If so, good for you. 🙂
Granted, I never appreciated museum visits until now. And why do I say that?
Answer: it traces all the way back to my elementary school years; I had been ruined by a nauseating amount of trips to natural history museums on dinosaurs and those on the Civil War, the Holocaust, and so forth. Although I know that these historical moments are important to bring up and commemorate, they are just too saturated with educational undertones. Meaning, we were obligated at school to visit these sites and, as homework, write reports and essays on what we “learned” (which, truth be told, most of us didn’t even pay attention when the tour guide was speaking) for credit. As a kid, homework was a freakin’ chore; no one wants to do it. And grading our work based on the level of fluff and ass-kissing was just not cool. Basically, we didn’t want to do it to begin with.
Even when I visited museums in my travels, to places like Europe and Asia, I didn’t enjoy them, either. We (being my family) mostly went with tours, and so wherever we went, it was crowded like hell, packed with tourists from all over the world in one little space. It was hot, it was stuffy, and we weren’t given the time to linger on certain paintings or sculptures, as we would have liked.
But my study-abroad in Paris this past summer changed all of that. My God, it did.
The difference would be that this time, I visited alone; I had went on my own, wandering and getting lost in the massive, over-arching corridors of places like the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Centre Pompidou (and loving it <3). I took my time strolling through the infinite galleries, stopping to linger on paintings which interested me.
If I hadn’t gone alone, I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to fall in love with the paintings of Monet, of van Gogh, those of Matisse or Modigliani. But I’m glad that I did; I stood in front of these artworks, admiring the details that, close up, would have been a mess. But stepping back, you can see what I’ve learned is a “harmonious discord”- of splatters and streaks of different colors mixing together to form a whole picture. Truly a beautiful chef d’oeuvre.
I don’t know if I would feel the same way about museums if I were to visit with a group, whether for school or professional work. But I can say that, when I do go, I will take my experiences from Paris and project them to that particular moment. It’s worth a try. 🙂
– The Finicky Cynic