My dad loved paintings and when I was a kid, he bought this game called Masterpiece. I don’t remember what the rules were but we basically just used it as a trivia game. Each card showed a famous painting and then we had to guess the artist, title, country and date. For whatever geeky reason, I LOVED it. When I was in college I had to take an art history course to fulfill some kind of required credit…I don’t think I cared much what it would be. But as the teacher was going through the works of Northern Renaissance masters and describing all of the hidden symbolism, I was hooked. One of our assignments was to go into Manhattan (I went to college about 45 minutes outside the city) and check out specific paintings at The Met. The cool thing was, I had NO IDEA what awaited me as I walked up those steps that lead to the grand foyer.
I must have had some preconceived idea in my head about what a museum would look like (I’m sure I’d been to museums before). But upon walking through the entrance, I lost my breath for a few moments. The soaring ceiling and grand staircase, the sculptures you could start to see peeking out from the rooms ahead, and then the great expanse of the collection, holding…you guessed it…the real-life originals of those famous works I had seen on the little game cards from my youth. I’ve since become an avid visual arts lover and my husband and I are (very) amateur collectors. But there was something so visceral and transformative about that first visit I made to one of the best museums in the world. I haven’t really experienced it the same way since. It’s what I continue to hope for whenever I go to a museum for the first time...that moment of awe when a room opens up and holds something unexpected and yet, profoundly meaningful to you, personally. What are your favorite museum experiences? Leave a comment below...we'd love to try them out for ourselves!