I have oftentimes described myself as a Utilitarian. Each time I described myself this way, I can’t say that I remember knowing what that term meant. I always kind of figured it was something like, “must have some sort of utility” or “get all the feel good stuff out of the way and let’s get down to the nitty gritty” or “something basic to fulfill a basic need.” As it turns out, I wasn’t that far off.
Wikipedia describes Utilitarianism as “the moral worth of an action is determined solely by its contribution to overall utility…the greatest good for the greatest number of people…somewhat narrow economic or pragmatic viewpoint.” I would say that I was pretty accurate. This, coupled with that fact that I have an issue with being stuck on the “Physiological” rung of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (I knew that Psych 101 would come in handy) makes for some pretty boring lifestyle.
I have never really appreciated art. I thought it was pretty much a waste of time. I mean, I liked to way some of it looked, but I didn’t get the point. Of course, this was when I was a kid. I’m sure most kids are like that. If you aren’t sure what I mean, go ahead and bring your child to the Met. See what happens.
As I got older, I started enjoying some styles of art, but they had to serve a purpose. Let’s say that a city had a huge mural painted on the side of a building and it looked really great. Now, I can appreciate that. I think the mural would really stand out and put people in a better mood. It would also enhance the look of the city and it may help tourism in the area, if there were multiple murals.
I am probably not alone. Again, I like to think of things in a very basic sense. I like things that function and I think of functionality so much, it’s hard for me to get my head out of that. It’s sort of like dragging a painting into a house that’s being built an asking the carpenter what he thinks of it. He’s probably going to ask you to leave because he is in another zone. Perhaps if that same carpenter went out to a show and had a few drinks, then he would be willing to give you a somewhat honest opinion of what he thinks of the artwork.
I do have my moments though. The problem is that I never know what they are going to arrive.
We decided to visit the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT this past Saturday. I think this was a “recommended” trip, if you know what I mean. The sort of trip that is suggested and usually ends up being fun. I kick and scream before these types of outings, only to simmer down once we get there. Then, I usually lead the pack and get all sorts of excited. As excited as I get, I still have a fairly short attention span. I give museums about a half hour, unless they are really neat like the Boston Museum of Science. Then, I can stay as long as it takes to go through all the exhibits. Arts museums…half hour.
I must say, I was surprised by the Wadsworth Museum of Art. It was a pretty nice place. When we first got there, we passed by some typical stuff, but when we visited the Baroque and the Italian Renaissance paintings, I was really impressed. I think the thing that got me was the size of each painting. They were much larger than I though they would be. Also, the color was more vibrant. It was nice to stand so close to such history and really look at what it took to create each piece. Needless to say, I began to feel thankful for being taken out of my normal routine to become a somewhat more cultured individual. I now consider myself an art expert, so if you have any questions…
I am glad I got that off my chest. Now, on to the pictures of pictures.
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