Marilyn Joslin Sklar
Architecture, art, and greetings. The London Seminar began today at the University of Westminster on Regent Street. Dr. Alan Morrison welcomed everyone. It took him awhile to get everyone's attention as we were still introducing ourselves and figuring out whether we all looked like our avatars. Some people do, some do not. Dr. Morrison introduced our other instructor, Peter Ride, and the program's very own Phyllis Hecht. After Dr. Morrison gave us a wonderful history of the university and building, we walked through the neighborhood and stopped occasionally as Dr. Morrison gave us backgrounds on many buildings, their history, and famous residents. We even stopped by a home where James Smithson once lived. Heard that name before? in Smithsonian? The group of nineteen students and three instructors made their way to the Wallace Collection. Dr. Morrison gave us a tour of some of its most famous paintings by artists such as Titian, Rubens, Steen, Rembrandt, and Boucher. The paintings alone were amazing. However, the galleries in this once elegant estate were also stunning. I wanted to grab a late afternoon snack at the cafe, but I headed back to my place of residence--Marylebone Hall. The orientation was a great treat. The days ahead hold much promise, challenge, and excitement. Adding to my thrill today was the discovery of a great bookshop on Marylebone High Street--Daunt Books! What a store! I will be back to spend more time! Tomorrow, we register, have a session on media and museums, and tour the British Museum with North American Curator Jonathan King. Among other things we will discuss the museums' "History of the World in 100 Objects" project. 

Please find below photos from today's events. I invite you to comment on this post or previous ones. I always want to hear your thoughts, feelings, and insights. 

Alan Morrison is pictured in the second photo, and Peter Ride in the third photo on the right. 
Churches and a cool store display. The first church seen above is the All Souls Church. 
Sculpture on the BBC building. Morrison stopped briefly here to point out the architecture and the sculpture. Now, don't you think that the cloud formation looks like the United Kingdom?
A red phone booth--an icon of London. A church. A broadcast tower. Cool window ironwork. And, a brief street tour about the Smithson House. Do you know what great institution benefited from the life of James Smithson? Finally, some street scenes. 
Dr. Morrison guides us through galleries at the Wallace Collection. The masters' works are woven into the display. 
Ruth Cuadra
7/11/2010 02:48:51 pm

Please give my regards to Alan Morrison. I enjoyed a very lovely conversation with him and his wife at AAM in Los Angeles as we waited for Lonnie Bunch's autograph on his new book, "Call the Lost Dream Back: Essays on History, Race and Museums".

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