My Ah-Ha Moment…When I Knew I was Hooked on Museums.
I have always loved going to museums. As a little girl, our class at school would take a field trip to Chicago to either The Museum of Science and Industry, The Field Museum or The Art Institute. Looking back, it was most likely The Art Institute that I loved the most. I loved when I discovered the Impressionist section. I had never seen art like that in my life. It was so beautiful, ethereal and feminine. The colors pulled me in.
But my love of visiting museums really came together the first time I went to Paris in June of 1984. When I arrived, it was raining, and I was jet-lagged. But who can rest when you have Paris to explore? I set out to walk and I walked, and I walked. I learned early that Paris is also beautiful in the rain. In that walking I discovered a city that seemed to me to be one large museum. I was like a “kid in a candy store”. The more I walked, the more I wanted to see, the more curiosity I had. I decided there and then I wanted to visit as many museums as possible to learn about this City of Lights, to learn about art, artists who had lived there and who were so much a part of the history.
In Paris (and in all of France) there is a museum for everything, everyone famous and every subject. I started out by going to the old train station that had recently been renovated to be the Musee d’Orsay; I saw the recently opened Picasso Musee with floors of his work reflecting the periods of his life; I visited museums not so well known like the Musee de Publicitie (advertising museum), The Musee Carnavalet (the museum of the history of Paris), The Baccarat Musee. .
My love of photography and fashion are constantly fed by various exhibits in Paris. Two museums have continued to be my favorites, the Jeu de Paume, where I have been introduced to many photographers, past and present and the Musee de la Mode, where fashion reigns. I have seen the past works and designs of fashion designers who always aroused my curiosity.
I am fascinated at the number of museums that the French have but most of all, I am captivated by French style and how their exhibits are put together such flare, movement, design.
Each museum has sparked more curiosity, more questions. I love social history and I wanted to read about the people I came across in these museums….different eras, different artists, expats who had lived in Paris. It was like which came first…the museum that made me want to find out more or the history that sent me to visit the museums. It all became intertwined. And that feeling, excitement, curiosity continues to this day.
I am so fortunate to have these two lives. One here in the US and one in France. Oh, the places I have seen!
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