Visit a Cultrulal Event
Submitted By mtaddeo
For the assignment I decided to visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. My trip to the Museum took place on a Cool September day, the fourteenth day of September 2012. In order to make the trip possible I had to play hooky from my job. This was not difficult because I am a remote worker for my employer and as long as my phone has a signal they are not sure of my location. Accompanying me on my trip was my eldest son, Manny. I had planned my day so I only had a few routine items to do for my job and I was able to complete these tasks quickly, however we ran into a snag with our timing because my middle Son, Joseph had taken our pickup to go to work and was not planning on returning till after five o’clock. This created a problem because although we have three cars to accommodate our six member family we were not able to meet all the scheduling requirements for the day. After doing some finagling we were able to depart for the Museum by approximately 10:30 am. During our hour long drive to the museum I was very apprehensive about the visit because I really thought I would not enjoy the Fine Arts. Other museums I had attended, The Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History actually had exhibits which were interesting and not just “cultural”. However my opinion changed after our arrival and we started our self guided tour. We manage to find parking and pay our five dollar parking charge, which was our only fee we had to pay since admission to the museum is free. The first collection we visited was The American Art collection. My first impression was that I have seen similar items at other venues in my travel throughout the states. Also the paintings were interesting but the subjects in the portraits seem rather stiff. The painting that most caught my eye was the oil painting done by an Unknown Artist called the “Payne Limner”. The painting is of Alexander Spotswood Payne and His Brother John Robert Dandridge Payne, with their Nurse. Another exhibit which I found fascinating was the William Wetmore Story sculpture of Cleopatra. Although the year was 1865 we were still fascinated with ancient times. After browsing through the American Art collection my attitude started to mellow, and we walked through the Pre-Columbian and Native American Exhibits and then on to the ancient Art Collection. This is one of the sections I found most fascinating because I was able to view items that had been created over two thousand years ago and imagine people not much different then myself using or creating the item. One of the exhibits was that of an actual Roman floor recovered from a ruin. I thought, wow ancient people actually walked on this and I could too if it wasn’t against the rules. Maybe I could, no one would know, but they have cameras and what would my son think, so I better not. Next we went to the Tapestry Hall, attached to the European section and viewed the magnificent tapestry taken from some of the medieval buildings in Europe. In this section was the statue of the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus. The Museum acquired the statue in 1967. This was the actual statue of the Emperor who ruled Rome around 193 CE. He was very short and very overpowering. It is amazing how our size today is so much bigger then our ancestors. What I had written in my notes is that an Italian gentlemen named Vinenzo Giustinatani acquired the statue in 1500 and tried to restore it. We then proceeded to view the remainder of the European Art section and two paintings caught my attention. The first painting was The Judgment of Paris painted in 1807 and the second was Venus and Cupid painted around 1625. The difference in the two time periods and what constitutes the perfect female form was very interesting. After we completed viewing the European Collection we walked through the English Silver collection and into the Marble Hall. At this time we realized we had spent over two and one half hours in the museum and that we had better start our trip home. We arrived at our car and my work phone rang with my supervisor on the phone wanting to know if I was going to be on the conference call she had arranged and to make sure I had the proper information. So as my Son drove home I was able to participate in the conference call and no one was the wiser. We both enjoyed the Museum and have decided to arrange another time to take my wife and two other sons to the museum.