god bless free museum days!

Every first Tuesday of the month is free museum day. I try to take advantage of it every chance I get. Today was just such a day.

Don’t get me wrong, I am more than happy to patronize any museum on a full-admission day. I think it’s nothing less than money well spent.

I met Larisa in front of the SFMOMA. We sat and caught up a bit while she finished her coffee. Then in we went. We ended up in the Matisse and Beyond exhibit—which I had already seen—but I was more than happy to see it again. Larisa wasn’t having any of that, so we made our way to the Joseph Cornell exhibit. Just as we walked into the gallery, we confessed our impending hunger to each other and agreed to speed view Mr. Cornell’s genius and promptly grab some lunch.

Larisa did some research beforehand and suggested Split Pea Seduction. [SIDEBAR: if you are in SF, definitely give it a try. It's not a fancy sit-down place. It's more of a quick downtown lunch grab-n-go kind of place, although there are a handful of counter seats. The food is exceptional, obviously fresh ingredients made in an impressive gourmet style and a menu that changes daily.]

Over lunch, Larisa and I catch up even more and finish lunch well enough ahead of schedule before her interview. But we’ve come too far in the direction of the interview to return to the museum. So we head to the library—the museum and the library?! How much better can this day get?!

Larisa finds the book she’s looking for, and we take in the great bookbinders’ exhibit on the 6th floor—makes me want to take another bookarts class…badly. I check out Larisa’s book for her since she hasn’t quite established her SF residency yet. (It’s the least a friend can do for another, don’t you think?) And we’re on our way again. We part ways—Larisa off to her interview—me back down Market St. trying to decide if I should go home and take care of work stuff or head back to the museum and soak up some more culture. Duh! Back to the museum!

This is where the inspiration happened. GO GO GO see this exhibit: Take your time: Olafur Eliasson. If you’re in SF, great! It’s here until February 24. If you’re not in SF, keep an eye out for it to come to your area. I will surely be returning to be amazed by Eliasson’s brilliance. I was blown away by the simplicity and power of the pieces that merely enhance our everyday sensory happenings. The coolest (of course this may change upon a second visit) piece was a room fitted with lights that emit such a narrow frequency of light that everything looks like a yellow and black duotone—essentially rendering everything (the room, museum patrons, the wall graphics, etc.) in yellow and black. As one commenter on Eliasson’s site wrote, “it’s like walking into a black and white photo.” I couldn’t have put it better myself.

This is the exciting footbridge that leads into the exhibit if you approach via the stairs. The elevators empty you into the Room for one colour.

And so it goes, I left very satisfied from my free museum day. Of course, it was a sum of parts larger than just the museum. Thanks for letting me gush.

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