Did you know they have cows at the museum?

Today we took advantage of the “Free Tuesdays” program to visit the San Diego Museum of Man and the Museum of Art for free. It wasn’t the kids’ first visit to the Museum of Man, but they were so little the last time they went, they don’t remember. They really enjoyed today’s visit though, with many hands-on opportunities, and learned a lot about human evolution, Mayas and Egyptians. Yes, that included real mummies. Outside of the sarcophagus. That part wasn’t hands-on but there were many other skeleton and skull reproductions to touch.

We then headed for the Museum of Art a couple of doors down, where I had to “coat check” our cooler bag, which nicely baked in the sun until I picked it up. Lovely service – at least it was free (it’d better be since it was mandatory!). This visit wasn’t as exciting for the kids as the Museum of Art makes no obvious efforts to entice young minds to develop a love for art. Everything was hands-off including large sculptures that had no physical barriers around them. How is anyone supposed to know you can’t touch a rock or metal sculpture if no fence or sign tells you not to??? Besides these sculptures and lots of framed art that seems to never change over the years, there was absolutely nothing for the kids to relate to. That’s what happens when Museum curators can’t or won’t put themselves in the shoes of kids who will make up future generations. And we wonder why not more people appreciate art…

I was able to take a picture of this painting with lovely cows called “Farm Landscape, Cattle in Pasture” by George Inness in one of the galleries.

Farm landscape, cattle in pasture painting by George Inness

Farm landscape, cattle in pasture painting by George Inness

I found more cows on another painting in a different gallery, but when I tried to take a picture, a security guard approached me and said, sorry but photos are not allowed today. I asked, today? Why today? His answer? Because it was Free Tuesday. You mean to tell me I can’t take photos of the artwork with my flash-free 1.3MP cell phone camera because I didn’t pay for my museum entrance? I wonder what his excuse will be for tomorrow, Wednesday. No photos because it’s hump day? Are they really worried about people taking photos of artwork and then selling reprints online? Yeah, messing with copyrighted art is worth a few bucks…

So I found the painting I wanted to take a picture of online (you really find everything on the internet). It’s called “Oxen in the sea” by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida. Those were some big cows!

Oxen in the sea painting by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida

Oxen in the sea painting by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida

And yes, there were even more cows in the museum than on these two paintings, but I had enough security guards scolding me for the day.

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2 responses to “Did you know they have cows at the museum?

  1. At least you can take photos of the art at all. That is not generally allowed in UK art galleries. I was blown away to visit the Oslo art gallery and be allowed to take photos (in 2004) – I wish I’d taken more when I had the chance because you can’t any more (in 2009). Some of those paintings were of cows… :)

    • I partially understand the reason for no photography, especially with flash. But the no photos because it’s free Tuesday excuse sounded very lame. I also don’t see why you can’t take pictures of the artwork, knowing it’s for your personal use only. I can’t imagine people selling reprints of the artwork. The museum lighting was so poor anyway, I think they do it on purpose. Zoos let you take photos of their animals but make it very clear they are for your only use and not for reselling. It’s really not that complicated. They’re just very snobbish in that museum and overall don’t get many new exhibits. San Diego is definitely not a very artistically focused town…

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