Art in Europe in 2013


Eileen O’Donnell Schlichting
Eileen O’Donnell Schlichting at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.


On April 13, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will reopen, after being closed for 10 years. Tickets went on sale mid-March. This is a must-see and will draw art-lovers from the world over. This has been a long-awaited opening.

The Venice Biennale will take place this year from June 1 to November 24. I rely on IC Bellagio to arrange for the perfect hotel and an expert guide who will consult with my clients on their schedule and take them through the exhibits. There is so much art to see that it can be overwhelming without the assistance of a pro.

Surrealism is big right now—and in Madrid, the Thyssen-Bornemisza will have a special exhibit on “Surrealism and the Dream” running from August 12 to December 1, 2013. The exhibit will plumb the connection between dreams and images in surrealism, using paintings, drawings, photos and sculpture from such artists as Dali, Breton, Tanguy, Magritte and Nougue. Virginia Irurita at Made for Spain can assemble a personal program, with a docent for the show, hand-picked accommodations and great dining experiences. 

London has three delightful special exhibitions coming up. The classicists and archaeologists who serve as docents for Context Travel are gearing up for “Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum,” an innovative show that runs from March 28 to September 29 at the British Museum that will paint a picture of daily life in Herculaneum and Pompeii before the eruption of Vesuvius, as well as its aftermath. Rockers will want to head to “David Bowie Is,” an extravaganza at the Victoria and Albert Museum from March 23 to July 28 that will feature Bowie’s glam costumes, photos and videos, set designs, lyrics, and films. 

My favorite Paris museum, the D’Orsay delves into the imagination with “The Angel of the Odd: Dark Romanticism from Goya to Max Ernst.” You might want a glass of absinthe to accompany this tour of paintings, graphic works and etchings that will show that vampires and ghouls haunted viewers long before Twilight.

I adore art-filled Flanders, which will have two notable openings in 2013. The M Museum in Leuven, Belgium, has a special show on Michael Coxcie, the 16th-century painter who has been called “the Flemish Raphael.”

In Antwerp, on September 27, the Red Star Line Museum will open to tell the story of the immigrants who traveled on the Red Star Line from Central and Eastern Europe to the New World.

Three important exhibitions will feature women artists: designer Eileen Gray at the Pompidou Centre in Paris; Meret Oppenheim at the Bank Austria Kunstforumin Vienna, and Hilma of Klint at the ModernaMuseet in Stockholm, Sweden.

Berlin has not only always been a great art city, with its combination of historical museums and cutting-edge galleries, but it’s also adept at combining arts and nightlife. On April 27 there will be 200 late-night opera and theater performances around the town. 

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