May 30, 2016
Blanking out. Something that happens more often as we get older. Those of you over 50 know exactly what I’m talking about. As for the rest of you just wait. You’ll get there.
I’ve been working at the museum for eight years and I can forget the name of a co-worker with whom I’ve worked on a steady basis for seven of those eight years. Just yesterday I ran into one of the guards, a young lady I see every day. Do you think I remember her name?! No!! However I never forget a face. Lucky for me I was getting off the train so I smiled, waved and we exchanged Happy Hellos. Escaped embarrassment. Such a nice pleasant young woman. The last placed I Lived I was there for 22 years yet I still forgot folks names! Or I’d put the wrong name to a face.
Now here’s the Oxymoron. As a museum security guard the visitors expect me to know not only where every piece of art is but how to get there. Fortunately after eight and a half years I know where most of the major most popular most asked for artworks are located and since I’ve been posted in every section of the museum I can tell you how to best access them. No I do not know where every last piece of art the museum owns is located. That would be impossible as much of it is in storage and the paintings are rotated. Security Guards are not human computers.
I seem to have an affinity for paintings. The first wing I was assigned to was 19th Century Art. At that time I was so bored I memorized not only where every painting was located but the artist and genre, Impressionism, Realism, Post Impressionists, British Romanticism (The Pre-Raphaelites) etc….
Security guards have no say so in where we are posted so I’ve been in the Modern Art wing, the American Wing, African Art, Asian Art, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts. After listening to the docents give tours I can pretty much give you good background and/or history of artworks located in those sections. I’m not an expert by far.
The Experts in the Museum are the Curators and the Conservation staff. Also I’m an English Major not an Art History Major. All I have is on the job knowledge supplemented by reading books and watching videos on art.
Now I’ve also been posted in the Egyptian and Greek sections. Please do not ask me about this art for I will surely draw a Blank. If you are a student Google is your Friend and/or the Museum website/Libraries. Or better yet Go to the Information Desk because all you’ll get from me is a Blank Look. I don’t spend enough time in these galleries to gain knowledge nor do I wish to do so. I prefer paintings and some sculptures.
When I was a girl my Dad used to say I practiced “Selective Hearing.” I never seemed to hear him when he was calling me. Especially if he had some task or errand for me to perform. “Deborah! Don’t you hear me?!! Turn down that radio/TV!! Pay attention!!
My Dad did not like to raise his voice and when he did so I knew my ass was grass and I was up shit creek with no oars. In other words I was in serious trouble. So maybe it’s the same thing with People’s Names and Artworks. My Middle-Age Senior Brain is practicing Selective Memory!! LOL!!
All art graphics are from Google unless otherwise stated.