As most people already know, Berkeley and San Francisco are absolutely amazing places to take in art and culture. In case you’ve fallen behind, here are a few highlights that I think are (to put it very unsophisticatedly) really, really awesome.
‘Silence’ at the Berkeley Art Museum/ Pacific Film Archive
If you haven’t already visited the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, you’re definitely missing out! Cal students get free admission to BAM (which is right next to campus on Bancroft St.), and PFA offers a substantial discount for their shows, so you have no excuse not to check out ‘Silence’. This thought-provoking exhibition spans decades of artistic experimentation and “considers the absence of sound as both subject and medium in modern and contemporary art and film”. In addition to works by Duchamp, Magritte, and many others at the BAM, the PFA is showcasing several relevant films, such as Bergman’s The Silence, which explore this enigmatic force and its significance. ‘Silence’ will be at the museum until April 28, but the ‘Sounds of Silence’ series runs from February 1-28.
For more information about ‘Silence’ at BAM, visit their website.
For movie showtimes for ‘Sounds of Silence’ at PFA, check out their listings.
Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ at the de Young Museum
‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ is only one of many lovely paintings from the 17th century Dutch Republic on display at the de Young until June 2nd. However, I think that many people, including myself, would admit that they’re most excited to see this luminous masterpiece by Johannes Vermeer (and yes, the painting was there before the Colin Firth movie). The de Young Museum is located inside Golden Gate Park, and is surrounded by many other great museums- a perfect setting for a San Francisco day trip. Admission, while discounted for students, is still a bit expensive at $21. But considering that seeing the ‘Girl’ in the flesh (so to speak) could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it’s well worth the price for art enthusiasts.
For more information about viewing ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ and purchasing tickets, visit de Young’s website.
Royal Treasures from the Louvre at the Legion of Honor
The California Palace of the Legion of Honor is an attraction unto itself. If you’ve ever seen Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’, you know how absolutely stunning this museum is from the outside, but it’s really the inside that matters. The Legion of Honor specializes in European art, housing famous pieces by Monet and Rodin, among other great artists. But because I’m fascinated by royalty’s obsession with shiny things, I’m excited for a special exhibition displaying treasures from France’s most decadent rulers, from the Sun King to Marie Antoinette. Many of these beautiful pieces have never even been to the United States, let alone removed from the Louvre. The Legion of Honor isn’t normally a hot destination for Cal students, mostly because it’s out of the common way. However, its amazing collection definitely justifies at least one visit, if not more. In any case, it’s not as far away as the Louvre!
For more information about the Royal Treasures from the Louvre exhibit, click here.
To learn more about this museum and the other interesting exhibits they have (The Book and the Binding, anyone?), visit the Legion of Honor’s website.
In Conclusion, Go Forth and See Things
It seems that all of these great exhibits will be around forever, but in reality, time flies, and visiting museums always ends up on my ‘things I was going to do this semester but never actually got around to doing’ list. Living in Berkeley, there are so many cultural opportunities within your reach that it’s almost criminal to let them slip away. So don’t- go out and see something really, really awesome this weekend. You won’t regret it.