Passports to Art

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We’re showcasing some of our favorite museums in some of destinations we serve.

With sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Town’s Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa  houses 100 galleries in a converted grain silo—the tallest building in sub-Saharan Africa. Devoted almost entirely to 21st-century creations from the African diaspora, this first-of-its-kind institution exhibits provocative installations that evoke the continent’s layered colonial past. Further afield, in hilly Stellenbosch, the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden, a dramatic six-acre expanse, is a maze of meandering fynbos paths, decked with Lewis’s striking bronze behemoths.  

Rooted in local traditions, New Delhi’s Sanskriti Museums, a trio of establishments displaying textiles, terracotta, and “everyday art,” are examples of how the mundane can be extraordinary. From featuring larger-than-life deities to an eye-catching collection of hand-crafted household items, the museums, which also host ceramics and painting workshops, are favorites among families. A trip to the Calico Museum, in Ahmedabad, India’s first UNESCO Heritage City is a must-visit for any fabric fanatic. Spanning five centuries, a kaleidoscopic array of textiles, representative of the diverse subcontinent itself, includes everything from Kalamakari block prints to intricate Kashmiri embroidery.

Less than a year old, the Museum of Contemporary Art Sri Lanka, which kicked off with an inaugural exhibition titled “One Hundred Thousand Small Tales,” a multi-disciplinary archive of the island nation, featuring 43 local artists, is emblematic of the institution’s commitment to honoring a multitude of perspectives. Perched on the 17th floor of the Colombo Innovation Tower in the heart of the Sri Lankan capitalthe trailblazing space doesn’t shy away from depicting the country’s tumultuous yet vibrant history.

Perched above a pre-Colombian temple, the Museo Larco teems with ancient art, namely, millenia-old ceramic heads, a provocative collection of erotic pottery, and a staggering collection of gold, which originally belonged to Peruvian royalty. Private tours, which are recommended, can be arranged by our sister company, Coddiwomple Journeys which specializes in a range of South American destinations. The knowledgable outfitter can also help facilitate a visit to Casa de Aliaga, Lima's oldest colonial mansion (eighteen generations of the same family have resided there), which traces its origins back to conquistador Francisco Pizarro, circa 1535.

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