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Posts tagged museums

Anne Frank House Secret Annex from Westertoren

anne Frank house secret annex from Westertoren

Anne Frank House Secret Annex from Westertoren

“Monday, July 26, 1943

Dearest Kitty,

Yesterday was a very tumultuous day, and we’re still all wound up. Actually, you may wonder if there’s ever a day that passes without some kind of excitement.

The first warning siren went off in the morning while we were at breakfast, but we paid no attention, because it only meant that the planes were crossing the coast. I had a terrible headache, so I lay down for an hour after breakfast and then went to the office at about two. At two-thirty Margot had finished her office work and was just gathering her things together when the sirens began wailing again. So she and I trooped back upstairs. None too soon, it seems, for less than five minutes later the guns were booming so loudly that we went and stood in the passage. The house shook and the bombs kept falling. I was clutching my “escape bag,” more because I wanted to have something to hold on to than because I wanted to run away. I know we can’t leave here, but if we had to, being seen on the streets would be just as dangerous as getting caught in an air raid. After half an hour the drone of engines faded and the house began to hum with activity again. Peter emerged from his lookout post in the front attic, Dussel remained in the front office, Mrs. van D. felt safest in the private office, Mr. van Daan had been watching from the loft, and those of us on the landing spread out to watch the columns of smoke rising from the harbour. Before long the smell of fire was everywhere, and outside it looked as if the city were enveloped in a thick fog.”

I’m guessing that the little window in the center of today’s photo is one of the windows those hiding in the Secret Annex were looking through during the above quoted air raid. Perhaps it is the loft window?

Tomorrow I’ll wrap up Anne Frank week with a wider angle view of this same location showing the canal and the long line of tourists waiting to get into the Anne Frank Museum.

Secret Annex bookcase

bookcase concealing secret annex

Actual bookcase that concealed those in hiding at Anne Frank House

“Friday, August 21, 1942

Now our Secret Annex has truly become secret. Because so many houses are being searched for hidden bicycles, Mr. Kugler thought it would be better to have a bookcase built in front of the entrance to our hiding place. It swings out on its hinges and opens like a door. Mr. Voskuijl did the carpentry work. (Mr. Voskuijl has been told that the seven of us are in hiding, and he’s been most helpful.)”

I had not done any research on what to expect when visiting the Anne Frank Museum. Normally at museums there are displays, photos, and such, but to actually encounter, and enter through, the bookcase that hid the Franks and the others in hiding at 263 Prinsengracht was a bit of a rush.

Anne Frank House

anne frank museum

Anne Frank House - 263 Prinsengracht

“Friday, July 10, 1942

After we arrived at 263 Prinsengracht, Miep quickly led us through the long hallway and up the wooden staircase to the next floor and into the Annex.”

anne frank house sign

Sign on the Anne Frank House - Anne Frank Huis

The Anne Frank House is now a museum. In it you will find not only the rooms she describes in such detail (pretty much as they were when Anne lived there in the early 1940s), but also pages from her original diary and the clippings she herself decorated the walls with (now covered in protective glass).

Malmö Museer (Malmo, Sweden Museum)

Malmö Museer

Malmö Museum exhibition of pig-headed humans

I had been through Malmö, Sweden a number of times on the train. Once I even went outside the train station, but it was raining so hard I couldn’t really see anything. With just a few days left in Scandinavia, and nothing else to do after several consecutive days of poor weather in Copenhagen, we decided to head over to Malmö with the hope that the weather would get a bit better. It didn’t.

What do you do when sightseeing in lousy weather? You go to museums. We went to Malmö Museer which is connected to the 15th Century Malmöhus Castle. Neither were spectacular in the rain, and I’m guessing they aren’t in good weather either.

Malmo Museum was the wackiest museum I’ve ever encountered. The exhibits are not in English; not that that would make much difference. The exhibits are seemingly random. Walk in one room to find natural history, the next is about a concentration camp, the next is an aquarium, and the next may very well be an art gallery featuring pig-headed humans. This place was absolutely bizarre, although I don’t think it intended to be such which made it rather sad.

Malmö Museer eco design

Malmö Museer "No Shit! Eco Design" exhibit

This was about the only sign in English, and it rather well sums up the craziness of the place.

Pondering Picasso

Japan - Tokyo - Ueno Park - National Museum of Western Art - Pablo Picasso - Couple

My random wallpaper today features me gazing at a Picasso that can be found at the National Museum of Western Art, a museum in Ueno Park that I visited in 1989 and then again in 2009 when this photo was taken.

Interconnected bike sculpture

In the Mori Art Museum in late 2009 there was an exhibit called “Ai Weiwei: According to What?” Some of the works in the exhibit had an interconnected theme. This bike sculpture reminded me a bit of something by M.C. Escher.

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