Postcards From Abroad

Not just another travel blog

Not the Sandwich.


COB 300 is the hardest class facing prospective Business Majors at JMU. This 12 credit hour class is comprised of four grueling components, Marketing, Finance, Management and Operations. This course is known to be relentless, and worst, it’s all packed into one semester.
Fortunately, if you can afford it, there is another, more interesting way to take this class, in Europe.
Those who are interested, can enroll in this study abroad program, based in Antwerp, Belgium, in both fall and spring semesters.
But COB 300 won’t take up all of your time, you’re going to need to relax, and take a breather.
But Let’s assume your parents are paying for this trip. They’re going to want to know you’re getting something more than a class out of this trip. You’re going to need to convince them that you took in some local culture as well, believable, as the majority of Belgium can understand English.
The best way to do this is by examining the history, and artistic endeavors of the region’s citizens.
And who better to examine than Antwerp’s own Renaissance man, Peter Paul Reubens, and how better, than by visiting his former residence, in downtown Antwerp.
Ruebens moved into the residence in 1610, until his death in 1640, in 1946; it was turned into the museum it is today.
His former home offers a great medium to learn about this great, if obscure man. He is to Antwerp as Davinci was to Florence, his presence had a tremendous impact on the culture of the city, and he was not only a painter, but a diplomat, scholar, and studio owner.
The house itself is comprised of three sections,
The courtyard and porch lead up to the interior of the residence, and were designed by the man himself. It’s opulent design put it in contrast with the traditional dull buildings of the era, and resembled an Italian palazzo, if not a palace.
The art room, appropriately named, was a centrally located foyer where Reubens housed the largest art collection in the entire city, some of which are still displayed.
Finally, the studio, in which the master worked, it set up, as it would have been in his time.
And naturally, the house is filled with his works, predominately based on subjects of history, religion, and mythology.
I can’t say for sure whether business majors like art and artists naturally, or if it is an acquired taste. If it turns out as the latter, The Rubens House would be a great place to widen your pallet.
As a fan of the Renaissance and of art, I certainly would enjoy it.
However, you may just want to show up, and snap a couple pictures for mom and dad, and call it a day. If that’s the case, this is the place you’re looking for.

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