Museum or no museum

Old Sep 4th, 2008, 05:22 PM
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Museum or no museum

From time to time I see postings mentioning that the posters are not into museums.

For me, it is not always a yes or no type of consideration. I am not a museum type in my hometown. Our museums are small, unexciting, and expensive.

However, when I visit Europe, I turn into a museum person. Many museums have extensive collections of key artists to see the progression of their works over the their life time. A theme museum, such as the Flamenco Museum in Seville, helped me appreciate a Flamenco show I saw after learning about music types and movements at the museum.
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 08:55 AM
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Well there are people out there who travel to Europe who do not know a Van Gogh from a Titan or a Picasso from a Rodin sculpture.

It is like this past summer. I know a woman who visited Cesky Krumlov. After she got back, she did not know where she had been. Never had heard of the place.

She is also the same person who goes with her husband to operas without having any inkling of the plot nor does she remember the name of the opera. Nice orchestra music, but loud singers tend to spoil the experience.

So taking her to Musee d'Orsay benefits mainly the gate receipts and the restaurant. About her Paris trip, "I had a very nice lunch in that place with pretty pictures on the walls and on the ceiling."

Someone asked her where it was. Response: "My husband said it was in an old train station, but there weren't any trains in there."




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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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There are also people out there who do know a Picasso from a Rodin from a Van Gogh and still don't like to spend their time in art museums (me). I just have different interests. A museum now and then is fine, but for a few hours at most. We're big fans of Art Buchwald's "3-minute Louvre".
 
Old Sep 5th, 2008, 09:22 AM
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When I was young (age 20), I traveled to many European cities (eg Paris, Amsterdam) and never stepped foot in a single museum. I had zilch knowledge of European art and had no desire to "waste" my time in museums.

Since my early 30s, I took an active interest in European paintings. I watched DVDs from The Teaching Company, bought books on paintings, went to museums, took docent-guided tours. I think I now know more about European art than the average tourist. So these days, all my trips revolve around visiting art museums.

In fact, next week we are leaving for Belgium. This week, we are watching the DVD series on Northern Renaissance (aka Flemish Primitives) done by the Teaching Company.

Is there a right or wrong? I don't think so. If one has no interest in art/paintings, why should one "waste" time in museums if he/she does not appreciate it?
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 09:30 AM
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Horses for courses, isn't it? I rather quail at the thought of "must see" places, for that reason. If you're not the kind of person to appreciate why they're "must see" places, it would be a pointless waste of time when you could be doing something you really enjoy that gives you a much better sense of some special quality about the place you're visiting. For a widget-fettler to see how differently they fettle widgets in Molvania might be much more inspiring or even fun than a collection of statues with no arms or a painting of a smirking lady in brown.

I suspect that not everyone would see the charm in this museum, for instance (and why should they?):

http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/belgianmuseum.html
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 09:32 AM
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I love Art...but I don't like to spend time in museums if I only have two days for visiting a city (a weekend trip). I think I don't make justice to the exhibits and if I go quickly over them..I just don't "see" anything. I like to spend some time looking at each painting...and it takes time.
So no, even being an art lover, I don't see any problem of not visiting any museum if you are not to enjoy it as you'd like to.

Bob, I laughed at "loud singers tend to spoil the experience". I know a few people who thinks that way !!! I really don't know why they spend their money at the opera..it is not cheap !!
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 09:35 AM
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I love going to museums, but I usually can spend only about 3 or 4 hours in a single one - and this is probably at least an hour over any of my regular traveling companions' tolerance threshold.

I hate to be so pedestrian, but sometimes what really affects my enjoyment of a particular museum is the number of places to sit.

If there are lots of places to sit and they are well placed so that I can enjoy the artwork while resting a bit, I am in seventh heaven. If there is a lack of well placed seating or no seating at all, I find myself sometimes rushing through because my feet hurt.
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 10:14 AM
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One of the things that always amazes me is that when you say "museum" everyone always thinks art.

Now - I will visit most art museums, but also have other interests.

If you check out some guidebooks you will find that europe has museums on dozens - if not more - different subjects - from racing cars to cheese, from military hardware to beer - to whatever you can think of.

So, IMHO - anyone who refuses to consider any museums simply hasn't done any research at all on their trip.

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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 10:16 AM
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On a more serious note, my wife and I went to a performance of Turandot at the Opera Bastille conducted by James Conlon.

On one night we got Franco Farina in top voice, Patricia Racette in top voice, and Jane Eaglen in her prime.

The chorus was magnificent, and the men singing Ping, Pang, and Pong were sensational.

Truly a night to remember and remember again.


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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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nytraveler, you're right, of course, and I was only referring to art museums. We love and can spend hours at, "thing" museums, for example, the Checkpoint Charlie museum in Berlin, or the Museum of American History in Washington, DC.
 
Old Sep 5th, 2008, 11:33 AM
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One of our favorite (and accidental) museums was the Dog Collar museum at Leeds...http://www.britishheritagepass.com/Leeds_Castle

Quite entertaining.

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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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I'm never an art museum person, not at home or in Europe.

But I LOVE to go to places like old castles especially when they are set up with furniture and all that show how people used to live. Or architect-designed homes that are open to the public.
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 01:32 PM
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Yes, Bob...Franco Farina in top voice is something to remember..it doesn't happen too often... LOL
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 02:41 PM
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Chepar, my feet and I share your pedestrian concerns. Museums are much more enjoyable for me when they include many places to sit and contemplate the art. I have been very put off by a number of museums lately because they seem to be quite user-unfriendly, and I remember the ones that stand out for their comfort level.
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 02:58 PM
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I think that the word museum brings up an image of stuffy, dark objects hanging on a wall or in cases holding a particular object.

To me, museum means historical items such as military museums like the RAF sites, Science museum, Imperial war museum.

The reason mention these is simply the word Museum, means different things dependent on ones interest.

Yes, I have visited art museums, Tate, V&A and all sorts, but they are not in my arena of interest.
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 03:39 PM
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I have realized that I really enjoy museums, mostly art, but of other types as well - luckily the rest of my family does, too. I also love castles and other buildings that retain their original furnishings, etc. On our last trip, when we didn't enter an art museum until one of the last days of our vacation, I realized that visiting art museums is an important part of a vacation to me.

But I don't knock the interests of other people, if they're "not into" museums. Also, I'm not critical of how other people experience museums. If the lady just knows that she saw pretty pictures in a place that used to be a train station, that's just fine, if she enjoyed the pretty pictures.

I'm always amazed at all the people who trail through museums (or any interesting site, for that matter) without any guidebook or other information to tell them about what they're seeing. But from their perspective, seeing me poring through a book - often two - to read about the artist, his history, the meaning or symbolism of a painting, is just as silly (I do spend a lot of time just looking at the paintings, as well).
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 08:53 PM
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I'm not crazy about art museums, either. Sometimes I feel that I've been in every museum in the world, and I don't care if I ever see another Caravaggio or Botticelli in my life. Mostly I think my feeling stems from being overwhelmed by all there is to see.

I think if I lived in Madrid or Paris and could spend an afternoon in the Louvre or the Prado whenever I had some free time, I'd enjoy it. But when I visit Europe only once a year or once every two years, I somehow feel that I need to see everything TODAY.

I do enjoy seeing the work of just one artist at a time. I liked the Klimt exhibition at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna. There was a decent spectrum of his works, not just the famous paintings. And there wasn't so much there that it was overwhelming.

I do like other kinds of museums, like Churchill's war rooms in London or Den Gammle By in Aarhus, Denmark. But no more madonnas with child or Dutch burghers or Greek goddesses.

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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 10:30 PM
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I've seen a few Titans in museums, but never seen a Titian in one.

Or a Picasso, or a Van Gogh.

Europe's <b> art galleries </b> however are stuffed with dead blokes' (and a few blokesses') paintings.

There's a really good reason we have this distinction in proper English, and it's a distinction dialects that don't have it are much the poorer for.
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 10:58 PM
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Im a museum person and blessed to be married to one. My favorites are art, architecture and car museums. And if its in a great building we may need get lunch there too. But any really good museum with a sizable and varied collection is well worth the time.

chepar, I like good seating in an art museum too. Just so I can relax and take it all in. For some works, I have to sit. We will drive out of our way for an art or a design museum.
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 06:37 AM
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Speaking of good seating at art museums, I actually prefer there are sofas rather than just hard benches without back support!

I have taken power naps at art museums before, and I can tell you how much better I feel after the nap so that I can keep on going and going.
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