What you see in an art museum might not always make you giddy with delight or experience that swooning sensation of being overwhelmed by raw beauty. Certainly we always try to generate these moments, and actually, the more the better in my opinion. Art is so subjective! It can be fun, beautiful, complicated, difficult or challenging. And sometimes it has all of these effects. But regardless of how the artworks are perceived, in the daily life of a museum, we put ideas up on the wall. If they make you think in a new way about your experience or that of others, we have achieved one of our goals.
Whether ravishing, provoking or primarily educational, we aim to provide a broad array of uplifting experiences with every one of our exhibitions. And so it is with the two fascinating shows opening this month, From Combat to Carpet, and It’s Only a Paper Moon, that we explore shared memory and experiences. Though very different in nature, these exhibitions will intrigue the eye and provide much food for thought.
It’s Only a Paper Moon, guest curated by Dr. Christopher Steiner is a visual delight full of fond memories from our collective past. In addition to viewing hundreds of souvenir photo portraits of people like your grandparents and their ancestors, you’ll be able to get into the show – by posing in our own paper moon photo booth and then perhaps posting your image for others to enjoy, using #PaperMoon. Take an enjoyable stroll down nostalgia lane and connect it with some selfies of your own!
From Combat to Carpet presents an entirely different view of the world. Not the carefree vacationers or young couples in love, the memories depicted by these rugs crafted using centuries-old tradition bleakly reference the nearly continuous upheavals brought on by war in Afghanistan and international tensions. Artfully depicted, the images recall armaments and places of conflict with startling clarity. One gets the sense that more than art; these are declarations of the fierce independence we associate with that population. Come in and sample an experience completely other than what most of us, fortunately, have in our cultural memory reservoir.
Many other events and programs are starting up this month. The Listening Room, our music series, returns on February 8th at 5:30 pm with Phred & Friends Jazz Quartet! A new enriching and educational lecture series will start later this month. “Collecting Explored” will begin on February 23rd at 5:30 pm. Over the course of three months, we’ll hear noted speakers discuss different types of art collecting and highlights from various specialty fields. Of course, you can check our website for details on this and everything else.
I look forward to seeing you enjoy the broad variety of exhibitions and experiences we’re offering at Your Museum!