MOMA. Spend a day in New York City. So many things to do, so little time. Eat. Walk around. Duck into the museum from the rain. Museum of Modern Art. Starry Night – Van Gogh, Christina’s World – Andrew Wyeth. There were many more. But these are pretty famous icons. We got to see them up close. There was a huge crowd surrounding Starry Night. The Wyeth was hanging in the hallway. It was cool to have seen them both. People were 10 deep around the Van Gogh taking selfies. The Wyeth was quietly passed in the hallway. So much art, an icon like this would be center stage. Here, it was relegated to the hallway. So much art, so little space.
Van Gogh painted his bedroom. It’s famous. It’s been in my subconscious always. I think. I’m not an artist nor too much interested. The Chicago Art Institute is well known. Duh? They put on an exhibition,” Bedrooms.” The lines were out the door. Wisely we looked up the time and found that you could order up a fast pass. Skip the lines. Get into the exhibit fast. Pay extra. Time was money. Paid online an hour before we went. It seemed like cheating. Well, we paid for it, for sure.
Got there, got in, cut across the big line. In! To the exhibit. There’s plenty more to the museum but we wanted to see the exhibit. Go! Front of the line and the man with the bar code scanner said, “Whoa! You have a fast pass but that does not get you into the Van Gogh exhibit.”
“Foul!” I cried. No problem. Back up. Pay $5/per more for entry. Dammit. You’d think that all that other money would have gotten us in…
The fuss? Van Gogh painted his bedroom three different times. Side by side you can see the differences. And otherwise I am sure I have seen this painting. But I never knew there were three versions. Yes, I do brain surgery. I’ve been under a rock. So, look. The background in each version is slightly different. The three paintings make for an interesting exhibit. I am a photographer. I took advantage that the museum let me take pictures. So many people crowded in front and with their smartphones shot a remembrance. Few paused long enough to appreciate the paintings. I mean ten seconds and one smartphone pic later, that’s not terribly fulfilling. But in today’s world you have about fifteen seconds before the next event hits the news cycle.
To be honest, I did not notice the differences until they were pointed out. This is art not science. I gladly claim happy ignorance. Teach me.
No, I won’t photograph my bedroom three times. No one will care a hundred years from now.