A beautiful day in Groningen. At the Groninger Museum we first saw Mondo Mendini, an exhibit about and by Alessandro Mendini. He designed the Groninger Museum’s building which opened 25 years ago. This exhibit celebrates that by giving Mendini free reign in putting it together. Mendini died shortly afterwards aged 87.

Then we moved to the Presence exhibit by Daan Roosegaarde, which was loads of fun for Y as well as us playing with light effects across multiple rooms.

After lunch we visited the new Forum building in the center of Groningen, and saw the AI: More Than Human traveling exhibit. Content wise rather disappointing. It’s very hard to build a captivating narrative around exhibits dealing with the digital, and this one was no exception. Y loved petting the Aibo robot though, and happily chatted with one of the staff about how ‘my two cats’ have teeth and could bite her finger but this little dog robot didn’t.

More photos

Today I had some appointments in Groningen, in the north of the Netherlands. On my way back to the railway station I walked past the Groninger Museum and noticed an exhibition by the US glass artist Dale Chihuly. I decided to use a bit of time to spare before taking the train back, and visit. Such spur of the moment decisions are made very easy because both E and I have a Museum card, which makes access to all Dutch museums free of charge, or with a small surcharge for special exhibits such as this one. It means only time and appetite determine the decision to visit an exhibition. And if it disappoints to simply walk out after a few minutes.

Chihuly’s work is about the artisanship involved in making large scale glass objects and installations. Forms, textures and riots of color. I find it endlessly fascinating to read the small stories about the difficulties of artisanal processes like these.

It’s why the hallway filled with notes, sketches, doodles and descriptions would have been enough of an attraction to me, although the finished objects often presented in combination with sketched preliminary studies were great too.