Wandering through museums

There is something refreshing about the blank spaces of museums. On an otherwise hectic day, you might enter a museum, walk through galleries full of bright paintings hung on dull coloured walls, and emerge with a new view on the bustle outside. A museum’s galleries are designed not to call attention to themselves. These photos were taken in Duesseldorf’s K20, built in 1986. I took these photos soon after the architects, Dissing+Weitling of Copenhagen, became famous for their design of the Oresund bridge. They capture my experience of walking through any modern museum: long views through doorway after doorway, the enveloping quietness.

The long sight lines are part of the design, making a museum guard’s job easier. It is not an easy job; having to stand for hours, keeping an eye on all visitors. Now and then, when I enter a museum at an off-peak time, I can see one sitting down, perhaps to read a newspaper. Otherwise they are usually on their beat, perhaps occasionally exchanging a few words with a colleague. It wasn’t a dangerous job till now.

Author: I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

16 thoughts on “Wandering through museums”

  1. I was in Munich for a couple of nights in 2004 on my way to Verona to study Italiam. As soon as I arrived I went to an art museum near my hotel. It is in one of the few buildings remaining from the Third Reich. I attracted the attention of a docent who ended up being a great guy who took me to the Nymphenbur Castle. He didn’t speak English. I could read but not speak German. We both spoke some French and Italian but didn’t have the same vocabulary (different nations, different school systems). It was a pretty crazy adventure. As for the museum, It was a WW II building in the Nazi style. It didn’t feel built to serve the art but vice-versa. Oddly, there was a large collection of Dada. Outside on the wall was a huge banner advertising a performance of a play by Goethe but I was never able to find the place to buy tickets. It was somewhere down in the subway. The whole journey was like an absurdist play ending with my having made friends with the Turkish woman who’d driven me from the airport and came back to take me to the train. “You have to learn German,” she said (in English). “If I can you could.” Sorry for the tangent.

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  2. One of the more annoying thing is to find a museum whose builders chose to pay more attention to showing off the architect’s work than the art inside. Fortunately, your experience is more common, and finding them when they are not busy is the best. I once visited Washington’s National Gallery of Art to see an important exhibit on loan just after a big snowstorm. I had the place almost to myself while the day before there were long lines waiting for timed tickets to enter.

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