make-believe: museum afternoon.

January 3, 2019

I’ve never shied away from taking my kids on museum adventures, but lately I’ve found myself craving a slightly different museum experience—one that moves a little more slowly and involves a little less placating strangers. I’d love to read a label or two. I’d love to linger a bit over a favorite piece. I won’t stop bringing my kids to museums, but I’m resolving to take myself for solo museum adventures this winter, too.

Mission number one: To get myself to the Hilma af Klint show at the Guggenheim before month’s end.

Here’s what I’d need for the make-believe version of my visit:

A flowy dress for roaming in comfort.

A sunshiney tote for carrying supplies.

A exhibit catalog to savor at home.

A mechanical pencil for taking notes/making sketches.

A ceramic palette for mixing colors.

A sketch book in case the mood strikes.

Green nail polish for a bit of color.

Green opal, and ultramarine pink, and blue ridge yellow ochre, of course.

Terracotta earrings for a bit of drama.

A Brooklyn-made tribute.

Sensible shoes for a long afternoon amble.


In an effort to ground all of this make-believing in something a bit more down to earth, here are few other shows I’d like to see this winter, imaginary outfits and accessories notwithstanding:

One: Do Ho Suh
A full-scale fabric replica of artist Do Ho Suh’s Chelsea home of 19 years, complete with fabric radiators.

Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today
Portrayals of Black female figures in modern art. I’ll just have to book my ticket to Paris now to see the second half…

Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color
I’m in the throes of a color moment, so this feels right. Order + excitement!

The Body Transformed
“What is jewelry? Why do we wear it?” Ask me no more. I’m there.

PS: To get yourself free admission to New York City cultural attractions, use Culture Pass. If you live in New York City and you have a library card, you can plan ahead and get free admission to a huge list of museums and cultural destinations across the five boroughs.

This post includes affiliate links. Reading My Tea Leaves might earn a small commission on the goods purchased through those links. 

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  • Reply Jennifer January 3, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    You may have missed your chance to see the Cooper-Hewitt exhibit. All SI museums are closed for the remainder of the government shutdown. Although with luck it will reopen before the exhibit closes! We’ll see what the new Congress manages to accomplish.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE January 3, 2019 at 2:30 pm

      Yes. Here’s to luck and functioning government!

  • Reply Sarah January 3, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    My friend just shared this with me–she recognized my painting palette! Thanks for sharing! Beautiful blog 🙂

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE January 3, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      Oh yay! Love that palette!

  • Reply McKenzie Allyshia January 3, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Oh I love this post so much ♥ This makes me want to plan a museum trip asap.

  • Reply Elizabeth Garcia January 3, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    feeling inspired to share the work of the Decolonize this Place movement, if you haven’t been following it already:

    I don’t think there is any discouragement of museum-going here. It’s more about an opportunity to build community. 🙂

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE January 3, 2019 at 11:18 pm

      Yes! Have been following!

  • Reply Julia Barnhouse January 8, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    That bag though….

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