Monday, September 10, 2012


One of the good things about working in Oakland is my proximity to the Carnegie Museum. I usually remember it when I'm feeling bombarded--and it has never failed to be a sanctuary, even on the toughest of days. When I feel disordered and disheveled and stretched to my limit, the museum provides a space for me to breathe in again. It is ordered and clean and quiet, both cozy and spacious. 

On Friday, I wandered in for one of my lunch-break escapes. I sat on a leather couch in a purple gallery and read about James Abbott McNeill Whistler. I strolled through the blue-walled galleries that house their (familiar) permanent collection. I even ducked into the Natural History section and disappeared into the hall of minerals and gems.

Though I've been to the museum countless times, I always discover something new while I'm there. This time, I was surprised to find myself most attracted to abstract, black-white-and-greyscale paintings hanging in the more modern end of the permanent galleries. They felt expansive: free and open to interpretation.

Detail from Castile (España) by Robert Motherwell, 1952

Detail from Siegfried by Franz Kline, 1958

Detail from Painting, by Antoni Tápies, 1958

Which goes to show that even if the venue is the same, you can always see things with new eyes, every single time you go.

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