By Gail Uilkema, NDSC Advisor, Docent, San Francisco Asian Art Museum (July 2018)
The Iran National Museum consists of two large buildings, one dedicated to pre-Islamic art and the other to Islamic art. The pre- Islamic building was designed by the French architect Andre Godard and completed in 1937. The complex dedicated to Islamic art was completed in 1972 and recently renovated. The architecture of both buildings reflects Persian culture. The vaulted entrance to the pre-Islamic building is designed like the entrance to many mosques and the cool white marble of the Islamic museum is reminiscent of the beautifully peaceful interiors of many Persian historic buildings.
Photos: Iran National Museum Buildings (courtesy of Wikipedia)
By Linda Oidtmann, NDSC Regional Director; Docent, Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College
In February, when icy winds blow snow across the grey-brown landscape of New Hampshire, I pack my bags and head to Qatar for my annual month-long sojourn to visit family.
Qatar is a thumb-sized peninsular Arab country sticking out into the Persian Gulf from the eastern side of Saudi Arabia. Qatar is a multi-hued sandy, sun-warmed land of arid desert, high dunes, stony beaches and fascinating contrasts. Walking along Doha’s Corniche, a four-mile promenade on Doha Bay, you can begin amongst the futuristic skyscrapers and end up at the Souq Waqif, a busy market area of shops selling traditional garments, gold jewelry, household utensils, spices and handmade souvenirs. You’ll experience a glorious assault to your senses from the fragrances and cooking aromas wafting out of the many restaurants featuring Middle-Eastern menus and Shisha lounges.
By Judith Weitzman, Docent, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland (May, 2018)
Recently, twelve art enthusiasts, including nine docents from the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, made a week-long trip to Venice with an art historian and teacher, Dr. Aneta Georgievska-Shine. Dr. Shine is on the faculty of the University of Maryland. The tour was privately arranged: several docents heard Dr. Shine speak about Venetian art and took the initiative to ask her to lead a group tour. One traveler described her as a “Pied Piper of art” as she led us on a “Slow Art” journey. Spending a week in one location allowed us to “go deep,” to concentrate on new restorations and re-installations, and to appreciate special exhibitions and hidden treasures. As another docent described it, “Six and one half days filled with Byzantine and Renaissance art, in the company of caring people, restores, revives and uplifts. Venice is a treasured gift.”