how magnificent. However, the interior is so perfectly cared for and preserved, it feels rather like a museum. As I became more and more lost in the details and grandeur of each room, I began to forget the sense that I was somehow intruding.

Armor on display in The Great Hall

Armor on display in The Great Hall

Broughton Castle Great Parlour Wallpaper BUST

Ornate Plaster Ceiling in The Great Parlour

Ornate Plaster Ceiling in The Great Parlour

Broughton Castle Bedroom Dragon

Broughton Castle Portraits

Breezing through the drafty stone corridors, and up the creaky wooden staircase to the long carpeted gallery filled with art and antiques, we amusedly nosed around the historic chamber rooms.

Broughton Castle Bedroom Wallpaper Chair

I freaked for this gorgeous wallpaper in the King’s Chambers, hand-painted in China with impressive detail in the 1800s.

Broughton Castle Bedroom Wallpaper

We were even permitted to climb out on the roof and look down over the luscious green landscaping and gardens.

Broughton Castle Roof

Broughton Castle Roof Panama

Broughton Castle Roof Shot

Broughton Castle Garden

The last room to see was the Oak Room, an opulently panelled drawing-room with an oak interior porch put up by William, the 1st Viscount.

Broughton Castle Sitting Room Doorway

Broughton Castle Sitting room fireplace

Broughton Castle Sitting Room Books

Broughton Castle Sitting Room Door

The Oak Room led out into a perfectly coiffed garden with neatly manicured box hedges and a smattering of pastel pink roses.

Broughton Castle Outside Garden

Broughton Castle Outside Garden Looking

Broughton Castle Outside Garden Arch

Broughton Castle Outside Garden Bench House

Broughton Castle Outside Garden Bench

Broughton Castle Outside House

Broughton Castle Outside Walking

Broughton Castle Outside Side View

Broughton Castle Outside Side Walking

We weren’t the only ones roaming the grounds on this beautiful day!

Broughton Castle Cows

Broughton Castle Cow

An udderly amoo-sing day in the country!

Thank you to the owners of this remarkable property for letting us have a captivating peek inside.