Blank Canvas

Today on Museum Bites we’re keeping it simple and taking a closer look at an art museum staple, the seemingly blank canvas. No battle scenes, fruit bowls or moody portraits here. Instead, these paintings are saturated in color. Seen gracing the walls of art museums—typically the modern art wing—all over the world these unadorned canvases often prompt some head scratching. What is the meaning behind this art? How can a painting featuring just one color be considered art? So today, I thought we’d nibble on these issues by sampling a collection of canvases I’ve come across on my travels. But first, let’s take a spin on the color wheel…

Beginnings & Endings

Grab your toga, because today on Museum Bites we’re kicking off the New Year Roman-style with a celebration of Janus. This ancient god of transitions was dutifully worshiped by the Romans and today is depicted in time, space, and art. Join me for a brief look at this uniquely Roman god. We begin by dialing back the clock approximately 3,000 years…

Making Merry

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here at Museum Bites and today we’re celebrating some of the generous gift givers featured in Christmas lore. Santa Claus, Father Christmas, and Saint Nicholas get top billing. But did you know Father Ice, a mischievous farm elf, and a leather-wearing Santa have all played a role in fostering Christmas cheer? Join me for a brief introduction to these festive folks. We begin in the wilds of the American frontier…

Ice, Ice Baby

Happy Friday! Today on Museum Bites we’re slipping and sliding into winter with a look at the history of ice skates. From ancient waterways to the Olympic Games, ice skates have played a fundamental role in our transportation, recreation, and sports. Join me for a brief twirl around the rink and learn how the ice skate was transformed from a humble pair of bones to hi-tech blades. We begin by dialing the clock back to the Bronze Age…

Tea Time: Reboot

We’re putting the kettle on to boil because it’s tea time here at Museum Bites. Whether you like it hot, iced, sweetened, mixed with lemonade (thank you Arnold Palmer) or beer (yes, that’s a thing), tea is the world’s most popular beverage. We not only drink it, we have used tea to forecast our future, treat our puffy eyes, soothe our sore throats and my personal favorite, cure baldness. Join me for a brief look at the amazing story of tea.

A Festive Leg to Stand On: Reboot

Happy Friday! Today on Museum Bites we’re touring the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. I stumbled across a lovely leg inside the Gallery of Greece, and it immediately brought to mind the fragile (fra-gee-lee!) leg lamp of A Christmas Story (1983) fame.

On the Rails: Part 2

All aboard! Today on Museum Bites we’re back on the rails and winding up our tour through the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In our second and final installment, we’ll climb mountains, commute in style, travel undercover, and discover how trains can foster gratitude. We begin in the Rocky Mountains…

On the Rails: Part 1

Today on Museum Bites we’re hitting the rails with a whirlwind tour through the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In this first of a two-part series, we’ll chug across the country plowing the rails, breaking speed records, and whipping up a batch of chowder. We begin on a bruising bus train…

Pillow Talk

Grab a blanket because today on Museum Bites we’re cozying up for some pillow talk. Whether you prefer fluffy or firm, pillows not only help us get a good night sleep, they cushion our tushes, stack up into handy forts, and add a soft but significant wallop in a friendly fight. The headrest, on the other hand, is the pillow’s stern ancestor. Handcrafted from wood, stone and a variety of other neck-crunching materials, the headrest looks more like a torture device than a means of inducing slumber. But headrest enthusiasts have touted both its practical and mystical virtues. Join me for a brief look at the art and history of these ancient sleep aids. We begin by dialing back the clock to ancient Egypt…

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