Jim and I made a visit to the MFA Boston today, partly so that I could see if I remembered the intricacies of how to drive to the Simmons College campus (which, apparently, I don’t), and partly to see the much-talked-about Chihuly glass exhibit. The museum was crowded – really, really crowded – and after waiting in line for fifteen minutes to get our tickets, we decided to eat lunch first, before the masses also hit the cafeteria (the pizza was pretty terrible, unfortunately). And then we made our way through the maze of the museum, which has changed substantially since the last time I was there several years ago, meaning that I was completely turned around and confused about how to get where we were going. After some wandering we found the line for the Chihuly exhibit, and waited in line for a good half hour or more until we were able to get in. The exhibit was definitely worth the wait: the glass is gorgeous, the colors stunning, the pieces he has created truly unbelievable in their scale and proportion and ability to defy gravity. But the crush of people was a bit much for us two suburban types, and we buzzed through more quickly than we would have done if it hadn’t been so busy. I was disappointed by the portion of the exhibit pictured here, simply because the room was stuffed with other people, humid and smelly with their body heat and dampness. Jim lasted all of a minute in that room before requesting that we move along…and I was right with him.
I couldn’t help thinking wistfully of the time that Dad and Linda and I visited the Mauritshuis in the Hague ten years ago: there was a public transportation strike that day, and the three of us decided to hire a car and driver to get us from Noordwijk ann zee to the Hague. Maybe it was the transportation strike, maybe we just timed things well, or maybe the Mauritshuis is always rather sleepy, but we were almost the only visitors at the museum. I got to spend a good half hour in the company of Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” just me in that room with that amazing painting. That was one of the best half hours of my life, being able to study and appreciate that masterpiece without other people to bug me, and I have a feeling that being alone with Chihuly’s glass pieces could be similarly memorable. But there were just too many people, too many iPhones and Blackberries and other devices, too much photo-taking. I wonder whether the people taking those photos were even looking at the art while they were able to, or if they were simply accumulating snapshots to upload to their Facebook pages – “Look where I was today!”
I’m glad we went, though; glad we ventured out of the ‘burbs and into the city. (I can’t forget to mention that we used the library’s museum pass to get in, saving us $30 in admission fees – yet another reason to love your library.) And in my next post I’ll let y’all in on the reason why I needed to refresh my memory of how to get to the Simmons campus…can you stand the suspense until that post is posted?