While there is much activity in departments across the Museum, there is an eerie calm in most of the galleries. Some already sit empty after being cleared by the art handlers, some hold the wealth of their collection now propped against the wall rather than hanging on it. And some remain untouched, awaiting their turn for the grand journey 150 feet west.
There are works of art that have been in our collection from the very beginning and recent acquisitions that had only been on view a short time. There are paintings that have never been off-view. There are sculptures affixed to the floor and the ceiling. There are works so light a small child could carry them in one hand and works so heavy they must be disassembled to be moved. Pieces that are thousands of years old and ones marked ‘2008’ add to the remarkable diversity that fills the galleries.
But this new quiet makes us ask “If these walls could talk what would they tell us?” Each work of art has its own story. And in the coming months a new series here on the blog will give an imaginative look at what the art might say if given the chance. Follow Our Journey will trace the steps of seven works of art in our collection as they leave their old home behind and embark on the journey to a new home, a new interpretation, and a new and growing generation of visitors.
Written in the voice of each work of art, these stories will share the history, describe the journey, and reflect on the future of the art and its place here at the Museum. Stay tuned for the first post as Jan Lievens’ The Feast of Esther makes its way across the pond to return home.