Art Museum Afterthoughts

Today I had an unexpected day off, so I decided to get out of the house and head over to Indy’s art museum, which is both free and excellent. Normally I’m the kind of dweeb who would take advantage of being alone to meticulously read all the placards and spend hours wandering. But today, somehow, I wasn’t feeling it all the way. They’re having an exhibit of coffee and tea pots right now, which I went to first and which made me unexpectedly depressed. I was looking at these pots, hundreds of years old, with no signs of use. I suppose that’s what makes them “museum quality,” but I also wondered, what’s the point? Maybe what I was looking for was something less pristine, less sterile, more human.

In the end it’s the question of what we want to preserve, and what we think will help us see culture through an updated or different lens. I wanted to ask more questions after looking at those things--who used them, and when--but they were so perfect it was hard to attribute a story or deeper meaning to them. They were just pretty things in glass cases. Like the coffee pot zoo.  The last living Paul Revere-forged pitcher. Those pots don’t want to be in cages, they want to be out there on the front lines brewing tea.

There are some favorite paintings there which I got to visit, which improved my mood slightly, and they had updated some pieces in the modern furniture installation, which I always love to linger in. But I left with a general feeling of dissatisfaction and went to wander in the gardens, which was better. I haven’t spent much time on the grounds and discovered some outdoor sculptures and installations that spoke more to my mood. Then, I wandered past two little girls singing the opening bars of “Let it Go” over and over and found my way onto what looked like a real trail but ended up being a glorified game trail. It was nice to be alone and solitary in the woods. Maybe that was what I really needed?

Or maybe I just need to stop listening to 1984 while I’m driving. Depending on where I pause, it is often unsettling. 

I still took plenty of pictures, which you can find below.

vase--lizard fighting octopus

vase--lizard fighting octopus

vase detail

vase detail

this dog has been this good for around 2000 years. 

this dog has been this good for around 2000 years. 

"wind" miyashita zenji 2006

"wind" miyashita zenji 2006

mid 19th century from Mali

mid 19th century from Mali

this installment is huge, called "a flock of signs"

this installment is huge, called "a flock of signs"

indigneous tribes. 

indigneous tribes. 

shit growing on a decomposing branch

shit growing on a decomposing branch

corroded oil drum near the end of the "trail" i found. 

corroded oil drum near the end of the "trail" i found.