Valencia: two great little exhibitions

On a recent trip to Valencia, I came across a couple of small exhibitions that are worth checking out if you get the chance.  Both are at MUVIM (Museo Valenciano de la Ilustracion y la Modernidad / The Valencia Museum of the Enlightment and Modernity), an airy gallery that features a number of exhibitions.  The first is “Gardens of Sand” (Jardines de Arena), a series of high quality scanned images of photos of the Middle East between 1859 and 1905 – a different world in a different time.  Some stunning, intricate shots, full of character.

The second exhibition – “Handcrafted sounds” (Sonidos Artesanos) – is in two small rooms, the first mainly featuring some beautifully crafted guitars and lutes (it would have been amazing to hear them being played), and the second with a pianola and a series of drums.  It won’t take a long time to go round, and the dark, cool rooms – that contrast vividly with the blisteringly hot, blindingly bright city outside – have a real sense of calm that nicely complements the instruments.

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