Happy Birthday Ashmolean!

Britain’s first museum is 334 years old today! Here it is in today’s glorious sunshine. On 24 May 1683 the doors of the original Ashmolean Museum were officially opened to the public.

Have you seen our new banners up yet? Our exciting summer show Raphael: The Drawings opens next Thursday 1 June and brings together 120 stunning works from international collections spanning the brief but brilliant career of the Renaissance genius. Raphael was just 37 when he died.

This exciting exhibition focuses on his extraordinary creativity, and shows how exploration and experimentation shaped his breathtakingly accomplished drawings.

Collected at Kennywood Park

This Trillium erectum specimen was collected at Kennywood in May 1903.  Found in forest understories in our region, Trillium erectum has several common names—red trillium (one form has deep maroon flower), wake robin (it is a sign of spring), and stinking benjamin/wet dog trillium (its flower smells of wet dog).


Botanists at Carnegie Museum of Natural History share pieces of the herbarium’s historical hidden collection on the dates they were discovered or collected. Check back for more!

Closing soon—”Women of Abstract Expresionism” at the Palm Springs Art Museum, CA

May 24, 2017

“Women of Abstract Expressionism” at the Palm Springs Art Museum ends Sunday, May 28.

Featuring Helen Frankenthaler, this exhibition presents the work of twelve American women artists active in New York City and the San Francisco Bay area in the late 1940s and 1950s. Click on the link in our bio for exhibition and visitor information.
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Image: Helen Frankenthaler, Western Dream, 1957. Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, New York © 2016 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Rob McKeever.

What I observed about nationalities working in a museum [in Vienna]

RUSSIANS (mostly older people)

-       speak German more often than English (and pretty well, too)

-       seem either cold or make jokes

-       just start speaking to you in Russian even though you don’t understand a word. Ask in Russian if you can speak Russian. The answer is always no.

-       sometimes make trouble (touch objects and such)

-       don’t always follow the rules (keep using the flash even though you’ve already asked them not to do it 3 times)

-       are the loudest and biggest groups

-      the young people explain stuff to their families

ITALIANS

-       walk in saying ‚buongiorno’ with a smile

-       behave really well

-       proud to see italian art

-       sometimes chat with you

-       are very happy if you can say even one simple word like ‚grazie’

-       even kids respect art

-       are not as loud as you’d think

FRENCH

 -       are the most low-key people ever

-       seem glad if you can respond to them in French

-       ask where to find a picture but don’t know the artist

-       never make any problems.

-       Good manners

GERMANS

-       humorous and make jokes

-        very nice

-       behave correctly

-       will laugh and say sorry when they set off the alarm

-       complain that we kick them out 10 min before we’re officially closed (‚WE STILL GOT 10 MINUTES!!’)

NORTH AMERICANS

-       literally the nicest people you’ll ever meet

-       will sometimes chat with you

-       ‚how did you know I was from the south? Where are YOU from?!’

-       smile a lot

-       apologize and say ‚thanks’ all the time

-       are cool with everything??

SPANISH SPEAKING PEOPLE

-       ‚Where is Velázquez? ;)’

-       Speak Spanish. Speak slower Spanish when they realize you don’t speak Spanish

-        Loud and friendly


AUSTRIANS

-       sometimes act as if they own the place

-       complain

-       smile

JAPANESE

-       ask for stuff in Japanese even though they don’t know yet that you speak it

-       may chat with you in Japanese

-       may insist on replying in English

-       ask if you’re really not Japanese while looking at you extremely suspiciously

-       apologize for speaking in English first even though you know Japanese and they had no way of knowing that

-       never ever make problems

-       either first to come or last to leave

-       really impressed with the art

-       try to figure out everything by themselves

CHINESE

-       out of Asian visitors the louder ones

-       speak mostly really good English

-       have really fast guided tours

-       good manners

People from wherever: you close in 20 minutes, why can’t you let us in? why are you closing so early?! Disappointed. *probably thinking Fuck Vienna*

tbc