Truth be told, I didn’t anticipate such grandeur and elegance when Prof. Ugoretz mentioned the museum at the Macaulay orientation. I thought that we were simply going to view art and write an analytical essay about our observations.
My expectations and preconceived thoughts of the were debunked the moment I stepped outside the subway station. After seeing the Western civilization’s greatest philosophers standing atop the museum, after seeing the museum’s enormous structure dominate the urban surrounding, after seeing security guards denying access to everyone except the Macaulay students, I thought to myself: “Wow.”
Some pictures were relatively complicated, for instance, a girl sitting on a bench surrounded by a marred sky. Looking at this picture, I had no idea why the artist would mar the girl’s face and environment using the paintbrush. An otherwise beautiful girl was ruined by multiple “scratches” on her face with the paintbrush.
Other pictures were easier to decipher but still incomprehensible: in the “Web of Life”, a mother holds a child at the center of the canvas while nature engulfs the rest of the canvas. The meaning of this painting is subject to interpretation. I, however, saw this as the artist’s way of saying that “it takes and entire village to raise a child,” suggesting that the child’s existence was dependent on the mother’s nourishment, the farmer’s seeds and nature’s fruit of life. This piece of art was my favorite, though it didn’t evoke any emotion in me. I simply liked it because of its uniqueness amid other paintings.
Some pictures demanded ample attention: the “Fallen Bierstadt” featured an image of a beautiful landscape which represented the beauty of American nature. The picture was, however, torn asunder…on purpose. The artist, apparently, used such an image to show that nature was cruel, an idea that sharply contrasts with the beauty of the landscape.
The museum was filled with other artifacts to delineate other time periods. Although the sneaker exhibit may have seemed appealing to some people, I thought it was boring since sneakers are a relatively recent invention. I prefer art that can take me to a different time and keep me there long enough for me to learn something about the artist’s intentions in making a piece of art.
All in all, the museum experience was an unforgettable one, mostly, because it was my first time visiting an art museum with my friends and having fun discussing with each other what the paintings and sculptures were. However, I wouldn’t go to the museum alone because part of what made the museum fun was talking to someone else about the art and that is what made the trip worthwhile.