Excursion to Escher

By Bryan Dosono

This past weekend, our professor encouraged self-directed excursions throughout the country. On Friday, several of the graduate students and I planned a trip to the Escher Museum, located in Den Haag. I’ve always been a fan of M.C. Escher’s art as a kid growing up, and I was absolutely psyched to get to see them in person. Transportation wise, it was less than a 40-minute train ride to the Hague from Rotterdam. Cheryl, Karl, and I took the scenic route to the museum, walking alongside the water canals. We were even followed in pursuit by the local swans for a short amount of time.

The swans of Den Haag.

Trees of Den Haag.

The museum itself was housed in a former palace, where the esteemed Queen Emma (1858-1898) once lived. The interior of the palace was surprisingly spacious and ornately decorated. Each of the rooms contained curious shapes of chandeliers, ranging from doves, to seahorses, to upside-down umbrellas. When organizing the event, I had no idea that the museum was displayed within such a royal mansion, so it was a surprising treat to get to view two separate collections for the price of one tour.

Exterior of the palace/museum.

Seahorse chandelier.

Though the palace decorations were eye-catching, everyone’s focus was on Escher’s mind-blowing works of art. He was able to portray his themes of eternity and infinity through lithograph and woodcut mediums. I really liked how he played with the concepts of cycles and metamorphosis through his tessellations. There were even rooms that allowed visitors to create their own optical illusions. Astounded by the mathematical constructs that transcended the bounds of reality, we all had a remarkable time getting warped inside the world of Escher.

Waterfall paradox.

Tesselation of angels and demons.

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About netherlanders2010

We are 21 students, one teacher, and a few info-groupies on a study abroad program in the Netherlands from August 22-September 17 2010. We will be working with faculty and researchers from the Virtual Knowledge Studio, the Erasmus Studio, and the Continuous Access to Cultural Heritage (CATCH) in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Hilversum, to study the ways in which research informs design in information systems and practice in the Netherlands. Plus, we'll spend a lot of time wandering around, going to libraries, museums, and the Oude Sluis, and doing whatever strikes our individual and collective fancies. Alstublieft!
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