Now that I think about it those should have been the message tees assigned to each of my family members. I have quite the eclectic mix. We are not the quiet artsy people who actually debate the finer points of each artist’s work. We are the family that went because it was free and air-conditioned. Sold!
I will give credit to the lovely people at the Norton Museum , they are the only museum in south Florida that give their county residents free access every Saturday during the summer and every Thursday for Florida residents. All the other museums I checked out have a more convoluted freebie method whereby one goes on the first Thursday of the month when the moon and the stars align or something to that effect.
During our visit one of the temporary works on display was Nymphéas by Monet. Apparently my mom is a fan. I had no idea until we were on the top floor of the building and I mentioned it in passing. Mom aka: Too Old, proceeded to inquire about its precise location in the museum to the point of irritation. So the quest began… and behold I found a sign, placed exclusively to direct guests to that one Monet piece. I’d like to think that after the 1,000th “Monet?” the ushers heaved a sigh of exasperation and had someone dangle management by the rooftop ’till it was “agreed” to post such a sign, which we followed into the solitary room where it was located. The whole family plopped on the sofa opposite of it and stared at it and all of the behinds of the people 2 feet in front of it.
I loudly explained to the kids, aka “Too Young” that Monet was meant to be viewed (Notable crescendo in my volume) from..a…distance… ahem. Monet pixelated his art way before Minecraft did. The horizon of silhouetted butts remained for a while and then finally dispersed (Giving up all hope of understanding this blurry mass I assume.) Once there was a clear view, Too Old, Too Young and even Too Bored were able to immediately appreciate the details and intention of the whole piece, from the sofa, that was strategically placed far, far away from it. For our viewing pleasure.
Time to divide and conquer. Everyone paired off with someone who either shuffled across the floor at the same pace or had the same attention span so they could spread out and enjoy the remaining art at their own leisure.
This is where one of the youngest, “Too Young” got her hand clasped by an enraptured parent. The parent stopped and stared, mesmerized by Ruby Green Sings by James Chapin.
During the visit, Enraptured Parent revisited Ruby three times. This is when art takes on another level. I, “Enraptured Parent” knew nothing about the artist or the model, but for some reason felt like, clearly, something special was going on here. Enraptured Parent proceeded to Google the work and read the whole history behind the artist, the model and the moment it captured. She now stares at me from the fridge, where she is proudly mounted as a magnet.
I was awakened from my trance by persistent tugging and begging to please move along by “Too Young”. Guilt ridden I took her on a speed tour. We stood in each gallery and she picked out her favorite, told me why and then we read a little, just a little about it ’till her patience wore thin. I was so, so geeked-out when her absolute favorite was an O’Keeffe! Behold the Red Flower 1919
…and for those of you wondering about “Too Bored”. They found an oil on canvas of a Star Trek scene and, wait for it… requested a return visit to see the upcoming exhibit Planes Traines & Automobiles . There is hope for all of them see!
So folks, until you step into the museum, you won’t know what moves you, whether it be across the entire facility in desperate need of a Monet or emotionally by a lady on the other side of the canvas.