I have some home-exchangers from Copenhagen staying in my home this week (I stayed in their’s last September), so I decided to do a little “stay-cay” up in LA for a couple of days. Thanks to the generosity of my sister, Mariellen, and brother-in-law, Peter, I stayed in their FABULOUS apartment in Hancock Park overlooking the Wilshire Country Club.
I grew up in LA…actually the San Fernando Valley (yes, I’m a “Valley Girl”…although I was 21 when that came out)…but hadn’t really done much LA stuff, so I decided to be a tourist for a couple of days. I headed up Monday mid-morning and my first stop was the LA County Museum of Art…aka LACMA. I’m not sure I’ve ever been there, even on school field trips, and it was so great in more ways than I would have imagined.
I’ve never really been much of a museum goer in my younger years, but have come to love the peaceful solitude I feel as I roam their vast halls soaking up the history and spectacular art. One of my favorite areas in any museum, and the one I usually head for first, is the “European Art” section. I know it’s so cliche, but I love the classic paintings of Monet, Rembrandt, Gauguin…and sculptures by Degas and Rodin. As I was strolling and wondering what it is about these paintings that I love….except the obvious beauty of the artwork itself…I realized that every familiar painting or artist that I viewed brought me back to another memory or experience that I’d had in the past. So, as I continued through the museum, I literally started writing down, and re-living, the places that each picture or artist brought me back to.
Artist, Camille Pissarro…I’d just seen an exhibition of his work this past April in Paris at the Musee du Luxembourg.
Painting: Le Pont du Carrousel a Paris by Bonnard…a view of Notre Dame and the Seine..again, I was just there in April
Artist, Degas…Reminded me of a trip to Paris I had in 2012 on my visit to the Orsay museum, where there was a special extensive exhibition of his work.
Artists, Rembrandt & Aelbert Cuyp…Reminded me of a super fun trip to Amsterdam with the neighbors. The scenes on the artwork, as well as the memory of some things we bought while we shopped at the Albert (they dropped the “e” at the beginning of his given name) Cuyp Market when we were there, made me smile.
….from there it just snowballed into memories of trips to Europe and NY, the museums where I’d seen some of the same artists and reliving some great moments in my life through the years. It made me really look at some of the artwork more closely to not only appreciate how old they were, but how much I felt connected to the places they depicted, or where the artist was from. It was so, so cool!
So, just meandering through a museum for a couple of hours turned into a magical walk down memory lane….and THAT is how/why museums and traveling are so connected….and I just figured it out! I’ve always been a fan of the arts, but it gave me a bigger appreciation of the importance of museums and the arts and how they make the world a smaller place. I’m not sure my younger self would have connected the two, because I hadn’t done as much traveling as I have in recent years. Which, of course, just makes me want to do more!