As for the second photo - we just came back from a holiday in Ottawa, Ontario and while there I made sure to take time to go to the National Gallery. This is one of my favourite things about the gallery - the outdoor sculpture "Maman" by Louise Bourgeois. The spider stands about 30' high and in its egg sac holds white marble eggs. It really has an awesome presence. Look at the person walking in the bottom right of the photo to get some perspective on the size.
As for the gallery, the architecture thrilled me as always. There was an exhibit on Pop Art (Warhol, Haring, Koons, etc...) and it was exhibited fantastically. They recreated Keith Haring's Popshop, had a gold metallic room, some hot pink - just a very exciting layout - but although I love some of the work, some of it was kind of...meh.
But, in the permanent collection, there were a few that I couldn't take my eyes off. My highlights were "Grand Riviere" by Peter Doig (a new favourite artist but the online image does nothing for how spectacular the piece truly is); paintings by my beloved Group of Seven, "Hope 1" and various drawings by Gustav Klimt, and lastly, an exquisite graphite drawing by Johann F. Overbeck (previously unknown to me).
6" x 6" / oil on panel