Tag Archives: museum

Red Star Line Museum

Emigration to America

A couple of years ago while visiting friends in Belgium we drove a short distance from Brussels to the nearby port city of Antwerp.

Antwerp is Belgium’s second largest city. It’s situated along the Schedt River which empties into the North Sea which is turn connects to the Atlantic Ocean.

One of the world’s biggest ports, Antwerp handles more cargo than any other port in Europe except nearby Rotterdam. Seeing the inviting waterfront surrounding us, we took a very pleasant sightseeing boat ride on the Sheldt.

After our sightseeing excursion, we explored the streets of Antwerp and stumbled upon the Red Star Line Museum.

The Red Star Line was a shipping company that operated between Antwerp and the eastern seaboard of the USA and Canada. Throughout Europe they advertised their routes and from 1873 to 1934 – sixty years – Antwerp was a center for emigration from the continent. Emigrants from Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Netherlands, France, Italy and other countries traveled to Antwerp to board the ships bound for North America.

More than two million Europeans were passengers on the Red Star Line steamships from Antwerp to America’s large metropolitan centers – New York, Philadelphia, Boston. Paintings and displays in the museum depict the many travelers in Antwerp’s streets preparing for the long and challenging journey across the ocean to a destination that promised them a new, brighter future.

On display are curated personal belongings – clothing, suitcases, diaries, photographs, jewelry, toys – that punctuate the stories of individuals and families who decided to leave their homeland hoping for a better life.

For me, the Red Star Line Museum highlighted the overwhelming struggle that millions of individuals experienced reaching for a better future by having to brave the unknowns of emigrating to America.

If you’re interested in learning more, here’s the link to the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp.

Code Talkers Museum

A Restaurant is Also A Memorial

Northern Arizona is part of the Navajo Nation.

I’ve been lucky enough to visit and photograph the immensely scenic Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. This iconic area is located on the Arizona-Utah so we stay overnight in the nearby town of Kayenta. Next door to the hotel is a Burger King restaurant where we can catch breakfast before going to the park.

But this Burger King is unlike any other that we’ve been to. Inside is an extensive display – a mini-museum if you will – of the Code Talkers. The Code Talkers were U.S. servicemen recruited from among the Native Americans (mostly Navajo) during World War II. Some 500 of these Navajo speakers used their language skills to code and transmit secret messages among the various military units. Dozens of volunteers were from the Kayenta area.

I’ve visited this Burger King multiple times over the years and each time the display has been enlarged and enhanced.


It’s believed that our enemies were never able to decode any of the Code Talker messages.

The Burger King in Kayenta is a great place to stop to learn about these brave men who served and fought during World War II and the Korean War.


Virtual Art Museum

from the digital archives

In one of my previous careers I was a frequent traveler.

Since the early 1980s, business has taken me to France dozens of time. During my free time I’d often visit the extraordinary art museums of Paris.

Musee d'Orsay
Musee d’Orsay in Paris

In the early years I was able to photograph most of the artwork. However, a few years later many of the museums began to put a moratorium on taking photographs.

With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, none of us are able to visit these art museums so I’ve come up with an alternative.

Below is a small set of artwork that I have photographed and collected over the years. Most were taken at the famous Musee d’Orsay.

I hope you’ll enjoy this artwork as you take a walk through my virtual art museum

Also available is my Virtual Art Museum video for those of you who prefer to just sit back and watch the masterpieces scroll by.

[Click on any of the paintings to enlarge]

Vincent Van Gogh

Church at Auvers
Vincent Van Gogh

Thatched Cottages at Cordeville
Vincent Van Gogh

Dance Hall in Arles
Alfred Sisley

Footbridge at Argenteuil
Henri Matisse

Luxe, Calme et Volupte
Edgar Degas

Dancer with a Bouquet Bowing
Edouard Manet

Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets
Paul Gauguin

Yellow Haystacks
Vincent Van Gogh

The Siesta (after Millet)
Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

The Red Dog
Vincent Van Gogh

Self portrait
Claude Monet

Woman with a Parasol
Gustave Caillebotte

Floor Planers
Claude Monet

Le Dejeuner
Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Grande nu
Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Portrait of Julie Manet
Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Young Girl Seated
Vincent Van Gogh

The Church at Auvers
Claude Monet

Les Coquelicots
Pierre-August Renoir

Bal du Moulin de la Galette
Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Dance in the Country
James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Whistler’s Mother
Claude Monet

The Boat at Giverny
Thomas Couture

The Romans of the Decadence

For those of you who prefer to view these artworks more leisurely, here’s the same Virtual Art Museum video.

Virtual Art Museum
“Here Heather” Music by Lee Bartley
Photos by Arnie Lee

Written by: Arnie Lee