Over the summer I managed to spend a couple of days at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. This is one of my happy places. Somewhere that is guaranteed to make me smile.
As soon as I walk through the doors I can feel tensions lift; I walk a little taller, my shoulders relax, my brow unfurrows.
As I wander, through rooms I have visited many times, I am calm; the stresses and strains of the day to day disappear. It is comfortable and comforting.
The MFA has a massive collection; from Ancient Egyptian artefacts to contemporary sculpture, from classical painting to abstract art. It is simply wonderful.
There are the rooms that I visit every time; the Egyptian mummies, the American Wing for Sargent and Pollock, the European rooms with Monet and Degas, the Buddhist Temple. Then, I always make time to visit something different; discover a new artist or a new collection, or rediscover an exhibit that I haven’t visited for a while.
This summer I visited with my cousin and with my mother. These visits were quite different.
My mother and I have spent a lot of time in the MFA, we have our must-sees and often follow a well worn path through the museum. Although on this occasion we went off-route and discovered some wonderful pieces that we had never seen before!
Visiting with my cousin was like visiting for the first time again. I was able to see the galleries through her eyes; to appreciate them with a fresh perspective. I took her to see my favourites, of course, but we tried to visit as much of the gallery as possible which took us on a whistle stop tour of a large part of the collection. It was fantastic; I saw some completely new (to me) exhibits, I visited some forgotten gems and I had the great pleasure of watching someone else fall in love with one of my favourite places.
I adore visiting galleries, and spending an afternoon in the MFA looking at beautiful paintings, interesting installations, delicate glassware, amazing sculptures or incredible ancient artefacts is pretty much a perfect afternoon for me. Aside from a fabulous family day out, of course :)
As a Member I could pop in for a hour and just visit my absolute favourites, have a cup of tea overlooking the courtyard or sitting amongst the artwork in the Contemporary Wing, visit a temporary exhibition. Sadly, the reality of day to day life means that this doesn’t happen often.
But, when I do get to visit, it is magical. It is time just for me, that I can spend surrounded by something I love. It is time when I can relax, think things through, or not think at all.
It is time to be inspired and energised; and leave feeling restored and revitalised.
Where is your happy place; where do you go to recharge?