Picks of the Week

Originally published in The Moscow Times on February 11, 2000

Tired of black birds? Moscow's multitudinous ravens got you singin' the blues? Perhaps a glimpse of a goose of a different color might raise your spirits. The Darwin Museum is filled with just that, and it's not far ... as the crow flies, that is.

Two of the museum's current exhibits, "Exotic Birds" and "On the Shoulders of Giants," feature an impressive array of paintings depicting the natural world by Russian artists and other animal-themed displays. A warning: Animal lovers will not enjoy the many stuffed monkeys, polar bears, baby seals and other mammals that populate the museum.

"Exotic Birds" begins with two enormous paintings of thick-beaked jackdaws and birds of paradise. Further on, there are more paintings of small, colorful birds perched in lush bushes, like so many decorations on a Christmas tree. On the third floor, the exhibit expands to include all sorts of representations of animals in their natural habitats. Another area is dedicated to children's portrayals of the natural world, including a green and red-striped cockroach.

"On the Shoulders of Giants" features representations of some of the most significant figures in the field of…

Read the full text at The Moscow Times.