Why I Don’t Love Art Museums

Art Museum by Natalie Parker

Yes, I said it.

Send the travel police to come arrest me, but I don’t love art museums.

I get along okay with art museums and I like visiting them, but we’re never going to have a serious relationship.  And you know what?  That’s okay.

Here’s the Truth: There Are No Rules for Travel

It’s just not my thing.  I’m okay spending a couple of hours at The Famous Museum.  But too much longer and I get bored and sleepy like a five year old.

If there’s a piece I know and really want to see, I will really enjoy it and have one of those out-of-body experiences.  I remember seeing Starry Night for the first time.  I remember sitting for at least twenty minutes with Washington Crossing the Delaware.  I checked out David for at least thirty minutes.  It’s not that way with every painting or every gallery.

Some say in Florence that you must spend at least half a day in the Uffizi Gallery.  Mr. P and I spent a couple of hours.  I enjoyed sitting with the Birth of Venus and watching other people elbow each other around the painting to get a picture.

Just because the art museum is The Famous Thing To Do in a city doesn’t mean that it’s best for you.  Even if Rick Steves gives it three diamonds.  I actually love the Orangerie in Paris much more than the Louvre.

Oh, the crowds.  I bet you thought that would be at the top of the list.  Yes, the crowds are annoying sometimes.  I am part of the crowd as a visitor, of course.  But yes, the constant shove of people trying to get a picture of The Famous Painting gets a little old.  Sometimes I enjoy people watching though.

Venus De Milo Florence by Natalie Parker

Yes, that was what seeing the Venus de Milo in Florence was like when we visited.

Do I wish I knew more about art history so I could appreciate it more?  Sometimes.  But I wish I knew everything about every city I travel to.  I don’t know everything.  And even so, I still think I’d get cranky and sleepy.  I can’t help it.

The bottom line is that like anything else in travel, there are no rules.  Do what you want to do and don’t stick to what the guides or your friends say you must do.

Do you love art museums?  We can still be friends.


1 thought on “Why I Don’t Love Art Museums

  1. I often love an art museum for the architecture as much as for the art! The Tate Modern is just awe inspiring as a building. How they repurposed an industrial space into something so stunning – the vastness of the main hall, gets me every time. Oh, and the crowds….I arrived before to the museum opened to queue up to see the Matisse show at MoMa a couple years ago for that reason. It was awesome to have those galleries nearly to myself. Once people start hoarding into it’s torture – you can barely see the art.
    You’re brave to say so, but I imagine tons of other people feel the same way. You do you!

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