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Violating Sanctions

An American Woman’s Listening Tour Through the Axis of Evil

The London Logs: The Portrait Gallery in a Snapshot

The Author By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | August 10th, 2012 | Comments No Comments

I expected the Portrait Gallery to be a stuffy museum of painted headshots of the royals. It’s not! The current exhibit is the entries in the annual portrait painting contest. (www.npg.org.uk)
auntie-by-aleah-chapin.jpg
The winning entry was a mesmerizing full body portrait of the painter’s elderly aunt – in the nude! The artist skillfully caught every unaltered wrinkle and twinkle and made me want to meet this saucy woman who looked like she didn’t play by the rules. (”Auntie” by Aleah Chapin)

Exposed my ignorance!

And there was “Road to 2012,” a dynamic series of photographs of Olympic contenders by a variety of photographers, including Nadav Kander who was previously commissioned by the New York Times to do a photographic series of the Obama family.

The Portrait Gallery is adjacent to the National Gallery (www.nationalgallery.org.uk), which houses an impressive collection of art spanning 500 years, ending with several rooms dedicated to the Impressionists.

Seven of Joseph Mallord William Turner’s works grace two walls in one room facing a comfy couch, allowing an opportunity to meditatively take in “Rain, Steam and Speed.”

Both museums are on Trafalagar Square, a short block from Leicester Square (pronounced “Lester,” as I keep getting corrected), where ½ price theatre tickets are sold. And both museums are free!

I’ll be back here tomorrow as I was seduced by a £10 balcony ticket (about $16 US) to the last night of the English National Ballet’s Swan Lake.
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Category: London
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