Last weekend we finally made it to the Wonder exhibit at the Renwick Gallery. I have been excited to see it since it opened last fall, partially because it just looked really neat, and partially because everyone is raving about how it fundamentally does something new with the museum experience. They encourage photography, let you lie on the floor, welcome noise and choas- all things that are pulling non-art lovers to this [previously kind of ignored] museum. My career plan out of college was to become an art curator. I love museums, love art and art history, and was thrilled to have a great curatorial internship after I graduated…until I realized that curators spend long hours researching and reflecting, and some days I only spoke 5 words. I spent the summer hunched over a desk, researching the evolution of nineteenth century French landscapes, followed by weeks of studying prostitution in eighteenth century England, as lots of those classy looking ladies in British portraiture were actually saucy women of the night. It was fascinating, but not the right fit for me. I realized that what I wanted was to be a museum docent, giving tours and gushing about art. As this is unfortunately usually an unpaid position, I switched career paths and landed in teaching French. I love it, but I will never get over the magic of art museums.
And it seems no one in this city can get over the magic of this exhibit at the Renwick. We lucked out and hit it at a moment with relatively low numbers and short lines and spent the afternoon with our posse of visiting family all in wonder. In case you wanted a visual for writing a dissertation, please refer to the image above. On every one of those cards, imagine a fact, idea, or quote. Now imagine that someone has locked you in this room and told you to organize them all into a cohesive and linear flow. Go forth and dissertate.BE STILL MY COLOR LOVING HEART.I’m really hoping that our baby boy is as chill as my sister-in-law’s niece, because she was such a trooper, sleeping through most of the outing, with brief breaks to open her eyes and marvel at the colors. The baby bar has now been set high and given me potentially unrealistic expectations about how easy it is to cart a baby to social functions, museums, and restaurants. I was a baby who routinely cried until I vomited, so…. fun times ahead. I was most excited about this room. Bugs! Colors! Disturbing but geometric shapes! My mom and I could have stayed for hours, and she has now requested cases of preserved bugs for Christmas so that she can recreate this on some wall in her home.But some people did not share our enthusiasm:So many Saturdays I get sucked into the normal grind of daily existence. Chores, errands, work, laundry, taxes, catching up on sleep, etc. Sometimes I forget that we live in a really special city, one full of things like this that are not only amazing, but are free. This is truly a blessing that we don’t take advantage of enough. But on the Saturdays that we get out, that we drag ourselves out into the city and take advantage of all it has to offer, I am always in wonder.