Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Philly I love ya, but sometimes you break my heart.

Renoir, Portrait of Mademoiselle Legrand

About 20 years ago a friend's father penned a piece for Philadelphia Magazine regarding the lame headers in the Inquirer that led into well-written articles. The theme of that entire issue of PM was the title of this post. It's in that spirit that I've been meaning to mention something that drives me absolutely bonkers when I visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It's what's on the walls.

I'm not talking about the paintings. I'm talking about the paint. In a museum with spectacular architecture, a staggeringly good collection, and my very favorite Renoir the walls look like they were imported from an elementary school classroom in 1968. I know. Hard to believe, but Bumply Light Dirty Tan walls really do nothing for the art. Maybe there was some money leftover from the Perelman Building that they could use for a fresh, less bumply coat. If that's the case they should go for it. Whatever they do, I just wish they'd stop breaking my heart.

Just to be clear: Other than their walls, I love the PMA! Here's something nice about them by Andrea Kirsh on Artblog. And don't even get me started on the roomful of Duchamp.

Duchamp, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass)


Mark said...

Bumply, that's a Sherman-Williams brand.

Heart As Arena said...

Yes. Not to be confused with Stucco.

martin said...

don't change it, 'cause it is very funny, but that is not a duchamp you have posted.

it's richard hamilton.

Heart As Arena said...

Ha! Shit. I KNEW something was wrong. And when I say that I mean that nothing was wrong, y'know. Fixing it now. Thanks, Martin.

biv said...

I was going to say I feel similarly about the Brooklyn Museum of Art, in that they don't have any sense of how to light the artwork--so many pieces have NO good viewing angle without a harsh reflection--but then I remembered I'm not thrilled with what's on the walls, either. I want to love it.
By the way, you rock. Thanks.