Sometimes you don’t even have to leave the country in order to travel and see the world. You can still get your cultural fill by visiting small and slightly obscure museums such as this, the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm, Sweden.
Although small, the museum displays antiquities from Egypt, Cyprus as well as Greece and Rome. In order to take full advantage of what the museum has to offer, I suggest viewing the collection in combination with a tasty light lunch at their Bagdad Café. The interiors are simple but their feta cheese, aubergine salad with olives and pine nuts is absolutely amazing.
I certainly wouldn’t mind bringing a few of the beautiful white marble statues from the collection home with me. Imagine the stunning interiors and baroque garden that could be created with such additions.
When the weather is as gorgeous as this, there’s nothing quite as nice as taking advantage of it by being outdoors. Therefore, I chose to spend my day in the beautiful Uppsala Botanical Garden exploring the park, orangery and tropical greenhouse.
The botanical garden also offered a very flattering vantage point for viewing the 16th-century royal castle.
Apart from exotic plants and beautiful landscapes there was also a series of stunning photographs on exhibit that took its inspiration from plants such as linnaea or linnéa.
In the orangery there was an art exhibition by artist Ulla Viotti entitled brick garden and also a terrific cacti house that made me want add a few cacti to my otherwise only orchid collection.
It’s not everyday that a rousing exhibition such as this presents itself so it’s always important to take advantage. Retrospectives are especially exciting as it offers a large selection of an artist’s work in one setting allowing the viewer to observe the breadth of their work and development.
I’m a big fan of Helmut Newton’s black and white fashion photography which to this very day continues to command our attention with its modern, edgy perspective. However, have a more difficult time finding purpose or pleasure in his female nudes of pornographic and sadomasochistic tendency.
As he himself put it, “I love vulgarity. I am very attracted by bad taste – it is a lot more exciting than that supposed good taste which is nothing more than a standardized way of looking at things… If the art world rejects me, all I can say is ‘good luck to the world of art.’ If I look for a real point of view, I’m not going to start by looking at what art will accept so I can conform to that. That’s why… sadomasochism still seems interesting to me today. I always carry chains and padlocks in my car trunk, not for me but for my photos.” -Helmut Newton, Press conference, Austria, 1984
It’s been a new experience discovering Uppsala, Sweden with its many historic buildings such as Uppsala Cathedral which dates back to the late 13th century, Uppsala Castle from the 16th century, Uppsala University which was founded in 1477, and one of Uppsala University’s renowned scholars Carolus Linnaeus’s garden and house.
Although I’ve been extremely busy with the apartment renovation and interior design project that I’m currently working on, I’ve managed to squeeze in a bit of time to explore my surroundings. Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve found so far.
Had a phenomenal Saturday evening at Drottningholm Palace with Christopher O’Regan and the dazzling actor Johan Rabaeus who’ll play the character Salieri in the upcoming play Amadeus at The Royal Dramatic Theatre, (Dramaten).
The evening was a triumphant success with a mix of theatrical readings by the talented Johan Rabaeus, then Christopher O’Regan narrating the audience through the good and the bad of life during the late 1700s with classical interludes performed by a small ensemble playing music by Mozart, Kraus, Roman and more.
Picked up a signed copy of Christopher O’Regan’s book En Bädd av Dun, Livet Vid Gustaf III:s Hov (A Bed of Down, Life At Gustaf III’s Court) which I can’t wait to begin reading.
Then, an after party in the company of Johan Rabaeus. Splendid!
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk exhibition at the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design is a total must see!
I first heard about the exhibition a year ago when lucky me spent the afternoon picking the brain of one of Gaultier’s nearest and dearest friends and colleagues. Ever since I’ve been waiting in anticipation to see the outcome of the exhibition and let me tell you it did not disappoint. So, if you find yourself in Stockholm, Sweden at the moment or in the near vicinity this is one of those exhibitions you just shouldn’t miss.
Lots of fierce and elaborate corsets were on show throughout the exhibition. My favorite corset was a sleek, tight crocodile front laced corset. Then to offset my previous choice, I also fell for a fabulous soft powder pink diva-esque corset like the one from the Gaultier fragrance.
Jean Paul Gaultier has effectively proved himself a master of the hard, soft comb juxtaposing both materials and cut.
Pre-raphaelite much? Certain looks might as well have come straight from a Dante Gabriel Rossetti painting.
Each summer I find myself in Sweden for a short while and up until now that has meant only spending time in Stockholm, but for this trip I’ll be a little north of Stockholm in Uppsala for a very special project that I’m working on. It’s extreme makeovers – home edition.
I’m doing a big favor for a very special person in my life who’s just bought a new apartment and asked me to help with renovations such as stripping the walls of questionable wallpaper, numerous other tasks and then decorating the apartment.
Needless to say I’m much more looking forward to the decorating phase than the heavy duty renovations but I have the best crew working with me so I’m certain the apartment will look absolutely amazing by the time we’re done.
I hopped on a jet plane with the plan of landing in Sweden but instead it seems I’ve ended up in the 1700s. What a treat! The beautiful Linnaeus Garden (Linnéträdgården) in Uppsala played host to a fabulous event, a 1700s fair with authentic food, music, and interesting lectures.
Unfortunately I left my white, high, curly 1700s wig in Tokyo but that didn’t stop others from getting dressed up in terrific costumes.
The garden laid out in the French Style, is a reconstruction of what the garden would have looked like following Linnaeus’ and Carl Hårleman’s design from 1745.
One of the lectures included recipes, advice and food from the 1700s that was highly effective in painting a picture of what life might have been like at the time and let me tell you it was far less glamorous than the Marie Antoinette lifestyle I had envisioned and hoped for.
I also have to share the amazing Swedish program entitledHistorieätarna (which roughly translates to the history eaters) where a pair of brave and highly entertaining individuals live, eat, dress and drink their way through different eras authentically. I highly recommend watching episode 5 of 6: Frihetstiden but bear in mind that the program is entirely in Swedish.
Sunday, Sunday… Marie Antoinette candle from Cire Trudon, Paris, Ladurée Marie Antoinette thé, and what better to indulge in than a little bit of scandalous living with The Queen’s Lover? (by Francine du Plessix Gray, The Penguin Press New York, 2012)
This historical novel told from the point of view of Count Axel von Fersen, lets you in on the untold love story, phsst, as if there was ever something going on there… between my darling von Fersen and Marie Antoinette. It all begins with a masquerade ball in Paris in 1774 and spans the course of the French Revolution. Fersen joined the French troops in the fight for American independence. Upon his return, France is on the brink of the French Revolution, which calls for an escape for the royal family, an attempt that failed. Back in Sweden, Fersen came to be viewed as the enemy and lost his life to a savage mob. Drama!
Steninge Palace, outside Stockholm, Sweden, is a baroque palace built between 1694-1698 and completed around 1705. It was inspired by Chateau-de-Vaux-le-Vicomte in France. In 1735, it was bought by the Fersen family. Axel von Fersen was murdered in 1810, falsely accused of conspiracy but later acquitted.