This Musea, is the 3rd installment of my new concept for an art center. The art center has three main parts:
1. A performance hall, game center, and cafe.
2. A gift shop and art gallery ( of painting reproductions).
3. A museum and classic art library.
This issue takes a tour of the third part, the museum and library section. I'm calling it the "ROOM FOR ROOMS" issue. [See also these two back issues #150 June 2006 "Art Center Plan "B"", and issue #144 Oct/Nov 2005 "USS Musead"].
My museum slash library isn't like any other. The concept is different. Instead of just books, and recordings, like a normal library; or a museum of artifacts on display behind glass, like a normal museum, it is a mix of both - and much more. It is a library of the best books on all the arts, but it is also displays of related artifacts, collectibles, memorabilia, replicas, autographs, photos, fashion pieces, and anything else that will bring the arts to life with more visual fun, more sensual experience, more engaging exhibits, and more hipness! And, unlike most museums, almost all of it is on view and open to you to see. . Overall there is more 'show and tell'. And the range of works is from Dante to Zines, and from Cave Art to Pulp Fiction.
Here are some specifics that will help set the scene:
The museum is mainly rooms connected to each other. There are three types of rooms: the ART rooms that spotlight a specific art form, the WORLD rooms that spotlight the arts and culture of a certain part of the world, and the SPECIALTY rooms which can be anything!!! And are usually quite unusual!
The rooms are filled with antique chairs, sofas, cabinets, desks, book cases, etc. Often they will somehow relate to the art in that room. Most furniture will be there for you to sit on while you read or look at the displays. Most of the cabinets, desks, and book cases, will be unlocked. We will encourage those of you who respect fine things, to dig into them for their treasures and explore. They will be filled with books and other related odds and ends. There will be few doors locked anywhere. I think people will have fun exploring the nooks and crannies of this type of library museum.
We will guarantee that though we will not have EVERY book of literature from every writer, or EVERY recording from a major musician, or EVERY film made; what we will have will be 'choice'! It'll be quality with none of the filler that many museums and libraries seem to be stuck with.
Note most of the chairs will be two seaters with a sign at the entrance saying something like this: "Most of these antique chairs and couches were made long ago for people of much more modest weight. Act accordingly and remember the pieces are easily breakable from people of more modern larger sizes. Also remember they are very expensive for you to replace."
And speaking of signs, before you enter there is this sign with required reading:
"This museum is filled with wonderful, valuable, precious objects.
DON"T treat this museum like it was your home. DO treat it like it was your rich Uncle's Mansion, who MIGHT leave you in the will IF you don't break anything, ruin anything, stain anything, or in anyway mess it up."
We will also take all reasonable security measures to prevent theft including this measure - anything taken out of the museum will set off burglar alarms. Security will be tough and many sticky fingered visitors will be removed and not allowed back. But for those who treat the museum well, they will find great wonders ...
And special privileges! Regular visitors will receive a laminated card that helps them get special access, or certain limited extras, or certain other perks. How do you get one? By doing something nice for the museum OR just coming and visiting a lot!.
Here's some more general things:
Somewhere inside there is a Grandfather's clock that chimes on the hour. There may be museum pets roaming the stacks or sleeping here and there. There are 'conceptual art' type rooms where many visitors may like a photo of themselves in a special chair, or in front of an art display, etc. (For an example see the "Book Door".) There will be fresh flowers here and there. Each week we will hide some coupons in the museum. When someone finds these and turns them in, they get a nice prize. At 3 PM daily our cafe bakes fresh home made cookies for all. Most major books, recordings, art works, films, etc will have reviews with background information nearby - either in that room or on the object itself. There is a display window before entering which showcases the new arrivals - new works that have just been purchased and not yet shelved. Right inside the door there is a large rack/display of new items too. There is also a big book for visitors to tell us what we are missing in our museum, or what doesn't belong. The cost to enter is not set. It will probably be something like $5 or if you prefer, a larger contribution of money; OR it doesn't have to be money, It can be a CD, or art object, or LP, or book of literature, or just about anything similar in value. That way visitors can help add things to the museum.
Enough background. Let's go inside. We've paid with a packet of good condition cancelled stamps from England, and walked inside the door. There is a museum/library map, and map brochures. But there are also assorted colored arrows on the floor. One leads to the "TIMELINE".
TIMELINE: This path goes along the outer edges of the entire museum. On the wall is a timeline of art events from the start of art to 2000 and beyond. As we go down the timeline we see the major art developments, art types, and artists. The wall is covered with dates, assorted photos, snippets of information, artworks, memorabilia, and anything else that helps bring the past into view. The timeline is a way to get an overall view of the world of arts. Branching off from the timeline are paths to the rooms.
The first we'll explore are the ART ROOMS.
BUT before we enter this or any 'Room', note that outside the door is a "Sample / Symbol" connected to that room. This is a glass case that holds some object that represents the art inside. For the book room, it might be an old time typewriter with that classic look. These sample / symbols are a fun intro to each room.
ART ROOMS. There is a room or rooms for just about every art form. They are mostly in one of four separate complexes:
BOOKS . This group of rooms may be the largest single group of rooms in the museum. As such it has a one of a kind door, The BOOK Door. Instead of an open archway to walk through, we have a giant book. The cover of the book is the door. Open the cover and walk through the hollowed out book and enter the Book rooms. How fun is that?
This group of rooms may have assorted giant rooms and/or separate rooms for each of the following: novels and short stories, poems, plays, fairy tales and myths, pulps with sci-fi classics, mysteries, romance novels, etc. Then there's also rooms for zines, comics, magazines, nonfiction books including science books, classic biographies, histories, and a Shakespeare room, etc. These rooms may also have autographed photos, first editions, classic art from illustrators, and any other related item to help show and tell. Also comfy chairs to read the wonders exhibited.
MUSIC. This group of rooms salutes all the great music from the past. There are rooms and/or displays for Classical Music and Opera; Jazz, R & B, Rock, and Soul; Folk and Country; Show tunes and Pop, and maybe assorted specialty rooms like one for the Beatles with all the fan site fun connected to them. There will also be either listening rooms or listening devices scattered throughout. Also note that the music libraries have every type of format. There are records, cassettes, CD's, videos, recordings from computer access, and anything else we can find to get you the great music.
VISUAL ARTS. Lots of rooms here. Many for painting, drawing and sculpture; plus rooms for photos, fashion - with real vintage clothes displayed, architecture including city planning and gardening, arts and crafts, etc. Plus specialty rooms like one for Picasso and his work. The visual art rooms also have many COLLAGES. These are something new. For every main artist or art movement there is at least one collage. It is a photo/poster that is about the size of a small rug, or 7' tall and 5' wide. Each is a collage of that artists works. They would include small painting reproductions, but also notable photos of the artist and his studio, memorabilia, news articles of importance, or any other item. With one look you can get a good overview of the artist (though someone like Matisse would have separate posters for drawing, sculpture, cutouts, landscapes, portraits, and still lives!) The posters would be displayed like clothes on a round rack, or pages in a book. You would turn the posters to see the next. That way we can really show off a lot of art in a small area.
Another innovation would be the "STANDUP". That is a small reproduction of an artwork, glued to card stock. The side flaps are folded forward (or backward) and the artwork will stand up on a table, or desk, or anywhere. It is a novel way to show off favorite artworks. For example a table in the sculpture room will have a sculpture garden of photos of sculpture that stand up.
PERFORMANCE ARTS. These are the arts that are on stage. They would include Plays and Films, TV and Radio, Talks and Lectures, Pageants and Celebrations, Dance, etc. Again there will be viewing devices to look at all the different performances in all types of formats.
Note: to keep the rooms fresh, we will hopefully have one ROOM CAPTAIN for each room. His job will be to manage that room and add new items to the room as they are bought or donated. He'll also look for and buy things from the library fund as they become available; or rearrange the room to have new displays on a regular basis. That way each room is updated at least once a month. The viewer always gets the same basic treasures, but with each monthly visit he gets a new fresh exhibit too.
Next are the rooms called the WORLD ROOMS. Each one spotlights the special art works of that geographical area. They include the AFRICAN ROOM, the ASIAN ROOM, the INDIAN ROOM, the AMERICAS ROOM, the EUROPEAN ROOM, the OCEAN ROOM, and the ROOM OF THE FUTURE. There will also be rooms from the past such as the EGYPTIAN ROOM, the GREEK AND ROMAN ROOM, etc.
I would also like a giant 4 story globe in the center of these rooms. It is so large that you can walk a gangplank from the bottom, once around, to the top. It is an art globe spotlighting major art places in the world.
Let me give you an example of what could be in these world rooms. For the African room one could find a bronze statue, a wood mask, some of the wonderfully patterned textiles, books of African literature, and other related objects.
One of the most beautiful objects I have ever seen was a handmade African wood shovel I found at an antique mall. It was not that expensive - under a hundred dollars if I remember correctly. But it was so simple, and so elegant and shaped in such perfect proportions that it would rival any sculpture ever made. It was the essence of simplicity and elegance. That's just one object. Now imagine many rooms filled with such wonderful objects!
Next come the SPECIALTY ROOMS. These are whatever someone can think up. And hopefully, if there is room in the museum, there will be more of these rooms added to the museum, as time goes by. First we start with the biggest ones (that all start with 'C' for some reason).
CHILDREN'S ROOMS: This has all the books, art, music, film, and theater connected with kids. These rooms will be a delight for kids of course, but probably even more for their parents who grew up with these classics. Special exhibits include "The Wizard Of Oz" , "Mother Goose", "World of Barbie" , etc.
CHAPEL: This is an all faith chapel. In the center are 3 or 4 benches facing a wall with a table and a single candle. Along the side walls are exhibits of religious art and books, with curtains in front of them. The displays make the room a small museum of religious objects. When the curtains are pulled over the displays, the Chapel becomes suitable for any religious service, religious study, or just quiet contemplation.
COLLECTORS ROOMS: These are rooms set aside for any collector to show off his collection - whether it's buttons, or movie posters. I could fill up one myself.
COMPUTER ROOM: This celebrates the world on line, computer games and art, etc.
There are also other rooms that spotlight a special subject with related books, art, and more. One of the most novel and most fun, is the BAD ART GALLERY. Let's stop our tour, go inside, and check it out...
One SPECIALTY room is the BAD D'ART room, a collection of the very worst art we can find in local flea markets and antique shops. This room celebrates paintings that are truly awful, with a room that is as pretentious and expensive as the puffed up art on display. Sure there are clown paintings, paintings on velvet, and paint-by-the number paintings - all at ridiculously expensive prices - but there are also those wall sized abstracts where no skill is evident, and portraits where the eyes just aren't right. As the sign says at the door: "The cost to enter this mini-museum is $5.00. That's 25 cents to get in and $4.75 to get out!" A big chunk of the fun is the salesmen (yes the art is really for sale) and their 'talking points'. It's almost as much fun theater as it is salesmanship!
BAD ART GALLERY TALKING POINTS:
This is distinctive with an emphasis on 'dis stincts'!
Clouds are extra!
The painter was not mad, but he was pissed - that's extra.
Unfortunately the white on this painting will never be anything!
Our slogan: The bigger the eyes, the higher the price.
In a smaller size we wouldn't have had to add the ghastly surcharge.
Our prices are certainly not fair; but, think of the treachery of the artist to preserve this!
He's captured all the worst qualities of a Picasso face.
Ah the utter banality.
There's a flinch fee!
This painting would creep me out in the dark!
It's so damn cute you want to strike it.
We know from his journal that he did this painting with his eyes closed. Best to view it the same way.
Justify our price? Let the punishment fit the crime!
Nothing is spared to find the worst.
He has caught the childlike quality associated with a child's total lack of training.
What a legacy - you can pass it on to your kids - the ungrateful ones.
This painting is ripe ... well a little spoiled.
The subject matter is an "F".
This painting is very naive.
It has blandness written in capital letters all over it - literally!
Can you spell gawd-awful in any other way.
This is offensive on so many levels.
He has mixed the sacred with the religious and come up with a hybrid that is nothing short of sacri-ligious!
Priced to gouge.
He painted the front, but the back has the better view.
It is a one of a kind and the rest of us are thankful.
He was a student of the train wreck school of painting
We don't think it is a painting. We think it's a plot against Western Civilization.
The only thing clear about this work is the signature - like a burglar's calling card.
What can you say about a painting like this? A silent prayer for lost canvas!
Back to the tour. Here are some more sample rooms. They include, SEX ROOM, TEXAS AND WESTERN ROOM, HOLIDAY ROOM - celebrating the best of the arts connected to the current holiday, SENSE OF SMELL ROOM, SENSE OF TOUCH ROOM, BOOKS ON BOOKS ROOM - with bookmarks, postcards, the art of bookmaking, weirdest titles, best illustrations, and reference guides, and ...
?!? ROOM, which can be just about anything!
That's the tour. I'm glad you came. Come back soon!
Note: Coming soon is my fifth CD from Hunkasaurus and His Pet Dog Guitar. I would like to give a free copy to all those on my mailing list, but the costs of the CD, mailing envelope, and postage is high. I ask those who want a copy to let me know through mail, or e-mail within the next month or so. Those I don't hear from, will not receive the CD but they can hear it on the hunkasaurus.com music site.
4000 Hawthorne #5
Dallas Texas 75219
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