Saturday, January 12, 2008

New Thing #293: Artsniff

At the Cloisters Museum, a sign in one of what I will lovingly call the Tomb Rooms explains that "while art engages the senses," patrons should not touch it, because their hand oils destroy stuff. Got it. I grew up touring museums, so that' s been drummed into my head since I was about 2. But that part about how "art engages the senses" intrigued me. Kevin recently mentioned that he once smelled a Picasso painting, just because he could. And while I obviously draw the line at tasting art, who's to say I can't engage the senses that won't destroy stuff? So today while we were at the Cloisters with some friends who were scouting the area as a possible wedding location, I smelled art. Art at the Cloisters is more along the lines of religious statues, impressive columns and the aforementioned tombs, so the overall verdict is "musty," with a hint of "stoney" and "old" thrown in. I at one point did catch a guard eying me judgmentally, butwhy? I SAID I drew the line at licking stuff!

Capital sculpture from Saint Michele de Cuxa, 1190.
Smells like chicken.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jen,

Being in the museum profession, I often smell art. Sometimes its good, sometimes its bad. My most memorable smell was when I used to work at LACMA and I was working with some old Japanese bottles. The inside of them smelled just like the Pirates of the Caribean ride at Disneyland. It was awesome!

Take care,
Candi Reichardt

artsniff said...

You took my name.