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    Thursday, January 11, 2007


    The Barcelona exhibit just ended at the Cleveland Museum of Art on January 7.  It was a really good exhibit, your loss if you did not make it out.  The exhibit did a fine job of reflecting the intellectual and artistic rise of the city, and the downward turn it took at the point of the Spanish Civil War.  Works by Picasso, Gaudi, Dali and others were on display.
    Gina and I went, together with Gina's mom and Gina's sister, Giovanna.  The art museum is a little bit of a mess, what with all of the new construction.  Since it has been closed in its entirety for awhile, I allowed my museum membership to lapse.  I renewed it when we went to the exhibit on Saturday, December 30.
    Saturday at the art museum over the holiday was busy.  Which is no surprise.  We had to wait in line for about a half an hour just to be let into the exhibit area.  That is not a complaint, not by any means.  I would rather the museum regulate the number of people going in so you aren't all crawling all over each other once you are in.  Still, it was not without its waits for certain pieces of art, and as long as people remain courteous, this is no problem.
    And that is the rub, for you see, it isn't easy for some people to be courteous of others.  Indeed, I think it may be contrary to their very being. 
    As we were leaving the room with the Gaudi exhibit, there was a rather loud and snooty know-it-all voice that was entering the room.  And as he hollered his nonsense, I just hoped that he would stay far enough behind me so as not to disrupt my viewing of the art.
    But this was not to be.
    Gina and I waited in line to see a particular Dali.  This one.  And we waited patiently for others to view and enjoy -- after all, there is so much to look at when looking at Dali's surrealist work.
    And that is when the loud pretentious voice, once disembodied, barged right in front of us, wearing his tan pants and brown tweed jacket.  And he informed Gina and me quite authoritatively that we had to step aside, because he had a group of about thirty-five people here to see the Dali, and we could resume our viewing "in about 10 minutes."  As if we hadn't paid to be there, hadn't waited patiently in line to view the painting, and had somehow less of a right to view it at this very moment.  And indeed, we apparently did have less of a right, for just as I was about to tell him that no, he and his people could wait in line just like everyone else, I spotted his Cleveland Museum of Art ID badge on the lanyard draped around his pencil neck.  So, Gina and I stepped aside ... but no more than about three feet.
    Having already suffered this fool's lack of couth, I decided to stick around to see if perhaps he would at least have something enlightening to say.  Instead he yammered pedantically about Freud and Oedipus -- as if only an art history major would know who they were!  And he spoke down to his little crowd as if they too had never heard of them, and would never have spotted the Freudian symbolism of the painting if he had not led their little piggie faces to the trough of his psuedo-intellectual slop.  
    When he was finally finished, he asked if anyone had any questions.  I looked at Gina, and said:
    When you majored in art history, did you minor in being an asshole, or did you develop that skill elsewhere?
    Gina gave me a little punch -- as if to disapprove, but only a little.  Perhaps because I didn't say it quite loud enough for Mr. Pretentious Pencilneck to hear me.  And if I didn't say it louder, it was only because I didn't quite feel ready to cause such a scene in front of my future mother-in-law -- who by now was in the room.
    There was not much exhibit left after this point -- but I heard this Mr. PP droning on and on through the rest of the exhibit, and it was enough to inspire me to write a little comment about it in the comment book at the end of the tour.  Well, a rather lengthy comment actually, that we all paid to be there, and that if you are going to take tours of people through like this, don't be rude about it.  Because as much as I enjoyed the exhibit, and support the musuem, it did leave a bad taste in my mouth.  Bad enough that here I am, almost two weeks later, writing about it.
    I am awaiting my renewal membership card in the mail.  Perhaps I will take that opportunity to let someone at the museum know that they ought to review their policy and practice regarding this, and change it. 

    Comments on "Barcelona"


    Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:15 AM, January 12, 2007) : 

    As someone who will hold a grudge and keeps my temper at a low simmer in general, and if prone to boil over especially when confronted by assholes, I think you were within your rights.


    Blogger Gina Ventre said ... (8:21 AM, January 12, 2007) : 

    Pencil Neck: "Now what do these look like on her mouth?"

    Eager Voice: "Ants!"

    Pencil Neck: "Goooood. And what do you think ants stand for?"

    -Silence amongst the Eager Voiced-

    Pencil Neck (authoritative hand gesturing): "Well in this case, ants can stand for decay, okay?"


    Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:59 AM, January 12, 2007) : 

    OMFG!!! I make a point when at an art exhibit to speak very quietly, and off to the side, for two reasons. I don't want to disturb other people's viewing. And I don't want to sound like a pretentious prick if I make a comment about the technique or symbolism.

    I thank you for not ignoring the problem. I love the CMA and would hate for that kind of behavior to continue.

    Also, I went to see the Gee's Quilt exhibit a few years ago, and someone was taking flash pictures right next to me. I think she was tackled by the blazer-wearing docents about 4 minutes later. So not all the docents are PPs.


    Anonymous Kathleen said ... (11:55 AM, January 12, 2007) : 

    I was waiting patiently for this post to show up. I knew you couldn't resist.

    You were within your rights to be upset and you probably should have said something that night. You still could.


    Blogger melcarrel said ... (9:59 PM, January 12, 2007) : 

    I'm proud of you for holding back and leaving the "constructive criticism" for the comment book. I know that had to be difficult. I think even I would've been seething enough to want to verbally lash out at the guy. And I hate confrontation. Those people really piss me off!


    Blogger Audient said ... (7:43 AM, January 13, 2007) : 

    I love the art museum -- that is why I was especially bummed that this happenned. I don't need anyone's head on a stick.


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