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“Really Vietnam”

Fine Arts Museum (Bao Tang My Thuat)
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Half-Day Hanoi Motorbike Tour
Ranked #18 of 276 things to do in Hanoi
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This museum was opened in 1966. Though in need of updating, some interesting artifacts are on display in its three floors organized chronologically.
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level Contributor
90 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Really Vietnam”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 23, 2012

Capitals have art museums and most have the European, Japanese, American masters. This museum just across the street from the popular Temple of Literature, is really local. The beautiful French era building is full of relics, not all well-preserved, from the pre-colonial, 20th century colonial and revolutionary times. IT's a lovely building and a great window on their culture.
The garden area is a welcome respite from the noisy street.

Thank HanoiFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“The buddha sculptures alone are worth a visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2012

Well worth a visit. Things we liked included an exhibition of modern work by contemporary artists, the textiles floor showcasing hill-tribe costumes that inspired us to go to Sapa and some great rice-paper prints which we later saw being sold in the Old Quarter's Ancient House.

Visited January 2012
Thank jonckher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
39 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Interesting collection”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2012

From ancient to contemporary, folk arts and domestic art, this collection is spread across two buildings and three floors. I was a bit "museumed out" by the time I got here and still enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the quiet - a respite from the noise of the city!

Visited January 2012
Thank AnnieNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
72 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Thoughtfully displayed, suprisingly deep collection”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2012

We were pleasantly surprised at this museum, which is far better than equivalent institutions in Delhi and Beijing in providing consistently attractive displays and detailed, English-language explanations of the works on display. The ground-floor galleries are a must-visit, with encyclopedic coverage of Vietnam's cultural history and its distinct regional identities. Several major wood carvings were a real joy, and merited far more time than the hour or so we had before the building closed. The middle floor also had some treasures in store, particularly the lacquer paintings from the early 20th century. One monumental set of screens is truly memorable, unexpectedly rich not only in color but in design and artistic insight.

But it's also on the second floor that the propaganda starts to seep in, not unexpectedly given Vietnam's 20th-century experience. On the third floor it becomes relentless. Brilliant technique is no help to an aesthetic language that ranges from the bombastic (the inevitable shot-down planes) to the insipid (Norman Rockwell-in-Hanoi images for the Jane Fonda set at their most witless).

Our big regret is that we were not able to get to the adjoining building housing craft exhibits, or to see any contemporary galleries, which I hope would show the arts growing past their Uncle Ho-era stridency. But the bottom line: highly recommended, with managed expectations.

Visited January 2012
1 Thank Christian J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“the national museum with living artists”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2012

I used to work around the corner so I visited this place quite a lot......all of the major schools of art in the last 150 years are represented here....except.....they are dated probably 50years after the schools came into existence...for example impressionism (1870's/1880's) but the school of impressionism in Vietnam seems to be dated 1920/30........also, this is probably one of the few national galleries where you have a chance of accidentally bumping into somebody outside in the coffee-shop who has work hanging on the walls inside the gallery..........if you can get over the obvious propagandist/nationalist role of these artworks and appreciate them (even if some of the schools of art arose in Vietnam sometime later than they appeared in Europe or America)....the artworks are interesting and beautiful...........they also give an interesting insight into developments in Vietnamese history.....there is also an interesting collection of carved Buddhas saved and preserved for posterity from temples all over Vietnam.....also for the aficionados, the collection of lacquer wares and painted silks is beautiful and worth the visit......the museum has a very active conservation unit and there are constantly different exhibitions of new art-works throughout the year.........a visit to the museum can easily combined with a trip to the Temple of Literature and makes a good cultural day out in Hanoi.

Thank Pacoh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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