On Friday nights, the St. Louis Art Museum stays open later than usual. It’s really just to give semi-educated, mid-20s guys a place to woo their dates, but hey, whatever works.
Because nothing says, “You’re cute, and I want to hang out more” like dim lighting and a good mummy display.The museum is in the midst of reconstruction. It was originally built in 1904 for the World’s Fair, and the collection is starting to outgrow the building.
I’m pretty confident Americans don’t build buildings this beautiful for any reason anymore, let alone for a short-term world fair.
Quonset huts, baby. That’s where it’s at.But somehow, in the midst of a horribly broken economy, the staff has managed to start raising $125 million for the new part of the building.
I’m secretly hoping they make it an even $130 million and send the leftover five to Walther Library.
Anything for, you know, the arts.
But let’s get down to the point of this post: I’m not an art aficionado. I don’t know a Provoost from a Pynacker. My art palate is about as developed as kindergartener’s.
That is to say, nobody can spot the primary colors and a good stick figure like I can.
Ok, so I take that back. Maybe I do know good art when I see it.
Also, if any of my friends out there are closet thieves, this would look great on my wall of icons.
And Christmas is coming up.
And you probably haven’t gotten my present yet so . . .
Here’s my problem: I only like art that I can understand. I can look at a statue of a leader of a Chinese dynasty and know what it is.
I can look at scary weapons and know what they are.
I can look at me and . . . whoops. How’d that slip in there?
There were quite a few folks plopped down on little stools trying to sketch different artifacts and pieces of artwork tonight. . . .
which would have been cool had I not see a little girl trying to sketch three nude men while her mother hovered over her shoulder and told her she was going to be the next Picasso.
That was awkward.
I want a boy who will build me wooden staircases.
Basically anything that has a case involved.And maybe buy me wonky drawers help together by a giant chunk of dental floss. And maybe a funky yellow couch for good measure.
Is it too much to ask that my future husband be cool with randomly colored 20th-century British furniture? Here’s what I need him to NOT be okay with: pieces of art that art not actually art.
I may not be an artist, but I know the Centrum logo when I see it. And this. What is this? Somebody donated their wardrobe? Outgrew their pants? Got sick of his wife saying he dresses like a bum?
Not. Art.And really?
Now you’re just getting desperate.
Ok, so it’s not actually art. They’re re-painting this room. But I stood in it for a good thirty seconds before I realized it wasn’t an art lesson in 21st-century minimalism. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, I actually stared at these four panels for quite a while.
I was trying. I really was.
I turned my head sidewise.
I stepped back.
I stepped close.
I looked at an angle. From the right. From the left.
And that’s when I saw: “This exhibit has been temporarily removed for routine maintenance.”
Ahh. Leftover picture frames.
All right, folks. Nothing to see here. Move it along. Ok, so I’m not that great at art.
So I have a lot to learn.
So I don’t know a DaVinci from a David.
So I managed hours in the museum without ever finding the Lucas Cranach piece.
So I clearly have a long way to go. All of that pales in comparison to this.
This made it all worth it. (No, it didn’t.)
I mean, which of us girls hasn’t gotten annoyed when we’ve seen our exes with beautiful, fabulous, even, false teeth?
None of us.
That’s how many.
But the best part of the evening, the part that made the whole trip worth it, was when a security guard offered to walk me to my car. He asked me what I did for a living, and I told him I edit a Lutheran magazine.
Him: “I’m Lutheran too!”
Me: “Really? What kind?”
Him: “Um . . . the Philadelphia kind?”
Me: “Ahhh. The Philly Lutherans.”
Him: “Yeah! YEAH! So that’s cool that you edit a magazine. I’m a full-time artist. This security guard thing is just on the side.”
Me: “Excellent. Good luck with that.”
Him: “Well, make sure you come back next weekend. We’re opening the Moe-net exhibit.”
Him: “You know, the water lily guy?”
A full-time artist Philly Lutheran who loves Moe-net.
You know, now that I think about it, maybe my knowledge of artwork isn’t so bad after all.