WVU in Europe…Brussels.

In March, I spent ten days in Europe with students and colleagues from West Virginia University. Officially, two WVU Art History Professors (Janet Snyder and Rhonda Reymond) were conducting GPS: France courses and WVU Photography Professor Michael Sherwin and I were along to help and do some research into our own potential study abroad courses.

March 7th-9th we were in Brussels. I absolutely loved Brussels! After Paris, Brussels felt a little more grounded, it felt more like a working city. Obviously, Brussels still had the amazing architecture, and parts of the city felt grandiose like Paris, but it always felt like I was seeing people dressed in normal clothes going to work. There is so much to see, and while we ate great food, drank really good beer, and saw so many things, these are a few of the highlights…

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St. Michael Cathedral, just blocks away from where we stayed. Remember that we were actually in Europe to study stained glass? Beautiful cathedral!

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East wing of the Town hall completed in 1420 in The Grand Place

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Guildhalls on the Grand Place…

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The Museum of the City of Brussels, again, in The Grand Place…

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The Magritte Museum was a pleasant surprise. Like many young artists, I really liked Magritte in High School and College, but never really thought about his work much since then. This museum definitely gave me a new appreciation for him and his work.

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His interests in language, context, and meaning was revealed to me in a new light. Obviously there are some overlaps with my own artistic interests here…

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Great poster!

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One of the MAIN HIGHLIGHTS of Brussels though was a visit to the Théâtre Royal de Toone! The entrance was down a narrow alleyway, and was very non-assuming.

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This space has been putting on puppet shows for decades! We started out with a drink in the cafe, surrounded by the posters of previous performances. Dr. Janet Snyder responding to one!

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The entrance to the theater! Everything was so historic and kind of magical, it was really amazing!

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We saw a performance of “Cyrano de Bergerac”. The puppets are kind of massive, and you get a sense of the physicality of the performance. Although the entire production was in French, in which I do not speak a word, it was still an amazing performance! Because I know the basic premise of the story, and because Janet gave us little updates throughout, I could follow along pretty well.

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A drink in the cafe for intermission…

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This is what the whole scene looked like, it was amazing! Such a great time in Brussels!

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