C’mon, it’s more than the art.

2467832972_46b82e56acI am a museum girl.

That may sound awfully bland, but I adored Prague because of it. And I loved Vienna more because of the Leopold.

I agree that they can easily become overwhelming– room after room, frame after frame. And maybe you can appreciate one piece of art, or one sculpture. Maybe you can see the importance in this display or you can really love that exhibition, but the rest just blends together. Paintings melt into other paintings, swirling into the blank walls; halls fold into each other and become one long walk stretching past miles and miles of artwork that you can’t distinguish and doesn’t really matter to you anyway. It’s like in the movies, when you’re standing still, staring at something. No one knows why you do it, and everything else moves past you twice as fast, but you’re still just standing there.

Museums are a little dizzying, but I like that feeling.

Call me crazy, but I am a museum girl. I mean, not all museums are great. I got to see Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” in the Lower Belvedere, but to be honest, the whole thing was a little too hyped and a little too rushed. Everyone was just herded into this building, and of course, the crowds pool around this one painting at the end of the hall. I was shuffled and shoved, and it didn’t feel like a museum at all. I didn’t particularly care to see the Sistine Chapel (well, besides the fact that it was the freaking Sistine Chapel and one of those “things to do before you die” sort of things) because it was all so controlled and crowded. It was impossible to just stand there quietly and admire it.

The truth is, most museums are tiring. They wear you out– the watching and the walking and the thinking. Some of them are even exhausting, but there are those great ones, the ones that let the exhaustion creep up slowly on you so you barely notice. Sometimes exhaustion can be thrilling. I love just standing there, looking at something. Quietly, silently, patiently waiting to see something extraordinary. And if you don’t see it, you move on. But when you do see it, you just want to stand there a little longer and smile because you saw something remarkable. And it feels like you saw it first.

I feel like this in bookstores and libraries. Sometimes art galleries and aquariums. Still, that’s another story. Back to museums. Let me tell you, there are some great museums out there. The National Portrait Gallery in London, the Franz Kafka museum in Prague, the Upper Belvedere in Vienna. You name it.

My last was the Leopold. I loved the Leopold. I wish I could’ve stayed there all day. It was funny because Meg and I didn’t really even intend to go there. It was a toss up between the Leopold or some exhibition on Dennis Hopper. Don’t get me wrong– I love Dennis Hopper. I’ve done writing assignments trying to mirror some Dennis Hopper.

But I’m glad we settled on the Leopold.

I love how really great museums can just steal you away. I still wish I could go back and walk those halls and wander through those rooms.

Jen Gotch

There is something really calming to me about being in a museum. You can enter with a group of people, but in the museum, it’s like you’re alone. Everyone wanders off on their own. You choose the right corridor and your friend takes the left. You go through these massive rooms and pass through those long hallways, and you just take it in– that you’re alone and you’re looking at these pieces and you’re just waiting to see something brilliant in them. Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t, and you move on and you move on. You see your friend waiting for you at the exit and you leave the museum behind and you walk out those doors into the street and it feels wonderful.

One thing I learned while I was traveling alone was that it has the potential to be painfully lonely. Maybe that’s why I’m a museum girl. In museums you always feel alone, but you never feel lonely. Now, isn’t that funny?

I’m still trying to find that sort of peace without having to drive all the way to the bookstore or search the internet for new galleries and exhibitions. It’s a strange and lovely feeling. I can’t explain it. I don’t even think I understand it. I can feel it when my footsteps echo, loud and even, through those empty, open rooms.

I am a museum girl, and it brings me so much joy.


About Booki
"Somewhere man must know that self-perception is the most frightening of all human observations. He must know that when a man faces himself, he is looking into an abyss."

One Response to C’mon, it’s more than the art.

  1. severnyproductions says:

    I understand why. Museums can be very interesting places. I love how they are so quiet however the truth is ten metres to your left there is a main road rush hour traffic and hundreds of poeple going about their business

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