Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The National Gallery of Canada, alternately titled, Musee des beaux arts du Canada

There are some really big spiders in Canada, I don't know how they've hushed it up for so many years, but I finally saw one today leaving work.  Unlike Daddy-Long-Legs, which are too small to kill humans with their little tiny fangs, these nasty specimens are not too tiny.  Fortunately for the general American populace, the spiders favor cold climes.  Unfortunately, I am living in their prime realm of terror: Canada.

In Real Life, the spider is actually a Sculpture: Maman by Louise Bourgeois.  In 1999 Bourgeois was commissioned to fill a huge space (Turbine Hall) at the Tate Modern with an installation work.  This giant spider was part of the piece, it is the largest spider she has made.  After the installation went down, the spider decided to head westward to Canada.  It seems to be the unofficial mascot of the NGC.  Not exactly cuddly, but distinctive.

The Gallery.  It's like the Museum of the Future.  I think it looks awesome.  If only there were wind turbines nearby - the the Awesomeness would be complete.

The Gallery has little letter-combinations for all sorts of things.  NGC, MBAC (this one took me longer than it should have... your hint is, 'the museum has a French name as well'), RCL, PDP, and so on and so forth.  RCL is Restoration and Conservation Laboratory, a series of words summing up the various labs and people working in conservation.  PDP is Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, so I am simultaneously part of RCL and PDP.

This is the paper/photo conservation lab.  As the paper conservator Geoffery says, "We have the best view in the whole building."  It is true.  And the wall is just one big window/semi-skylight.

The infamous view out of the windows of the Prints, Drawings, and Photographs conservation lab.  Yes, that is the Ottawa river, and in the distance on the other side of the bridge, Quebec.  I'm thinking maybe I'll walk to Quebec this weekend.  Depends on the weather.

Don't be jealous.


Mum said...

Yes, I stood under that spider and touched one of it's legs. And I lived to tell the tale. Of course Jessica scolded me for touching the sculpture.

Anonymous said...

That is one awesome looking spider.I am sure that I would touch one of the legs too.
I did not picture the National Gallery in my mind to be so modern. It really is very attractive. Your view from the conservation lab is so tranquil. Yes, I am jealous. Enjoy.