Today I’m going to depart a bit from nature and outdoor photography. Earlier this year my brother and I visited the West Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The museum contains such a large number of works of art, I could spend the entire day in that one museum and feel I still hadn’t seen everything. And with so many other museums close by there’s that itch to keep moving, to see more. I don’t get out to museums often enough.
I think seeing all this artwork can help inspire creativity. You see how other people have interpreted their world, or expressed their emotions. I’m mostly a photographer, but I love seeing paintings from such a diverse group of painters, so many different styles and subjects. I don’t necessarily enjoy all the paintings, but there’s alway something there to learn from. Seeing how different artists handled light and perspective. A docent showed us one painting where the artist was able to beautifully capture perspective. As you walked along the painting it was almost as if the perspective changed. Fantastic.
The museum is also full of statues and other objects, something I don’t think you can really appreciate except in person. You might be able to view a painting online since a painting is mostly a two dimentional form of art, though there can be some limited three dimensionality with the volume of paint the artist applies to different areas. But with statues you can’t beat seeing them in person. I love photos of statues, and I love making photos of statues. But you really do have to see them to fully appreciate them, the play of light and shadow, the form and texture.
Looking through the photos I made at the museum I realize I’m also drawn to how the museum chooses to display the artwork. There is an art to display. And of course, it’s always fun trying to capture people while they view the artwork. And finally, there is the architecture of the museum, itself. The craftsman that built it were themselves artists.
Take some time and visit a museum once in a while. It’s well worth it.
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