Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Running through Museums

People walk slowly through museums, gazing at the works and reading descriptions.  That is, of course, what the museums and artists delight in.  But that's not what I usually do at the New Orleans Museum of Art.  (I do have a story I'll tell another time about running through the Louvre but I'll save it for another time.)

Actually I do gaze and saunter at the new exhibits but for the old ones -  I usually look like I'm running to catch a bus.  No doubt I miss stuff  and catch the ire of other visitors and museum guards, but the reason I go to NOMA is for the RUSH that art gives, pun intended.  Now keep in mind that I've been in the place hundreds of times since I was about fifteen.  So I know the lay of the land.  I know the new from the ongoing and I definitely have my favorites in the latter that deserve a visit.  

Now if you see me in the museum, you'll note that I have on my museum uniform.  This consists of dark clothes that make me invisible so people won't be able to describe the 'museum runner' to annoyed guards.  I've always got some sort of shawl or pashmina with me since it's always freezing in that place - even in a New Orleans July.  I also wear rubber soled shoes - all the better for sprinting.   These same rubber shoes make an exciting squeak on the terrazzo floors when I come to a sudden stop upon finding something that delights me.  And I always find the delightful.  The provocative.  The divinely colorful.  The ingenious.  The satirical and, sometimes, the deliberately comical.  Artists can do that - stop you cold in your rubber soled shoes.  

The 3rd floor of the museum is always a  bit of a challenge.  There are African and New Guinea masks and carvings in there that I have been seeing since I was a kid.  They are obviously haunted (as any fool can see).  I have to ask myself how many times does it take for me to stand in front of an old medicine man's mask full of porcupine quills and monkey fur before its spirit settles in for a ride in this native girl's soul.  There's no telling.  So I'm usually running full tilt on the 3rd floor and I advise you to do the same.  

When I leave I always stop and say hello to El Greco's St Francis in the room by the admission desk.  I gaze into those liquid, ecstatic eyes and get the art goose bumps that come from viewing a truly fine work.  It's a never-fail delight on  my way out, well worth the squeak from my shoes.

Then I recycle my admission pin, say goodbye and, once again, consider myself lucky to live in my favorite city in the world.  
Mama Jax

Mama Jax
Mama Jax

A blog by Jax Frey, an artist who loves, paints and lives all things New Orleans and writes about life's adventures - artistic and otherwise! I


  1. You are amazing...what a picture you painted with words! 😍

  2. Thanks Dorrie - getting back into writing a little bit - really enjoying it!!!



Mama Jax from New Orleans, LA.
Jax Frey is an artist who creates bold, colorful, super-textured paintings of all things New Orleans. Look for Jax's line of New Orleans mini paintings, her favorite painting series of New Orleans women called the Gumbeaux Sistahs (I love those chicks!) and other favorite Jax products on her website - www.artbyjax.com I hope you enjoy your visit here and your comments make my day!

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