Night at the Museum (Art Is Best Enjoyed on a Hot Day After 7 P.M.)

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Unlike Mark, I didn’t find museums particularly exciting when I was a kid—especially the French kind of museums, i.e. those where you couldn’t touch paintings, couldn’t sit on modern art pieces and where all male visitors with long hair and a beard looked like my dad (yes, I lost my parents a few times in museums).

But at one point, I must have turned old and boring because now, I actually like going to the museum.

I was looking forward to visiting the Musée d’arts de Nantes. It’s not the Louvre, but it’s big with many masterpieces and famous paintings that are best enjoyed in a museum setting.

“Do you think papa forgot we were going to the museum?”

“Probably. I’m going to wait another ten minutes, then I’ll call him.”

“How about you call him now without yelling at him for being late? I mean, if he forgot, he’s not going to show up in ten minutes…”

“… Yeah, makes more sense.”

My dad arrived two minutes later. He hadn’t forgotten. He does forget many basic things on a regular basis—people’s names, what he is supposed to do, where we put stuff at home, where he put his stuff at home—but he doesn’t forget a trip to the museum. Art is his thing. He’s an artist, after all.

Maybe that’s why I enjoy going to the museum with my parents, as lame as it sounds—they are artists, their enthusiasm is contagious and I learn to appreciate visual arts with them.

Gosh. I am all grown up now.

On the way to the museum, we were sidetracked by the migrants’ protest. My mom and I followed it for a little while, then we caught up with my dad, Feng and Mark who were waiting in front of the museum.

It was already 7 p.m.—the museum is free on Thursdays between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.—and it made the visit a bit special. I liked the idea of spending a late evening in the atmosphere of the museum.

We looked at modern art, we checked out the usual masterpieces—Kandinsky, Courbet, Chagall, Vasarely, Picasso—, wondered about several… ahem, weird works of art, walked by hundreds of paintings, lost Feng in the 13th-18th-century art gallery, then lost my dad and Mark somewhere because they lingered in front of paintings depicting war scenes and somehow, we all found each other and finish the visit with the modern art gallery underground.

That’s when we realized that we were cold (it’s cold in museums!) and that we were tired (my mom and I) or hungry (Feng and my dad) or desperate to watch a movie (… Mark).

The museum was about to close, anyway.

This time, for some reason, I found the building itself almost more fascinating than the works of art  displayed. It’s actually very impressive—a classic museum that doesn’t feel too intimidating.

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, my parents and Mark

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, the patio, “It becomes your experience” by James Turrell

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, the patio, “It becomes your experience” by James Turrell

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, the patio, “It becomes your experience” by James Turrell

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, the patio, “It becomes your experience” by James Turrell

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, my parents and Mark

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, the patio, “It becomes your experience” by James Turrell

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

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