I’m writing this entry under a huge mesh of netting tinted the colors of rainbow by various lights which hang around the walls and rafters of the Renwick gallery’s grand salon. I’ve seen the what the whole museum has to offer, and in my personal opinion, this is the best part of the whole exhibit. There’s just something very different about this place compared to any other museum I’ve visited. Everyone is craning their necks upwards or lying on the floor to get a better view of the piece above them. Many people enjoy taking breaks in this room, and I can see groups of them laying on the floor just talking amongst themselves. The noise and camera flashes only add to this marked difference. In any other Smithsonian museum, these things would be discouraged. Here however, photography is encouraged, and no one seems to mind visitors being louder than normal.
Despite the fact this room-or the whole gallery really-goes against my conception of how a museum should be. I still found myself really enjoying the experience as a whole. I think the environment actually adds to the art within it. There is a vibrant energy in every room that I’d never experienced in other quiet galleries across the world. The way I looked at the art seemed to feed of this energy, making observing the pieces more enjoyable. I find that this idea of the infectious energy surrounding a piece of art can help me with the work I’m doing for my research paper. The street art which I’m analyzing is meant to be experienced in vibrant settings full of the ebb and flow of everyday life. This museum seems to bring that “street” like energy into its doors. The distinct contrast between what I’ve seen here and what I’ve seen in places like the national gallery has really lead me to value the importance of placing art in public and “street” like locations.