Sunday snaps: Munich’s toy museum

My photography, Outside London

While uploading the photographs from my latest weekend away, I’ve realised that I have thousands of photographs on various memory cards that have never seen the light of day – they’re frankly too pretentious for Facebook, and I need to admit to myself that I’m never going to get around to getting any of them printed. So as a new feature, I’m going to share some of them here every Sunday. Expect everything from the plastic horses of Brighton Pier to the tower blocks of sunny Croydon, with a few European cities thrown in for good measure.

Here’s the first installment – a few choice snaps from Munich’s Spielzeugmuseum, or toy museum, which I visited last week. It’s based in the top four floors of a clock tower in the city’s main square, Marienplatz, and houses everything from the original Steiff teddy bears from the early 1900s, to 1940s toy soldiers, to kitsch 1980s robots (which I think you’ll see I was quite taken with). Enjoy!

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Art exhibitions: is the price right?

Art, Free events, Outside London

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I’ve dedicated this blog to free art exhibitions. At around £13, the cost of a major art exhibition in London isn’t exactly unaffordable to me – but as a young(ish) person living in one of the world’s most expensive cities, having wisely chosen a notoriously low-paid line of work and served myself up a solid helping of student debt, it’s not high on my list of things I can spend money on without feeling, well, a bit guilty. I’d certainly find it hard to justify visiting more than one in a weekend, which isn’t really practical when you’re trying to write a regular (well, at least semi-regular) blog. And as I’m (to my great regret) only one person, it provides an easy way to filter down the hundreds of art shows going on every week into the ones I actually want to write about.

But what if art was cheaper? I recently spent a few days in Munich, and in between ingesting beers the size of my head and marvelling at the fact that people can actually style out lederhosen and dirndls as viable casual outfit options, I visited the Pinakothek der Moderne (above) – the city’s largest modern art and design museum. Its permanent collection houses a huge range of paintings from the early twentieth century onwards, including the likes of Picasso, Paul Klee and Otto Dix, and as a fan of inter-war debauchery I was extremely pleased to see a whole room dedicated to Max Beckmann’s dark, German Expressionist portraits of sinister, heavy-browed good-time girls, masked figures and people looking bored at parties. Exhibitions currently include Creating Realities, a show about the relationship between cinema and art including the disconcerting Sleepwalker by UK artist Clement Page; and a touching exhibition of photography by Nicholas Nixon entitled The Brown Sisters. 40 Jahre, showing photographs of the artist’s wife and her sisters taken every year on the same day for 40 years. There’s also an exhibition of work inspired by El Greco, from the likes of Kandinsky and Adolf Erbsloh, as well as a showcase of modern furniture design.