Culture & Arts

MUSEUM GUILT: The Onion Tackles Serious Issue Affecting Gallerygoers

"Museum Guilt [mue-zee-um gilt]: noun. The feeling of shame at getting bored and indifferent in the presence of an overwhelming amount of artwork you realize should be blowing your mind.

You know the feeling. You walk into a museum and stand face to face with a legendary work of art. That detail! Those colors! I can't believe that artist touched this canvas! And then: I wonder if I have any new texts...

The Onion perfectly captured this frustrating sentiment in their hilarious parody “Whole Museum Visit Spent Feeling Guilty About Moving On From Paintings.” The article totally nails that pit in your stomach when you are face to face with an iconic artwork and all you can think about is clipping your toenails or watching Law and Order. (What can we say, it happens.)

Read an excerpt below and check out the entire article here:

“I know these are masterpieces, and you’re supposed to let their brilliance wash over you while you contemplate their significance, but I really couldn’t make myself stand there for more than a few seconds,” said museum-goer Vernon Bailey, admitting he spent more time reading the placards describing each painting than he did looking at the art itself. “They have all these Monets and Renoirs in there, but I made it through that entire wing in, like, five minutes. By the end I was just blowing past these iconic works—Nighthawks, American Gothic, that really famous pointillist one—and thinking, 'Okay, done, done, done.' What’s wrong with me?"

What do you think, readers? Do you suffer from museum guilt? How long do you spend looking at a painting before your attention drifts to your dinner plans?

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