Last Sunday I went to the Butler Museum of Art in Youngstown, Ohio. I almost got thrown out …
Yup. I am a rebble-rouser… I was with two other artists and we were inspecting a painting up close – we had gone to see my piece in the Pastel Society of America International Exhibition. The show was first in New York last Fall and then 40 pieces were picked by the Museum Director to travel to the Butler for a showing in one of the gallery spaces. I was excited to be included.
But as we were closely looking at one of the pastels, an irate guard came storming up and yelled at us to not touch the paintings!
I was worried the guy was gonna have a heart attack!
Now, we are not idiots. We know the golden rule of a museum visit and I can assure you that none of us even breathed on the work. But, being artists, we are naturally inclined to want to study things up close. And this guard was just doing his job – protecting the artwork – and he apparently thought we were smudging up the glass or something, but he had a choice – ask us nicely to be sure to not touch anything, or yell like a banshee and make us feel like we had just been accosted. Well, I am sure you know which decision he made. And I could have nicely said thanks, sorry it looked like we were being naughty, and guaranteed we would be more careful or, I could have flipped the guy off behind his back. I am afraid you will have to guess which decision I made. I think the other guards at the monitors are still giggling.
Yes, please do not sneak up on me and yell. I have PTSD from my divorce.