Museum Essay

When this project was brought to my attention at the beginning of the semester I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know much about the history of art or any of the specific terms that are used in the art world. I have been to museums in the past but that was when I was in elementary school and they didn’t teach us any of the specific terms that they used in the art world. On the handout that you gave the class you wrote questions that you though would be helpful for us to answer to succeed on this paper. The museum that I decided to go to was the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. In the following paper I will discuss what the museum looked like, the tour that I went on. What I thought of the tour, the pieces of art in the tour. How I felt while I was in the museum and the discovery that I found out about myself about the type of art that catches my attention.

When I arrived at the National Gallery of Art, the outside structure of the building took my breath away. From outside looking at the museum its size just astonished me. The big tall granite columns and the granite steps reminded me of ancient Greek architecture. Once I made it up the marble staircase I finally arrived inside the museum. When I got inside the museum I had entered from the back and I had to walk to the information desk. On my way to the information desk I look around the museum to se if anything on that floor caught my eye. The statue in the middle of the museum caught my I because it was a beautiful fountain and the sound of the water coming out of the statue made me think that it was beautiful. After looking at the fountain I made my way to the information desk to get a map and a list of the tours that were going on that day. I looked over the list and decided to go on the John Singer Sargent tour.
When I arrived at the National Gallery of Art there where a lot of different tours that I could have went on. I decided that I wanted to go on the John Singer Sargent Tour because I had read about him and some of his works while doing my clipping collection. I also wanted to see some of his work because they were pictured in the Baltimore Sun. The paintings that were in the Baltimore Sun that I actually got to see up close was the Madame X and Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. These two paintings in the sun were just black and white photos but in the museum their beauty was unbelievable and also there size was impressive. I had to wait in line for about 40 minutes before the tour started and it lasted about an hour I’d say. The first painting that you see when you are on the tour is the Madame X. Madame X is probably the painting that Sargent is most famous for. In the painting Madame Gautreau stance and provocative dress were thought to be eccentric and astonishing. Madame Gautreau mother wanted Sargent to take out of his show because she thought that the painting was to provocative. The other painting that was in the Baltimore Sun that I saw was Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. This painting was Sargents masterpiece, during the period of art know as impressionism. He captured the effect of twilight with the artificial light of candle lanterns as the light reflected off the faces of the two children in this painting. There were more paintings that were on this tour but the one’s I talked about were the ones that I was most interested in. Some of the other pieces of art that were on display were Fumee d’ambre gris (1880), Sortie de l’egilse(1882), The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit(1882), Enna and Betty, Daughters of Asher and Mrs. Wertheimer(1901), Lord Ribblesdale(1902), On the Grand Canal(1907), Palmettos(1917), Two Girls in White Dresses(1909-1911)and Nonchaloir(1911). Overall I thought that the tour was very informative and also beautiful. I like for the most part all of Sargent’s paintings.

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After the tour was over I proceeded to walk around the rest of the museum. I came about all types of art that I really didn’t like. I came across some biblical paintings and they just didn’t do anything for me. I also came across portraits of some of the presidents. They were okay but they just didn’t have the beauty that I was looking for. I later found the beauty that I was looking for when I came across a room in the museum that was filled with landscape paintings. I guess I figured out then that, that was the type of art that I like. I also came to thinking this because I love to be outside all year round. I just love nature and all that Mother Nature has to offer.

In conclusion I had a very good time at the museum. Since it was the first time I have been as an adult I expected a lot from the museum and the museum did a fine job in performing up to my expectations and even more. At first in the museum I didn’t feel real comfortable because I didn’t really know what to expect. But as the time passed while I was in the museum I did grow more comfortable and by the time I left I felt pretty good about myself because I had learned a lot in class and didn’t feel like an idiot like I thought I would. In the handout you asked the question would you go to a museum again if it weren’t mandatory? Well at the beginning of the semester I would have told you not in a million years but now I would have to tell you that I would. I had a really good experience because I know about the types of art in the museum and also some of the pieces I had already actually seen.
Arts Essays


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