Antwerp in the World: The World in Antwerp

A cluster of dockyard cranes bow down to a magnificent Cubist tower of Indian red sandstone interlaced with swathes of curved glass. This is MAS, the Museum Ann De Stroom (Museum on the River) in Antwerp. It stands 60 metres high between the ziggurat roofs of the historic centre and the industrial sprawl of the … Continue reading Antwerp in the World: The World in Antwerp

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What’s in a building? – migrants across the Channel in the National Museum of Immigration History (Paris, France)

Whoever thought of siting the Cite National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration (National Museum of Immigration History – CNHI, Paris) in the former Palace of the Colonies posed a challenge for the curators. It is undoubtedly an impressive Art Deco building from the 1930s. Intricate naked or half naked stone figures, working cocoa, coffee, cotton or … Continue reading What’s in a building? – migrants across the Channel in the National Museum of Immigration History (Paris, France)

Art and anarchists at Asinitas and Italy’s National Museum of Emigration

We stand in two lines facing each other in a hall in Garbatella, a garden suburb built for the working classes during the Fascist era. The hall is used by Asinitas, a charity working with migrants, that follows the enlightened methods of such educationalists as Montessori and Cemea. “Buongiorno,” we sing, orchestrated by Carolina. “Buongiorno, … Continue reading Art and anarchists at Asinitas and Italy’s National Museum of Emigration

Prada Foundation art collection takes root in Milan – all the talk at the Venice Biennale

I meet Farah coming out of Lodi metro station. “Everybody was talking about it at the Venice Biennale,” she says adjusting her sunglasses. Prada, of course. This self-assured art curator, a Canadian of Iranian descent, was as lost as I was in this wasteland of South Milan. Then, as we turn a corner, large billboard … Continue reading Prada Foundation art collection takes root in Milan – all the talk at the Venice Biennale