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“Pleasantly surprised”

Fine Arts Museum (Bao Tang My Thuat)
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Half-Day Hanoi Motorbike Tour
Ranked #21 of 278 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.
Raleigh NC
Level Contributor
34 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Pleasantly surprised”
Reviewed February 3, 2013

I honestly was not expecting much (and was expecting a lot of French/European art) but was pleasantly surprised at the great collection of Vietnames fine art. The talent is quite high and it is housed in a charming old building. Was great in connection with lunch at KOTO teaching restaurant which is a 5 minute walk away.

Visited February 2013
Thank bazers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
83 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Very interesting if you are into art.”
Reviewed January 30, 2013

Interesting to see the art from hundreds of years ago, which is very different to European art. Western influences only appear in more recent times. You can see the influence of caricatures throughout the centuries is still prevalent today on Vietnamese art.

Visited January 2013
Thank Ian R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
152 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Gorgeous building. I could have sat outside and just stared at the building and architecture all day ...

The displays are incredible and very well marked. In particular, we enjoyed the bronze work and statues. HIGHLY recommend this as part of your itinerary.

Visited January 2013
Thank Gary_TO_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Beautiful Exhibits”
Reviewed January 28, 2013

My husband and I really liked the exhibits, and the how much was on exhibition. However, we found the way the staff sat round in the galleries in groups talking very loudly rather unprofessional. It distracts visitors from the artwork, and I found myself rushing through just to get away. This happened on two or three levels on the building.

Visited December 2012
Thank Travelling_Stories
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
487 reviews
316 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 456 helpful votes
“Very National, indeed”
Reviewed January 28, 2013

Previous reviewers have not always emphasized that this is really the National Fine Arts Museum of Hanoi, and that only Vietnamese Art is on display. The upper floor is largely devoted to ancient art, mainly in the form of statues of Buddha and other Buddhist themes, as well as some impressively colorful silk tapestries.

The ground floor holds a large collection of paintings, drawings and photographs, as well as a number of relatively modern sculptures in stone and wood that reveal commendable technical skill and occasional artistic vision. The most interesting rooms exhibit paintings and drawings from the time of the Vietnam War to the present. Initially, one is struck but not surprised that they start off as pure propaganda vilifying the Americans and glorifying the communist state in a grotesque imagery borrowed from Stalinist and Fascist Art. Whatever colors the artist may have used, everything comes across metaphorically as black or white. The art of the post-war period is more lyrical and even poetic at times; the subject matter is ordinary people going about their business of restoring normality to the battered country, or conventional landscapes of the countryside. But since the beginning of the new Millenium, propaganda and social realism have taken a back seat. The influence of cubism and abstract expressionism shows in many of the best works, and it would be hard to recognize their provenance. This suggests that " Bourgeois Formalism", the biggest sin an artist could commit in the Eastern Europe of the 1950s to '80s, doesn't trouble the current Vietnamese Communist Party, and that control of ideological thought and expression has regressed from that of Orwell's 1984 back to a more normal liberal framework. You could say that on the time frame of the avant gard chronometer, Hanoi has reached about 1960 Greenwich Village Time. There will still be a few decades before their artists try to pass off elephant dung and dirty beds as works of creative art.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank davidgoldberg1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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