Friday, 26 February 2010

out and about in Utrecht

Another weekend and another day trip! Lovin' it. This time it was destination Utrecht, a lovely city about half an hour by train from Amsterdam.
A great town for meandering aimlessly.

The double-decker canals are fabulous.
We walked along the Oudegracht which had a slew of antique and second hand shops – heaven. One bookstore had these fab vintage book covers.I know it's winter but we couldn't resist these beautiful felt leaves. They're probably meant to be something dull like coasters, but they will be special seasonal decoration in our house when autumn next arrives. From Emma B, about €2.95 a pop.Just down the road was Vaen. Nice wallpaper (above) and some nice retro stuff inside (below).
Kleingoed winkel is like a Good Will or Salvation Army store. Fab. Lots of interesting bits. I picked up this great brown and orange ceramic jug for €4.50. What a steal.
Poor Ted.Museum Catharijneconvent we very nearly walked straight by. It's a museum of the present and past of Christianity in the Netherlands. No, not really a museum I ever imagined I'd willingly go to, but it was actually a beautiful museum and really interesting. All set in a beautiful medieval monastery.
As you walk into the main hall there's a great side panel of modern stain glass:
Some detail and sections of the stained glass window, 'Apocalypse', by Marc Mulders.
I really liked this modern interpretation of the Madonna and child.
Before you even enter the main gallery space there's a dark cave of glittering treasure.
I'm not religious, but I love these pieces for their gilts and craft work.
Yes, these are real diamonds.
Some nice skull action. And below, some fancy glove work.
Then an amazing exhibition, Lingam. "The exhibition Lingam in Museum Catharijneconvent Utrecht presents 122 contemporary interpretations of an age-old Eastern religious fertility symbol. At the invitation of guest curator Ruudt Peters, artists, designers, and jewellery makers from 24 countries – including Marcel Wanders, Ted Noten, and Johanna Schweizer – have drawn inspiration from this ancient tradition of fertility symbolism." Really unexpected, but really some great pieces. hard to snap, here are just a few that photographed well. There's a great exhibition catalogue. Above, Malebow by Sam Tho Duong, 1969, Germany.
Corn Cob, David Bielander, 1968, Germany.
Other Side, Ruud Peters, 1950, The Netherlands. Read more about the exhibition in English here.
These images are from the permanent collection.
Detail from an incredible book cover.
And then this brings me to the last exhibition, which was aimed at children, but very enjoyable. Centering on holidays we all celebrate, this exhibition explains where these days originated from. Apparently it's not all about getting presents and eating chocolate...
I have know idea what this is, but it's incredible.
Boat chocolate mould.
And really nicely designed exhibition space.
The main room.
Ceiling detail.
Lovely tile work.And another interesting building.
So that was Utrecht. Really fabulous day out if you're looking for something to do this weekend.
And I'll leave you with this. Yes, a UFO on top of a building. Keep your eyes peeled for it.

Museum Catharijneconvent
Lingam: 7 Jan - 26 Feb 2010. Now extended to March 14.
Open: Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm. Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday's 11am to 5pm.
Closed 1 Jan, and Queens Day. Cost: adult €9. Free with Museum Kaart.

Emma B
Oudegracht 218, corner of Hamburgerstraat, Utrecht.

Oudegracht 246, Utrecht.
Kringloop Centrum Utrecht "De Arm"
Winkels Oudegracht, Oudegracht 247, 253 and 269, Utrecht.

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