Category: architecture and design

I-35: Des Moines

Posted October 12th, 2016
I-35: Des Moines

There were dropped jaws and more polite phrasings like, “What has persuaded you to make this move?” when I told people that I was moving to Iowa, in 1985 for a job as curator of education at the Des Moines Art Center. “Big careers are made in smaller museums,” I often answered. But the truth…

In Flanders Cities 5: Brussels is Art Nouveau

Posted April 19th, 2015
In Flanders Cities 5: Brussels is Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau is not really my thing—too ornate, too feminine, too precious. I admire certain artists and objects and connect to the focus on materials and their unique qualities, but l would not want an Art Nouveau home or Art Nouveau furnishings, or even much in the way of Art Nouveau jewelry. I understand—and teach—that…

In Flanders’ Cities 4: Antwerp

Posted April 18th, 2015
In Flanders’ Cities 4: Antwerp

I was here in the summer of 1970, an eighteen-year-old hitchhiking around Europe after a year on an English-Speaking Union scholarship at Princess Helena College in Hertfordshire, England. My traveling companion, Sue, was a school pal of a school pal, and we joined forces on this adventure—and an adventure it was. But I remember nearly…

In Flanders’ Cities 3: Bruges

Posted April 12th, 2015
In Flanders’ Cities 3: Bruges

The forecast was splendid: sunny at 71 degrees, which is to say 22 degrees Celsius. We would be outdoors all day. We dressed accordingly, climbed on a train and got to Bruges by about 11:00. The walk to the Grote Markt, the center of town, is less than two kilometers, two incredibly pleasant and beautiful…