"A good test of an art museum is how far you have to go into it before you see art." These are the wise words of Elizabeth Easton, director of the Center for Curatorial Leadership and a wonderful mentor for our cohort in the CCL summer program 2014. The Saint Louis Art Museum gives you art already in the beautiful grounds outside the museum, and more as soon as you walk in the door: the grand foyer with its lofty ceiling and vaulted bays perfectly frames a rotating assortment of large (appropriate to the space) pieces from the collection. But what struck me in particular about this foyer is that it contains not only art but large (again, the space demands it) floral arrangements. They provide a necessary humanizing touch to what might otherwise be a dauntingly grandiose space. Luckily enough, during my visit the florist was still there putting on the finishing touches; and when I struck up conversation, he mentioned the extra complexity of putting flowers in an art museum: all the vegetation has to be fumigated before being installed! Beyond that extra hurdle, I imagine that thinking up a flower arrangement to work alongside the art must be a refreshing challenge.
Ideas on Display
A humble space to reflect on concepts of museum display as enacted across a wide range of subjects, countries, and approaches.