A day at the museum

I’m graduating in a little over a week from COLLEGE!

WHAT!

Anyway, today we went to the Museum of the Rockies here in Bozeman for a final art class. Although our purpose was more just to have something to do, for days on end I was bothering Chris telling him, “I get to see the geckos!” and getting overly excited.

You see, if I had really done it right, I would have gone to school for herpetology, or the study of reptiles and amphibians. I love frogs, salamanders, skinks, snakes, and lizards galore! So upon entering the museum I immediately raced to the glass enclosures. There were fat geckos, flying geckos, geckos that looked like leaves, and brightly colored little geckos. They were all wonderful to observe, and have such interesting body structures! I could talk about their feet all day.

The museum also has some wicked exhibits about Montana’s ancient shallow seas that used to cover modern day Missoula and other parts of Montana. I’ve been to the museum dozens of times in my life but every time I appreciate something more. I love the amazing skeletons of the dinosaurs and the petrified wood and fern impressions. I will always be a sucker for neat plaster exhibits of old school nautilus’s swimming around prehistoric seas.

Overall it was a great day to spend in a place I love. I’m going again tomorrow but tomorrow will most likely be the last time I go before graduating college!

Currently: Scrambling to write something worthwhile

dwight_coffee

I’m currently in a graduate seminar about museums and collecting. It is difficult, stressful and somewhat overwhelming. However, I relish the challenge.

We have been put with the issue to write about a topic that isn’t very well researched, and I’m writing about something that I feel very strongly about both as a scholar and non-scholar.

I have been to the Louvre, the Uffizi, the Met (not the Hermitage yet, damn your distance, Russia!). ALL of these museums are overwhelming and too large, in my opinion. They are bulky and saturated with art. The average visitor will never be able to see even a significant portion of the collection, and is automatically defeated. How can the visitor cope with this, and how can the institution in question re-focus itself?

I personally felt exhausted by the Louvre, anxiety ridden in the Uffizi, and completely blown away but intimidated by the Met. I decided to do my own research and find the pieces I wanted to see beforehand at the Uffizi (Caravaggio’s severed Medusa head!) and while I didn’t get the chance to do this for my other museums, I felt it helped immensely. However, it is still problematic for the average visitor to NOT feel so overwhelmed by the prospect of visiting the Louvre.

Can you really say you’ve been somewhere if you saw less than 1% of it? That’s like saying you’ve been to Chicago because you landed in the airport there once. You have barely touched the surface, and this sort of illegitimacy in your experience, lack of quality and the definite impossibility of ever conquering or seeing a large portion of something can be somewhat sad.

Basically, I think this is an unspoken issue that a lot of museums, scholars, and boards ignore. That museums are wondrous libraries of visual wealth, but that their accessibility in that wealth is somewhat pointless if it’s impossible to realize for the average person.

Basically, I feel like Dwight pouring hot coffee on himself when I walk into these places because THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS AND FEELINGS AND I WILL NEVER SEE THEM!

Objects in the Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

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I miss museums and spaces full of objects. I’ve felt overwhelmed by my own objects recently. I like a space like a museum or a gallery where I can spend as much time among these gorgeous things as I would like, but at the end of the day I can part without feeling responsible for their fate. I am so scatter-brained that I lose my own things all the time and so museums take away that stress of losing or forgetting things (I’m on my 3rd pair of gloves this winter already).

Here are some lovely things I found myself entranced by. There were many more objects that I’m not showing but their lovely American portrait section unfortunately is a dark space that my camera couldn’t handle (I love portraiture, hands and mouths especially).