Serendipity in the Museum
April 3, 2013
Serendipity has always been an important role in the art making experience. Sometimes an artist's muse seems to talk to us in ways we could never predict. Actually, it's something we often count on and, hopefully, ready to embrace. But what about the art viewing experience?
Yesterday, I took the afternoon off to meet my wife, artist Susie Krasnican, and our children, at the museum's Renwick Gallery. Susie has a number of works in American Art's permanent collection and Dress for Success has been on display for the last few months. We wanted the girls to see the piece, not only because it's their mother's but also because it speaks about the expectations we attach to women in our society. Also, she made the piece when we were just starting our family and it also deals with her expectations about motherhood.
We met at the gallery and I took them upstairs. We passed docent Margo Smith leading a tour in another room and finally found Susie's art. You never know what teenage girls are thinking (well, I don't, as hard as I try) but they listened intently as Susie explained the genesis of her work.
Suddenly, the tour came into the room. Susie backed away as Margo began to speak to the group about her work. We were voyeurs, listening to what she had to say. And I was wondering what my wife would think of her explanation. Artists can never predict the breath of reactions to one's work. It never ceases to amaze both of us how people react to our art. Susie thought Margo was spot on!
The docent was very excited to learn that the artist was listening to her tour and all of a sudden, Susie was giving an impromptu talk about the piece to the group.
You never know what will happen when people get together to look and talk about art. Those on the tour told us they got a bonus. The artist did too.
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