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Museum Migration Mystery

December 20, 2010

                                                       Martin Schongauer etching

I had once read a quote by actor Anthony Hopkins, who also paints, that art works in a museum are like old friends that you can visit again and again.  Maybe things are more settled in the UK, because a lot has been migrating around MAIC and I don’t know where some things have gone.  So I sent an email pestering the museum about the three pieces that I have been wondering about: a Schongauer etching, a pair of  Durer Woodcuts and a Chinese bronze statue.

  Ancient Chinese bronze Taoist Goddess

MAIC responded to me the next day with an email from “Visitor Comments”:

“The works are still in the collection however they are not currently on display. Works on paper are sensitive to light, are frequently rotated and their display time is limited. While these two specific works are in storage, there are two prints by Durer currently on display in the galleries. Several Chinese works were moved earlier in the year and this particular sculpture was taken off display.”

Now I wish I had taken a better photograph of it.  Dang. Plus, a mental note to get photos of works on paper and take good notes.  I noticed right away when the Durer was moved because I wrote a pretty long visual and historical analysis of this woodcut for a class.  It’s just been bugging me since the print went away.

                      Albrecht Durer woodcut

This interaction reminds me of an office job in 1998 when everyone was jumping on the bandwagon and reading this smarmy business success book titled Who Moved My Cheese?  I’m suspicious of quick fixes, pop psychology pap and pep rallies; so I’ve never read it.  I figured at the time, if this book contained any great revelations, it would still be in vogue some time later.  It must not have held as many keys to enlightenment as hoped, because I just checked Amazon and there are 2,812 used copies for sale starting at $0.01 USD and plenty of copies in that lowest price point.  (Yeah, a penny.)  Seems to me I saved many valuable minutes of my life by not reading that book; meanwhile, I can just email someone to find out who moved my art cheese.

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Categories: Art History, Uncategorized
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