Friday, October 20, 2006

Enlightening Conversation

For months, my mailbox and my inbox had been filled with information about this "extraordinary partnership" between the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Musée du Louvre in Paris. Brochures and newsletters mentioned the rare opportunities for "the exchange of cultural expertise and educational programs" which this three year alliance offers. I was eagerly anticipating the first exhibition "Kings as Collectors" which was described as "a breathtaking exhibition of paintings, sculptures, and antiquities from the collections formed by King Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI." For more about this Collaboration, visit (requires Flash 8)

Our visit coincided with a members preview day which was filled with mimes, activities for the children, live entertainment and photo opportunities with the "King of France" and his Queen. Everyone was in a festival mood as they stood in long lines, squeezed through galleries filled with interested viewers and browsed at the gift shop. It was a pleasant day, and everyone seemed to 'get it' but me!

As we drove home from Louvre-Atlanta,
I began to comment about what we had seen. My daughter and I agreed that the Marble busts - a group of about 30 - were exquisite. But when I said that I was disappointed in the drawings and half-finished sketches and some of the paintings which seemed to be minor works of minor artists, she was quiet. Finally, I asked what she thought. She disagreed with me!

She loved the progression from unfinished sketch to completed painting which she said that most people don't get to see. She was intriqued by the tiny bronzes and she didn't care if the painters were majors or minors. She had not read the glorious descriptions which I had, so she did not go with preconceived notions of breath-taking, overwhelming works. She simply enjoyed.

Two points of view. An enlightening conversation.
I think my second visit will be with fresher eyes.

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