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.