Monday, August 03, 2009

Artful musings

During an extended baby Stephanie nap this morning, I had the rare opportunity to catch up on some news, and I turned to the online IHT. Skipping right past the latest global trauma (I get the overview from the invaluable BBC World News podcast twice daily), I zeroed in on this article: "At the Louvre, Many Stop to Snap but Few Stay to Focus". This article made me smile, because I am an atypical museum person. I focus on the work other people pass by. My favorite painting in the Mauritshuis in The Hague is not Vermeer's "Girl with the Pearl Earring" that everyone comes to see; rather, it's his panorama of Delft on the opposite wall that keeps my eyes and art-lovin' heart full. At the Louvre, I can give Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo a miss, but I have been in love with the Winged Victory of Samothrace for the past 13 years (she gets some well-deserved screen time in the movie "The Da Vinci Code" when the main characters run down the stairs in front of her to escape the police). Keep Notre Dame and give me St. Chapelle! You get the idea. I'm weird, I know. And I like it, so there.
If you get a chance, have a read through the article. I particularly like the concept of "slow watching." Let's hope it catches on!


Karly said...

Thanks so much for sharing the article! People should take more time to look in art museums, actually look at the art. Things are certainly more fast paced since the advent of so much technology, and I don't necessarily think that's a good thing. I tend to have a major love/hate relationship with all of the technology that has come about in our lifetime. But anyway, back to the art...I, too, love the Winged Victory. (I also do love the Mona Lisa too, though). It has been more years than I care to comment on since I've actually seen it. And, as much as I love looking for the known and famous paintings in various museums, I also really enjoy looking for the more obscure ones as well. Thanks again for, I want to go to a fabulous museum...if only I were in Paris or New York or anywhere but Mississippi...makes it kind of hard to take a good museum trip!

Aussie Mum said...

Thanks for sharing this but now I'm feeling like I need a little museum fix.

Having worked in a museum in the UK I got a little addicted to them while in Europe and I must say I'm a little strange in my viewing habits to. Like most tourists I do try and vsit the "must sees" in a gallery but my favourite museums tend to be as much about the gallery or the exhibition space itself as the exhibits in it. The feel of a gallery space lends much to my viewing experience.

the dipe squad said...

I'm with you both in wanting a good museum stroll now! I got so spoiled living in The Hague (love being spoiled!), having the Mauritshuis a 5-minute walk from our house, the Van Gogh Museum of Amsterdam so close by and all the glories of Paris just a 3+ hour train ride away! We used to take Ellie to museums all the time, but we haven't been to one ourselves since moving Down Under. I don't think I've been museum-free for this long since high school. How sad!

Aussie Mum, I hear ya on museum space. My favorite museum in Paris is the Musee d'Orsay. I love the exhibition hall. The space is so open and stunningly beautiful (to me). It's also why I far prefer St. Chapelle to Notre Dame. Notre Dame outside is awesome, but it can't hold a candle to St. Chapelle's interior!

Okay, responding to your comments is making me want a museum-fix even more! Not helpful! Cultural tour, anyone?