We Went to the Museum







It’s like visiting old friends again, saying hello to Renoir, and Monet, Degas, Seurat, Pissarro. Keep your churches, your synagogues, your meeting halls; this is my place of worship. I think of all the Sunday mornings spent here with my dad, before playing on the dirt trails of Fairmount park right behind the museum. I think of the tile making class I took here one summer as a kid, painting my own tiles and being amazed at how they came out of the kiln. I think of the times I came a few years ago following an ugly breakup and a year of unemployment, when the only thing I could afford to do, emotionally and financially, was sit in front of Eakins’ “The Gross Clinic” for hours at a time, thanks to our life-long family membership. I think of the unbelievable embarrassment of riches this museum holds, right here in my city, and am staggered. I think of the plan I made 20 some years ago, that if there were ever a world war and everyone was wiped out but I magically survived, I would move into the museum and live among my favorite paintings.

I love museums. I love this museum.

21 thoughts on “We Went to the Museum

  1. I love this museum. Neel and I had a great day there long, long ago when he was between college and graduate school and I was still in college. I grew up going to museums too. I think my parents could have done a better job of educating me on *how* to go to them (their huge fight at the Guggenheim was not well done) when I was a kid, but I figured it out. We actually have quite a nice museum, the Chrysler, here in Norfolk, and it’s collection is rather impressive for such a small city. Cal and I make a day of it every summer, but this year they’re closed for a 14 month reno. It’ll be the first summer we’ve missed in years.

    1. Oh no! You’ll just have to visit another museum (hint hint: this one!) instead this summer to make up for it, I guess! And I’m excited to take my own kids to museums one day, too, though I promise not to fight in them. You can’t fight in front of art! It’s sacred. xo

  2. I love museums. We never made it to that one while we were there…though I wish we would have. Looks amazing. Whenever I’m in SF or NY or a bigger city I always look forward to museum day! :)

    1. Same! Philly has so many great museums, though, it’s hard to want after others (though I do find myself missing the d’Orsay pretty regularly!). xo

  3. i loved this it made me feel so nostalgic for you. it’s so important to have that place that when life changes around you – it stays the same. a home away from home. a safe house. i also love that you have a plan for a possible apocalypse. i have a few of those ;)

    when i visit philly someday will you take me there? if you are not already living in paris by then. xo

    1. Haha, I love post-apocalypse plans (as long as none of them involve zombies) so I’d love to hear yours! I never even thought about it, but you’re right, the museum has always been a constant, reliable force for me. I’m so grateful for it. And you! And of course I’ll take you there, but if I’m living in Paris we can traipse around the Louvre together and it will be just as lovely. xo

  4. You chose my favorite wing in my favorite place of healing.
    I love going there with you….absorbing the artwork, stopping to rest in the cafe and, yes, going to the gift shop. As your father always said, “Every great culture experience ends in a retail experience.”

    1. I love all the special exhibits we go to, too. Especially the time we got to color at the end! I still have that drawing, you know. Hanging on my fridge and everything!

      And Daddy was so right. That’s why they make you exit through the gift shop! And you know how I feel about gift shops. xo

  5. Aww, what a heartwarming post! I loved reading about your childhood memories and the special connection you will always have with this wonderful place.

    “As your father always said, “Every great culture experience ends in a retail experience.””
    LOVE this – you are totally your father’s daughter! :D xo

    1. Haha, indeed I am!! Whether or not he fell for the retail experience every time, he certainly nailed that on the head. It’s true. Especially in my case! xo

  6. I love museums for these reasons too! I never got to visit this museum while I was in Philly, but it gives me a reason to come back!!

  7. Hello BEAUTIFUL. I love museums too. I won’t forget my summer in NYC and going to the Met every other weekend just to bask. Again, I’ve got to get to Philly

    1. The Met is really spectacular, I don’t blame you for being lured back time and again! xo

  8. I love this post Erin! I am lucky to live in a city filled with museums and galleries and I am sad to admit that I don’t visit them nearly enough, but when I do, you are so right, it’s like visiting old friends. I always think about thousands of people that have stood before the works of art and found some measure of comfort. I wouldn’t mind living in a museum but not this one…. (I’d be way to creeped out)


    1. Oh my gosh, that’s so spooky! Of course it had to be an Egyptian artifact, too, moving on its own. Because mummies aren’t scary enough on their own! Yes, I think I’ll take a pass at living in that museum, but there is plenty of room for you in the one here in Philly! And we don’t have haunted statues, either. xo

  9. I have always loved museums, even as a little kid. Could never understand why other kids hated field trips to museums in school. Have never been to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, actually that is not true I used their restrooms after we reenacted Rocky’s run up the stairs…

    1. I’m with you! Give me a museum tour any day over a field trip to, I don’t know, a paper factory. We actually did tour a paper factory once and I talked about it for years, so maybe I just liked field trips in general? I lol’d that you snuck in to use the bathrooms AND did the Rocky run! So funny. xo

  10. Aw, I definitely share your love for museums. If given the choice of spending all day at a spa or all day in a museum, I think I would pick the latter every time. (I think that officially makes me nutty given that I’m a mom and could use all the pampering I could get. ;) When I was in New York, I was able to indulge in a visit to the Met and, get this, I took a similar photo of Degas’ little dancer. Isn’t she beautiful? As are the rest of the pieces and memories you captured in this post.

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