Top 5 Art Exhibits to See in 2014: From Vancouver to Venice

It’s that time again when we ArtSmart bloggers write about a designated topic each interpreting the month’s theme in our own way. This month it is, as the title suggests, Art to See in 2014. You can read more from my fellow ArtSmart members at the bottom of this post.

With the holidays now done it’s time to look to the new year. I’ve got a lot of places to visit and art to see and this list is a cumulation of both my top galleries to visit and a bucket list of both exhibitions, artists to see, and art museums to visit. Happy new year and may it be filled with art!

Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Steps of Daru  Photo credit:
Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Steps of Daru Photo credit:

Where: Louvre, Paris, France
What to see: The Winged Victory of Samothrace & the Daru Staircase
When: Reopening Summer 2014

I am ecstatic to be going to Paris for my first time come this June/July. I think the Louvre is on everyone’s list of must-see museums when they first visit the city. But I am also sure there have been many people who have walked away a little heart broken or maybe dumbfounded because they didn’t see the Winged Victory. No it wasn’t because they became lost inside the Louvre – although I am sure that’s what many had thought after leaving. The Louvre was actually cleaning the iconic 2nd century Greek statue and the Daru Staircase. Cleaning began in September 2013 and takes approximate 18 months to dismantle each piece, take inventory, clean the various kinds of marble then reassemble. The popular masterpiece will be reopened in Summer of 2014 so do keep an eye out. I certainly will be!

Pal Gauguin, Vision After the Sermon; Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, 1888
Pal Gauguin, Vision After the Sermon; Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, 1888 Photo credit:

Where: MoMa, New York
What to see: Gauguin, Metamorphoses
When: March 8th – June 8th 2014

Paul Gauguin has always been an interest of mine. His later work appeals to me both as an art enthusiast and as a traveler. But it is his personality that keeps me returning to his work. Art Historian Paul Johnson describes him most thoroughly as a “self-indulgent scoundrel.”  He left his children and wife and ventured from France to Tahiti where he took other wives and even wrote to his wife about them. He was a storyteller or other people might call him a liar where he created elaborate myths to accompany his paintings. 
MoMa’s particular exhibit is focusing on his preliminary sketches that gave way to some of his more famous paintings in Tahiti as well as France enabling analyzation of his entire body of work.

Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver  Photo credit:
Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver Photo credit:

Where: Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, British Columbia
What to see: Speaking to Memory: Images & Voices of the St. Michael’s Residential School
When: On now until March 2nd 2014

I have studied both the architecture and contents of Vancouver’s UBC’s Museum of Anthropology building during my years at the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus. It being a short 4 hour away and the amount of times I have visited Vancouver it’s an astonishing fact that I have yet to see it in the flesh.
I have chosen this particular exhibition and museum because it helps create a more in depth idea of the history of Canada. Too often the history of residential school and the First Nation’s children, who were stripped away from their families as well as their cultures to attend the school (many of them abused) in order to become assimilated, is swept away and ignored. This exhibitions focuses on the children who attended St Michael’s Indian residential school in Alert Bay, BC. Photos are provided by a woman who attended the school in childhood and had taken a camera to take images of her friends. The photos end up revealing residential school life as experienced by the children who were trying to carry on without their families and customs. 
If you do not know of Canada’s residential schools, implemented in 1879 to rid the nation of the “Indian problem” by imposing assimilation, I highly suggest you visit the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. This exhibit reveals a sad history that should not be ignored.


Peggy Guggenheim, Venice, Italy  Photo credit:
Peggy Guggenheim, Venice, Italy Photo credit:


Where: Peggy Guggenheim, Venice, Italy
What to see: For Your Eyes Only. A Private Collection, From Mannerism to Surrealism
When: May 17th – August 31st

One of my all time favourite galleries is the Peggy Guggenheim in Venice. If you go I highly recommend getting tickets to an event night where you’ll receive drink tickets and can do your own tour of the gallery after hours. There is nothing more memorable than the Guggenheim courtyard at night with neon and sculptural art, an Aperol sprits in your hand pouring a cheers before Peggy Guggenheim’s tombstone and a plaque remembering her 14 dogs. 
The Peggy Guggenheim collection features Dada, Futurism to Surrealism to name a few movements represented. This particular exhibition, on the other hand, ranges from the Middle Ages to today. It’s the first time these works are being shown together and the juxtaposition, from Pietre Brueghel to Warhol, reveals the eclectic tastes of the collectors (much like this list reveals my personal art taste) as much as the realization of art over the ages.

Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942  Photo credit:

Where: Art Institute of Chicago
What to see: Art & Appetite: American Painting, Culture and Cuisine
When: On now until January 27th, 2014

One gallery I am sad I won’t be able to check out this year is the Art Institute of Chicago which is now featuring the Art & Appetite exhibit. Over 100 works of art are on show display cuisine and the culture of dinning. From fast food to home cooked meals this show is a foodie’s dream collection and offers works from the 1880s to today. The way we have socialized over the years has always revolved around food, drink and a table. The social situations surrounding the table may change and so may the food but the act of gathering, as family and friends or even solo travellers looking for escape, for just one bite or drink, remains constant. Today chefs are regarded as celebrities, local produce is heralded in fine dinning and fast food establishments are continuously popping up around the world. This exhibition tackles all of that and reveals the art of eating in American culture past, present and perhaps future.
Plus: Check out the Chicago Art Institute’s Online Cookbook curated by Chicago’s top culinary talents.

Top photo credit of Louvre:


Erin of A Sense of Place wrote: Shows not to be Missed in Boston
Christina of Day Dream Tourist wrote: Threatened Venice
Jenna of This is my Happiness wrote: Art Exhibitions to Catch in 2014
Alexandra of ArtTrav wrote: Art to See in Florence, 2014
Lesley of Culture Tripper wrote: Reopening of the Mauritshuis, The Hague 

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6 Responses to Top 5 Art Exhibits to See in 2014: From Vancouver to Venice

  1. The Chicago show is a fab idea for an exhibition! Their cafe is rather tasty, too 🙂

    I didn’t get to see the Winged Victory at the Louvre because that whole wing was SO crowded. Their new Islamic Art wing is worth checking out.

  2. What a wonderful list of places to visit with some incredible not to be missed Art Exhibits!
    I too wish I could manage to get to Chicago to see the Art and Appetite exhibit but sadly I think I have filled my January calendar…

    • Thanks April!
      I have yet to go to Chicago but I also know that January isn’t the best time to visit due to the cold. I do hope something similar is curated at my nearby Vancouver gallery. It sounds like such an interesting show.
      Happy new year!

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Hi! I'm Murissa and I live in the Okanagan Wine Valley of British Columbia, Canada. I enjoy traveling around the world for food and local spirits. I consider myself a Champagne enthusiast and enjoy sharing my conquests on this website since 2011. Follow along as I explore my home wine valley and dabble in the occasional globetrotting. Soon to be raising a foodie of my own come July 2018!

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