Posted by: Bob Fisher | May 14, 2009

For the Love of Travel and the Arts

The Arts and Human Civilization

Sir Kenneth Clark, one of the most famous art historians of his generation, once said:

“It is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilization. We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs.”

At The Philosophical Traveller, we believe that travel is one of the most experiential, enlightening, and hopeful forms of learning. We also believe that we travel because we are constantly in search of ideals.

Studies show that tourism is a primary source of economic wealth at the most fundamental community level. And arts institutions and artists’ communities throughout the world are usually the first windows through which the traveller experiences the essence of a culture, whether it be local, regional, national, or even global.

One of the foundation stones of human civilization, the arts transcend national borders. Through this medium we reaffirm the universality of the human condition and of our humanity.

Below are some of my favourite arts stories and destinations.


The Hands of Juan Quezada

Polk County, Florida: Art and the Common Touch

Art and the Eye of the Beholder, with Richard Boswell

The Quiet Hands and Mind of Dora Tse-Pe: Matrilineal Potter

Architectural Travel: Montréal à la mode

The Siksika Nation of Alberta: Self-determination, Cultural Affirmation, Land, and Time

Winnipeg: Light and Enlightenment on the Canadian Prairie

The Genius of Glenn Gould at the Canadian Museum of Civilization

The Subtle Artistic Side of Daytona Beach

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art: The Resilience of Culture in the American South

Toronto the Urbane: Arts, Culture, Gastronomy — and A Good Time For All

Boise, Idaho: Artful Urban Design … and People Who Give a Damn

Zen and the Art of Muskoka Wooden Boats


The Commerce of Art — and Maastricht’s European Fine Art Fair

Bordeaux: A Second Golden Age

Sir John Soane: The Art and Mind of an Art Collector

Art Meets Innocence in Madrid

A French Château in North East England

The Universal Art of Flower Design, with Judith Blacklock

Karlovy Vary: Through A Lens Obliquely

Luminous Vence

The Virtual and Other Realities of Jeroen Bechtold

Gotta Dance!


Rain in Hiroshima

Cairo: A Singular State of Mind

Intricate Malaysia: An Artful Work in Progress

The Japanese Reverence For Nature

Travel as an Artistic Venture

“If our lives are dominated by a search for happiness, then perhaps few activities reveal as much about the dynamics of this quest — in all its ardour and paradoxes — than our travels.”

“And perhaps the most effective way in which our sense of what to look for in a scene can be enriched is through visual art.”

“In recognizing that a landscape can become more attractive to us once we have seen it through the eyes of a great artist, the tourist office in Arles [he was writing about Van Gogh] was only exploiting a long-standing relationship between art and the desire to travel evident in different countries (and in different artistic media) throughout the history of tourism.”

— Alain de Botton, author of The Art of Travel

Are you an arts destination, institution, association, organization, community?

Send me a message.

Tell me about you.


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