On museums

This weekend I went to the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) to see their exhibition of Edward Hopper. I don’t usually go to museums, but I like Hopper, and I thought I would give the SAM a fair shot. Fortunately, it was a small exhibition, and I was done quickly. I wandered around, and found some beautiful pieces. All in all, I was out in under 45 minutes, which, if you ask me, is the right amount of time for museums. Any longer, and my knees start to hurt. Museums are cruel, as are churches. I can walk five hours with a heavy backpack, I can run for an hour and a half, I can play two full games of basketball back to back, but I cannot stand still, or amble around a room at snail’s pace, for more than 40 minutes.

Aside from the physical discomfort, I view museums as a wasted space. When in museums, the art gets so banal for me, that I start admiring the architecture, the high ceilings, the well-kept parquet, the pastel colored walls. I imagine having a billiards table there, or a basketball court, or an astronomical observatory, or a ballroom. So many possibilities, and they get wasted in favor of having people shuffling around, trying to sound knowledgeable.

Not that I’m anti-art, far from it. I just prefer to experience it in a book, curled up in a comfortable sofa. I suppose I am a philistine.

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About Jaime Silvela

My favorite chemical element is Potassium.
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4 Responses to On museums

  1. Javier says:

    Hombre, hay cuadros… que merecen la pena verse en tamaño natural. Bien es cierto que las nuchedumbres son insoportables, pero a veces se pueden evitar.
    Sobre las rodillas, seguro que con masais mejoran.

  2. maria says:

    Cuando Indiana Jones decía “This belongs in a museum”, yo siempre pensaba que hubiera estado mucho mejor rodeado de gente que lo viviera. Eso sí, que se pudieran visitar esas casas, palacios o conventos, por ejemplo un fin de semana al mes, y que los dueños tuvieran obligación de prestarlos para las exposiciones monográficas. Esas se pueden recorrer en poco tiempo, como la de Hopper.

  3. elena says:

    Cada vez más museos hacen exposiciones pequeñas, que no son matadoras. Ahora hay una muy apetecible en Madrid, de 1914 y las vanguardias en ese momento. Espero verla pronto.
    Pero no estoy de acuerdo con que se ve mejor en libro, hay cuadros en que la textura, etc., es muy importante, y en foto te lo pierdes, además de que no ves el tamaño real.

    Ahora que si que te ayudarían unas masai, complemento perfecto para ir a museos.

    Y, desde luego, pasar más de 45 minutos en una exposición es una tortura, por muy bonitos que sean los cuadros

  4. Miwa says:

    If you like Hopper, you may also like Jack Vetttriano. I’m not an art buff but he happens to be from Fife, Scotland, where my graduate school was located. When I was there about 10 years ago his cards were being sold at a humble student union gift shop, and a few years later after I came to America he got so famous!!

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