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  • Writer's pictureBecky Fifield

Museum Monday – A Young Patron Gets Critical

This was too good not to share.

I work at a large NYC art institution (you can figure out which one). We welcome guests from the neighborhood, across the country, and around the world.

I was walking through the gallery on Friday when a four-year-old girl decidedly exclaimed:

“There is nothing in this museum! Nothing! Boring! Boring! Boring!”


Perhaps she needed to participate in an age-appropriate gallery activity. Maybe she needed a nap. Maybe it wasn’t Disney World. Or maybe, we can hope, museums will grow on her over the next few years.

My friend Ms. H queried on her Facebook page “What was your first art crush?” after reading a New York Times article on a series by critics describing their first cultural crush. (I answered Frank Lloyd Wright when I was 15 – drama, drama, drama). While I frequently went to history museums, science centers, and historic sites in my childhood, I didn’t enter an art museum until I was 16. It was a high school field trip to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and to the National Cathedral. I distinctly remember what I bought in the NGA gift shop that day: two prints, one of Degas’s ballet dancer pastels, the other a woodblock print of Edward Munch’s The Scream – pretty early 1990s mainstream fare and so quaint back then when we had to buy prints and postcards to obtain images! I had a landlord in New Jersey (a 30 minute trip on bus from mid-town Manhattan) who had never visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Some people will never approach cultural venues. So kudos to mom for bringing the small art critic into the museum, and here’s to hoping she comes back soon – and finds something not boring! boring! boring!

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