Seeing Things (3): Seeing in the Dark
January 13, 2009
This is the third in a series of personal observations about how people experience and explore museums.
I think museums come to life at night. As the day draws to a close and evening begins to come on, I feel a sense of containment, as if the outside world is a kind of frame around my museum experience. What’s better than an evening at a museum while the world around you is settling down for the night: it’s magic. The day has so many expectations and obligations to it, but the night gives us a different sense of ourselves as well as of the city we live in. Maybe we’re a little freer at night, a bit more open to possibilities.
American Art is open till 7:00 p.m., which means you can visit after work, walk through the galleries, and end up in the Kogod Courtyard and watch the sky turn from light to darkness. Check out the online calendar for talks, lectures, and performances, such as Take Five! jazz concerts that add another dimension to the evening. On January 15 from 5 to 8 p.m., Eric Byrd leads the eight-piece Brother Ray Band, performing the music of Ray Charles. And while you're marking your calendar, add February 19 (same hours) to hear the Night and Day Quintet, featuring vocalist Renée Tannenbaum and pianist Michael Suser.
I hope the hours never change. There truly is something to be said for the way things look in those galleries as the sun goes down and the courtyard lights go on and the events planned by the staff take full advantage of the wonderful venue.
Posted by: Patrick | Jan 13, 2009
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