ABBA Museum To Open In Stockholm

abbaDancing Queens, get dancing, an ABBA museum is opening in Stockholm.

ABBA The Museum will open its doors in the Swedish capital on May 7. It covers the complete history of the disco group and will display their gold records, crazy ’70s costumes, and even reproductions of their recording studio and dressing rooms.

As visitors pass through the museum they’ll be treated to different music in each room. One room is dedicated to ABBA’s song “Ring, Ring” and has a phone that ABBA band members will occasionally call to have a talk with fans.

The Museum is a part of the new Swedish Music Hall of Fame, which has exhibitions on the history of Swedish popular music, a Hall of Fame dedicated to Sweden’s stars, and temporary exhibitions.

You’ll have to be a real ABBA fan to visit this place, though. Adult tickets cost 195 krona, or $29.54. At least the tickets get you into the Swedish Music Hall of Fame too.

[Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons]

Courtney Love Opens Her First Art Exhibition

Courtney Love
Courtney Love has opened the first museum exhibition of her artwork at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Connecticut.

“Mentoring Courtney Love: David LaChapelle and Courtney Love” showcases Love’s artwork and examines the role artist David LaChapelle has played in mentoring the musician’s experiments in a new medium. Love’s artwork on display are all portraits sketched on paper using a variety of methods such as pastel, watercolor, graphite, colored pencil, charcoal, acrylic and marker. Some are self-portraits, such as this one shown here courtesy of the museum. It’s titled “Don’t You Know Who I Am, 2012.”

David LaChapelle is an artist and photographer who focuses on realistic portraits. He was a protégé of Andy Warhol.

“Mentoring Courtney Love: David LaChapelle and Courtney Love” runs until August 10. If you can’t make it to the exhibition, a 360-degree view is available on the museum’s website.

[Image courtesy the Lyman Allyn Art Museum]

Samurai! The Art Of The Japanese Warrior Comes To Boston

Samurai
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is showcasing a large collection of samurai armor and art from one of the world’s leading private collections.

Samurai! Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection” opens this Sunday, April 14, and features more than 140 objects, such as this horse and rider. Visitors will learn about the complex typology of these elegant suits and how they developed over time. For example, this horse armor (bagai), horse mask (bamen) and horse tack (bagu) date from the early to mid-Edo period, 17th–18th century. They’re made of leather, gold, fabric, wood, horsehair and lacing. The armor is of the tatehagidō type and dates to the 17th century. It’s made of iron, leather, gold and fur.

Beside numerous suits of armor for men and horses, there are also weapons, military equipment and brilliant silk screens showing samurai in battle. The helmets are especially diverse and were used to show off the wearer’s status and individual identity, and as a way to put fear into the hearts of the enemy.

What’s remarkable about some of these suits of armor is that they were made long after the heyday of the samurai had finished, but Japan’s wealthy elite still hearkened back to the age when their ancestors fought in armor such as this. Europe, of course, went through a similar process of glorifying the medieval knights.

“Samurai! Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection” runs through August 4.

Photograph by Brad Flowers. © The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Dallas. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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Louvre Shut Due To Violent Gang Of Pickpockets

Louvre
The Louvre temporarily closed on Wednesday due to a strike protesting trouble with violent pickpockets.

The Guardian reports more than a hundred staff walked out on Wednesday in protest over “increasingly aggressive” gangs of pickpockets that harass both visitors and staff. Staff members who have tried to stop the criminals have been kicked and spat at. The strikers are demanding extra security.

The popular art museum in Paris is now open again, according to the Louvre’s website, but the problem isn’t solved. With the influx of art aficionados, there will be an understratum of the criminal element.

Pickpocketing is a serious problem in many parts of Europe. While I’ve lived in Europe for more than a decade, I’ve never been a victim. Perhaps it’s because I used to live in New York City and learned to pay attention. I’m a frequent passenger on both the Madrid Metro and the London Underground, both notorious hotspots for pickpocketing. I always keep my wallet in my front pocket with my thumb hooked into that pocket and my fingers resting on the outside of my pants touching my wallet. Sure, that signals where my wallet is, but good luck trying to get it.

Pickpockets often target families with small children because the parents are distracted. When I’m in the Metro with my wife and little boy, my wife watches the kid while I watch them, with my hand on my wallet the entire time. Nobody has ever managed to rob us.

So if you’re planning a trip to the Louvre, or to Europe, or to New York City, pack your street smarts along with your guidebook.

Do you have any other tricks to foil pickpockets? Share them in the comments section!

[Photo courtesy Benh Lieu Song]

A Look Inside The David Bowie Exhibition At London’s Victoria & Albert Museum

David Bowie
David Bowie is a pop star. David Bowie is a designer. David Bowie is an actor. David Bowie is a painter.

David Bowie is a lot of things, which is why it’s appropriate that his retrospective at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum is titled “David Bowie Is.”

The museum gained unprecedented access to the David Bowie archive to select five decades of mementos like this striped bodysuit designed for the 1973 Aladdin Sane tour. There are plenty more of Bowie’s crazy costumes on display, as well as photos, video, handwritten lyrics and original album art. Many of the pieces are by Bowie himself, showing off his range of artistic talents. More than 300 items make up the exhibition and it’s the largest of its kind ever shown in public.

The exhibition traces Bowie’s evolution as an artist and his collaborations on various projects. Video screens show some of his music videos and excerpts from films such as “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

There is also a series of special events related to the exhibition, including lectures and a chance for kids to design their own album cover.

“David Bowie Is” runs until August 11.

[Image © Sukita/The David Bowie Archive 2012]

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