Lake Effect

Today on Museum Bites we’re taking the plunge, a polar plunge into Lake Michigan. Traversed by freighters, ferries, and fishers, its shores are dotted with lighthouses, sandy dunes, quaint beach towns, and bustling industry. Join me for a tour through the Grand Rapids Public Museum's Lake Michigan exhibit to learn more about this mighty lake’s impact on weather and waves. We begin by dialing back the clock to the Ice Age…

Cracklin’ Rosé

Happy Friday! Today on Museum Bites we’re bidding the polar vortex adieu with a robust glass of red. Wine is an ancient brew that dates back more than 7,000 years and throughout the ages, it has played an integral role in our lives. From grape to glass, we lovingly cultivate it, rejoice its harvest, take pains to pair it, and get sniffy about age and blend. And in all the fuss we’ve come up with some rather interesting wine accoutrement. Join me for a brief look at some of the wine gear I’ve come across in my travels. But first, a little background…

Fancy Feast

Pull up a chair because today on Museum Bites we’re setting the table for a fancy feast. We’ll sample whimsical tableware that will dazzle and amuse. During our tour, we’ll melt over butter, pay homage to mustard, and get into a pickle. We begin by rolling back the clock to the late 18th century…

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.

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