Sunday my husband and I went to the Chrysler Museum’s new glass studio to watch a world-class glass artist, Debora Moore, perform her art.
We’ve been meaning to go since it opened and finally found an opportunity yesterday. It was an amazing experience watching her and her helpers compose one of her orchids. We’ve been members of the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk since we moved here three and a half years ago. Joining was one of the first things we did, because an investment in the arts has always been important to us. When we lived in San Antonio, we were members of the McNay Art Museum, another amazing institution.
Many museums across the country are struggling in this difficult economy. What surprised me is that, in spite of these economic times, the Chrysler decided to stop charging admission, except for its visiting shows, about a year ago. They wanted more people to be able to enjoy the art. When I was a teacher in San Antonio, I took my students on field trips to the McNay. There was no admission charge and Southwest Bell picked up the cost of the buses which made it possible to take these trips. I can’t tell you how many students were in awe of the artwork because they had never been in an art museum before. They couldn’t wait to tell their parents and bring their parents back to the museum so they could show them what had made them so excited. I had grown up going to art museums in New York with my father, so it was incomprehensible to me that so many youngsters had never had the experience of visiting one.
How many of you have art museums in your communities or in communities near you that you’ve been meaning to get to but just haven’t made the time? When was the last time you took your children? If you don’t have any children or they are grown, how many of you know children in your neighborhood who’ve never been on the inside of one of these museums? Maybe you could borrow a kid and introduce him or her to an amazing treasure. If you haven’t been in awhile, maybe you need to put it on your list of important things to do. Art is inspiring, invigorating, soothing, a salve for the soul, but for many it’s just an afterthought. Do yourself a favor and move that thought to the forefront. You’ll wonder why you waited so long!