Tate Modern Gauguin exhibition poster

Tate Modern’s Gauguin exhibition poster

Ok. It has been a month since our Gauguin exhibition opened and we have already had a fantastic amount of comments from visitors. Many thanks to everyone. As a curator, these insights into people’s experience, thoughts and opinions are fascinating and will certainly inform any projects I work on in the future. Please do post messages on the Tate blog - I read them all! I look forward to hearing from you. Christine 

Comments

Michael Graubart

A very beautiful, and revealing, exhibition. By 'revealing' I mean that there are so many beautiful paintings by Gauguin that are very different from the familiar Hawaii ones; the relationships of the Brittany pictures to, as well as their differences from, the Hawaiian ones are fascinating. The wood-carvings and ceramics were another revelation.

Personally I would have preferred a chronological arrangement to the thematic one, but the documentation was excellent and largely made up for this.

caroline taylor

It is a thoughtful homage to a troubled man who one had previously thought a brute for his treatment of van Gogh.The exhibition allowed you to accompany him on his journey from a restless spirit full of doubt -Christ in the Garden of Olives was a revelation - to the peace of Tu es jalouse. And the colours !!! I was deeply moved. thank you.

Jeff

Brilliant exhibition and well organised. Timed entry worked very well. Difficult artist to pin down but the background (although a plough through) was rewarded later on. Laughed out loud at some of his later subversive rebelliousness but he was clearly a rebel all his life. Most enjoyable. Afterwards I took a look at the sunflower seeds in the Turbine Hall. What a shame access had to be restricted (but it was the right decision). Loved the subversion of the restriction by the public by them making patterns around the edge! Hope the artist is loving that as well.

Harold Fineberg

I would like to reiterate the comments about the size of the fonts used for the comments. I appreciate the need to balance the comments with the pictures so as not to be overly distractive but I'm sure they could have been at least twice the size. Another problem is that in a corner the comments relating the pictures on both walls were adjacent in the corner. That again exacerbated the problem of overcrowding.

Finally, I am disconcerted at receiving an email from the curator the day after my visit because I am a member. This smacks of George Orwell's Big Brother!

Sam Wise

Enjoyed the exhibition a lot. Crowded, but we managed to read everything and see enough of each display - though it took us 3 hours. We could have spent at least another hour in the blue rooms with the in depth information. They were less satisfactory as the historic progression didn't physically match the positions of the display material and with the crowds it was just not possible to move between them. So mostly we read the display boards and skipped over the material. A shame. We could see that display space forced this decision but longed for a better way.

Otherwise excellent, interesting and informative. Thanks

Glynis Young

Loved the exhibition EXCEPT for the incredibly small print descriptions accompanying the paintings etc. Why are they so small? I know there's descriptions in the guide books but please please produce them in large print - particularly useful when the galleries are busy. It won't look awful - just try it. Thank you.

John Stride

I would have preferred chronological order with the life and times section integrated.However,a great Sunday outing and a world class exhibition.A bit crowded,but this is a sign of your success.

Jann

Thank you Christine for bringing together a magnificent collection from many different sources. Also enjoyed the audio commentary.

However, our trip to the Tate was really let down by our visit to the Tate members' facilities on the 6th floor. We brought two guests with us and were really ashamed - the members' cafe was over-crowded, service (for drinks) really slow and painful and the condition of the toilets was pretty disgusting. Instead of remembering the lovely Exhibition that you have curated so well, the image in my mind is walking into one of the Members' room toilets and being confronted with dry excrement on the toilet seat and urine on the floor - I am sorry Christine but I am sure you would want to understand the peripheral problems that have an impact on enjoying the Exhibition.

When we compare this to the Royal Academy, where we are also members, we feel that the 6th floor at the Tate needs a re-think.

Jann

I agree with Andy's point regarding the "House of Pleasure". Our guests from France pointed this out to us and helped us to understand that using the correct word "orgasm" reinforces the celebration of sex in its fullest form for Gauguin (perhaps explaining, too, why the images of women are so beautifully extreme in their depth and sensuality - an association with the qualities of an orgasm perhaps?). Thanks Andy for reminding me of this aspect of the Exhibition.

Mike Knight

One small but recurrent niggle. The information panels next to each picture are always so small and usually printed in "subtle" colours so that even people with moderately good eyesight are forced to get close to the wall to read them and this blocks the view of the panel and picture for other people. I realise you don't want huge panels that compete with the art but maybe a bit bigger and also available as a handout?

Marion Buchan

Dear Christine In response to your request: I think this one passed me by. I'm prepared to admit that I don't know enough about Gauguin as a painter and too much, probably, about him as a human being. I've never much cared for the South Seas paintings, the dark palette and the emphasis on the female nudes which speaks to me of exploitation. Gauguin may have introduced primitivism into Western Art but it was others - eg Picasso, Modigliani who made it sing. But I'm prepared to be proved wrong about all of this!

Yours Marion

Caroline Laws

I also would have preferred a chronological presentation to get a better idea of the development of Gauguin's ideas and style and I was also irritated that the notices for each painting were so far to the side of them - and with the sculptures it was even worse - and paintings which have such rich ideas behind them need a bit of explanation. However, I thought the exhibition was pretty comprehensive and I did learn a lot, and the background rooms were an excellent idea, although so dimly lit I couldn't read much of what was there. Gauguin is not my favourite artist but I'm glad I saw the exhibition.

Roger G Taylor

This exhibition is incredibly disappointing from beginning to end for all of the reasons already repeated over and over again in this discussion. I came away deflated and actually of the opinion that some of Gaugin's drawings were actually very poor and should not have been included in the exhibition. But it can't be denied he was a wonderful colourist. But overall very shambolic and incredibly disappointing. As a member I normally visit exhibitions more than once, however this is one exhibition I will not be returning to.

ANDREW EKINS

I am both impressed and a little disturbed by the fact that your system has noted my recent visit - perhaps naively I think of myself as invisible when walking through the galleries - is that both the privilege and the cost of being a friend ? In truth I was significantly disappointed by the show - many of the works and the rooms themselves were uninteresting to me and I could not pick up on the curatorial thread.In the past I have enjoyed those examples of Gaughins paintings that I have seen, but somehow seeing them collected together weakened their force rather than (as with Van Gogh, or notably with the recent Francis Alys exhibition) added to their individual strength. I was left thinking that the fact of Gaughin and his influence on his contemporaries was / is greater than his value as a painter. Much as Molliere maight have said : I really don't like what it is that you paint, but I will fight to the death to defend your right to do so.......

Gemma Allred

I thought the exhibition had the potential to be good... however, my enjoyment was marred by the crowds of people in the gallery. I couldn't get anywhere near a painting let alone read the descriptions.

Not good.

Gemma Allred

James,

It it quite within your gift to buy a membership that allows you to take a guest into the members lounge, it is just a matter of paying more money.

margaret

Very interesting show especially the not often seen prints and the final mind-blowing room. Maybe members could have some special times? I had to wait in line with the regular punters though it didn't take too long. I agree with comments above regarding small labels - means you have to keep shanging from distance to reading glasses.

Robert Marr

We went on a Sunday, and it was fairly busy but acceptable.

The exhibition cleverly combined the art - a lot of it too - with insight into his personal life and historical context, with two rooms devoted to the history and timeline. That worked very well.

The iphone app "gauguin: Maker of Myths" was good too - although I tried to download it at Tate Modern and the download kept stalling, presumably because the free wifi network was overloaded. I managed to download it later and it was good too, well worth the £1.79, and probably best looked at afterward and away from the exhibition anyway.

Robert

Tania

Great exhibition! Paul Gaugain was one of my inspiration as an art loving child and was great to re-visit his work after so many years. Very happy about the late opening on Sundays. We took advantage of it and found it less crowded than expected.

rex valentine

I saw a Gauguin exhibition about 35-40 yrs ago in R.A. and have never forgotten it. I have been to the tropics and understand his motivation, but no one can do again what he has done. I am surprised that many magor works were missing such as At The Cafe , Faturuma, Woman with Mango, His mother from a photo, Night Cafe in Arles, When Will You Marry, the Dream & Self Portrait with Brush one of his best portraits. Perhaps I missed some due to the crowds. To see the Real Thing one has seen reproduced and read about so much moves one to tears. Whatever is said against Gauguin his achievement makes the truth unbelievable with his immense courage and single mindedness. He antagonised the missioneries but was inspired by sacred subjects and sacrified himself for what he had faith in as did Christ.

Margaret Simpson

I loved the Gauguin; I've always liked his work and it was wonderful to see the real thing. Being a Tate member, I knew that I could go again and again so this first visit I only looked at about a quarter of the exhibit which meant that I could linger as long as I wanted at any part. Knowing that it would be very popular, we waited until now, hoping that the crowds would have died down. We also took advice and came right at the opening, at 10am. This was good in that there weren't too many people, but this only lasted about half an hour. By 10.45 the place was packed and it was difficult to get round and to really study the works. I don't know what the answer is, unless you introduce timed entries as you have done for other exhibitions. I also worry that wanting to visit more than once is very expensive if you aren't a Tate Member, and yet the exhibit is such that it would be really tiring to see it all in one go. Still, I guess as Curators, these are good problems to have, and certainly better than the alternatives. Well done and keep up the good work.

Tony Berkman

Shame that the place was so crowded yesterday when I took my 25yr old daughter who is now rather put off Gaugin as a result! I'd been liiking forward to this show but have to say it was indeed packwed out and rather "sauna" like late on Sunday morning. reminded me of the Van Gogh and Anish Kapoor shows at the RA! Yet the wonderful Henry Moore and Rothko shows seemed so much more relaxed and roomy even though I visited both many times and at varying times and days!I guess Gaugin was very well advertised but nonetheless if the visitor has to scramble about to get near to a picture then the whole experience is rather marred! As an artist myself I appreciate the superb beauty of gaugin's work, his use of colour and his engaging technique etc etc but it is so hard to convey this to another when they cannot stand close to the painting without getting shoved aside! Perhaps the rush will ease in the next few weeks and I'll certainly visit again myself but sadly my daughter's doubts about "old art" have now been compounded by the experience of overcrowding so I reckon she'll not return to this show herself! And £13.50 is rather steep for anyone less certain about a love of art! If I weren't a member I would certainly think twice at least before considering a return visit! PS:We loved the Sunflower Seed installation down in the Turbine Hall!

Gema

First thing, congratulations, my membership was a birthday present and I cannot think any better birthday present. It is good to know that you care about what members think about the exhibitions.

Gauguin show was really good, complete, with a lot of information about the artist and covering some of the most important stages of the artist´s life.

It was crowded when I went and that did not allow me to enjoy the exhibition as I had liked and it was bit hot as well.

Anyway, I think the exhibition is amazing and allows you to know and get a good understanding of the artist´s life and work.

Graham Lane

I really enjoyed the exhibition. Viewing the pictures in reality is a great experience. Strangely, it left me feeling rather uneasy about Gaugin and his work. Personally, I experienced something rather insincere, alienated and even a bit voyeuristic in some of the paintings. Perhaps this quality is being alluded to in the title of the exhibition "Maker of Myths" because, yes, I experienced the paintings as 'manufactured' in a way. None of this means to say that I regret visiting. It changed the way that I look at Gaugin - but in an unexpected direction. I liked the way the exhibition was organised by theme. For example, the earlier landscapes with almost van Gogh like elements along with the later works. In other exhibitions - such as the one of Jackson Pollock a few years ago at the Tate Britain - I thought it was important to see the pictures in chronological order to see how the artistic language developed and passed through different phases over time. But in this case, the grouping by themes worked well and, for me, raised some of the questions that I've alluded to. Thanks! Graham Lane

Dominic Perry

This exhibit was always going to be busy. Those going with the expectation that they'd have the gallery to themselves were always going to feel slightly aggrieved by the crowds. I attended on Saturday night (23/10) at about 1930 and it was still the busiest exhibit I've been to. However I was not at all deterred by this. Sure I had to wait a little while to get up close and personal to some of the work but it was completely worth it. Personally I felt the crowds added to the whole atmosphere and the excitement of the event. We were all in the presence of a truly marvelous display of work by a wonderful artist. If Elvis played a comeback concert at the O2 I'm sure there would be crowding there too. The layout and theme running through the display is consistent and informative. The timelines displayed in rooms 3 and 8 really helped put the pieces of the puzzle together in learning more about Gaugin's whereabouts and influences. His life was obviously eventful and seeing how this all accompanied his work was fascinating. Walking through the rooms you can see how his working practices evolved and you are given sufficient insights into the life of this somewhat complex character. To me a good exhibit should always inspire you to find out more about the artist, a foundation laid on which to build. This exhibit certainly did that for me. Afterward I couldn't resist but to buy a book in the Tate shop regarding his relationship with Van Gogh (a subject not covered by this exhibit). So my congratulations to Tate and to the curators and all those involved in putting on this event. It's going to be a difficult job to better this over the next few years.

Nicky H

Incredible aqueous mellifluous yet disquieting show. One of the richest and most absorbing I have seen at TM. Some very memorable dogs lurking here and there... Tenderly shifting fluid surfaces. Supplementary material fascinating.

Angela Keam-George

The late opening on Sunday was a good opportunity to see the exhibition....though still busy. I really enjoyed seeing the background material and so many familiar works in the flesh! There were also some surprises. Thanks

Christian Thomas

I was inspired not just by the immediate power of Gauguins work but also by how many people want to see it. It is great that these images can have such an effect on our emotions, they cannot be ignored. You are able to live in the moment of the final brush stroke, the personality of Gauguin. It struck me particularly that the feeling from these pictures is shared equally by young and old.

Brian

I feel very much that my enjoyment at these 'blockbuster' shows is reduced by the crowds, and that this particular exhibition was laid out very poorly. I particularly recall one woman guiding a party of about twenty round the exhibition who placed herself firmly in front of 'top of the pops' paintings for seemingly ages and pontificated endlessly, while others hovered around trying to get a glimpse. This led to huge bottlenecks. I like to go back and forth and revisit bits - the doorways between rooms were too narrow, and the placement of notices led to crowds gathering to read these before viewing the rooms, thus increasing congestion. I like a chronological exposition which was not entirely adhered to here; in addition the placement of information in two sections early and late in the exhibition was unsuccessful for me: it was darker, more crowded, and jammed with information, so I switched off. Having said all this I loved many of the works I was unfamiliar with and left the tour guides to monopolise the blockbusters while I educated myself! The exhibition enhanced my appreciation of Gaughin, and he emerged from behind his persona as the nasty twin with Van Gogh!! But if I had one summarising remark it would be that this exhibition was an opportunity missed. Oh, BTW: I thoroughly support people with pushchairs ..... they might try being a little more aware, though!

Richard Turner

Excellent exhibition. Not too crowded on Sunday 24/10 at 2pm although I agree with others about the small lables and would have preferred a chronological organisation. The colours were much better than any reproductions I have ever seen, and made our long day trip from Yorkshire well worthwhile. I would have liked to be able to go out and have a cup of coffee and then go back in again, given the size of the exhibition, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see his work.

David Kershaw

My brother and I visited the exhibition yesterday. Fortunately we did not experience the crowded conditions some others have mentioned. The first thing I have to say is congratulations on the curation of the exhibition. You have gathered together a remarkable array of paintings, sculptures and documents from around the world and presented them in a logical and readily accessible format. The work involved must have been heroic. The audio commentary was adequate, but I was not convinced it added much to what was on the walls - and why were we treated to what looked like holiday videos of Britanny? I wasn't impressed by one of the experts saying "someone told me this statistic". I could have done with a piece of information on the walls on a lot more of the items, and some could have gone into much more detail. I saw very little criticism of Gauguin's work or of the man himself, but I did feel I learnt a lot about how his fame came about and was nurtured by his absence. The acid test of the exhibition is this. I went in thinking that Gauguin was one of the most overrated artists of his era. I came away feeling that an extremely good exhibition had proved it beyond all reasonable doubt.

Louise

Went at 12.00 on Monday 25th October.Exhibition was great but far too many people and too hot. I know it's half term but even so! Some rooms no space to move though at all. Such a shame as the art itself is brilliant - seeing all those pictures together is amazing. The colours are incredible. I agree with some others that the labels are too small - especially if you can't get close because of all the people. Surely having so many people in a once makes a mockery of the timed entry system?? Perhaps it needs a re think.

Jill Fagg

I had always just associated Gauguin with his Taitian pictures, and really enjoyed the Breton works and his pottery and woodcarvings. I particularly enjoyed Room 6 and found those images very moving. I thought the layout of the exhibition was excellent, it gave you a good insight into this very complex man. We went Monday afternoon and it was busy, but manageable. Agree with the need for larger labels!

Claudine Fear

I enjoyed this exhibition very much. Although I have seen many of Gauguin's paintings over the years it was a revelation to see so many in one place. Some of the larger paintings are truly spectacular and I am so pleased I have been to see them. It is true there were lots of people and it was quite crowded but any major exhibition attracts large crowds and one has to be patient and allow for this when going round. I just wish there had been more viewing seats as I was really getting tired. I'll remember to pick up a folding seat next time. I will probably return as I am a member and can go in freely. What a privilege!

Fardine Hamidi

I saw my first Gauguin painting in 1975 shortly after my 19 birthday. In the following years, I saw many paintings by the artist at various museums in the United States and around the world. However, it wasn't until 1988 when I saw a major exhibition of his work at the Art Institute of Chicago. And now over 20years later, the exhibition at the Modern Tate gave me the opportunity to revisit some of the paintings I'd seen before and others for the first time.

The experience wasn't unlike rehashing my memories of old events from a different vantage point. With age and experience comes ability to shift one's focus and deepen one's understanding of the world. To my own great surprise, I found myself appreciating the unrestrained genius, uninhabited intellect and free spirit of Gauguin - something that I'd taken for granted as a young man.

The exhibition has cleverly highlighted Gauguin's successful journey into the sensuous realm, where female sexuality and spirit have been captured and portrait in the most romantic and loving manner - something I couldn't appreciate to the degree I do now 20 years ago.

The paintings drawings, prints and sculptures energize each other. The buzz is palpable all through the exhibition. Massive horizontal planes of vibrant colours counterbalanced by vertical counterweights draw the viewer into the precariously balanced landscapes. I felt like I was being bombarded by paint balls it was a sensory overload. The canvases looked fresh as if they had been painted just recently- a testament to the timelessness of the spirit that created the work.

For the first time, I noticed that Gauguin never stopped experimenting with colour, shape and composition, the latter being, in my opinion, a hit-and-miss game for the artist - with more exciting misses than hits. Still life moving out of the frame, figures falling off the edge or subject matter pushed to one corner of the, the awkwardly balanced pictures make for dynamic compositions.

It took me three hours to go through the show and by the time I left the exhibition I was emotionally moved. I agree with you that many people have found the experience very personal. Leaving the exhibition, I felt not only I'd learned something new about Gauguin but also about myself.

Thank you for planning, organizing and installing this magical exhibition.

Regards

Fardine Hamidi

Andrew litherland

As above we went yesterday and it was very busy due to half term holidays but we did spend over two enjoyable hours in there. The audio visual was excellent and pictures fantastic - it was a real joy to see so many painting, sculptures etc. together. I also found the associated material relating to Gauguin most interesting. GOOD plan - Extra seating in members lounge. BAD - sectioned off sunflower seeds. Mad Health & Safety rules once again spoil the fun for many due to a few wheezy chests!!!!

Garry Garrard

I visited on a Monday afternoon, and as many people have alread commented, it was crowded and hot although I have seen worse. I completely agree with the curator's idea of presenting the entire Gauguin, but the balance felt wrong. Rex Valentine above has already highlighted the fact that many of his iconic paintings were absent - I'm sure they are what many people went to see. It was especially galling to find postcards for sale of paintings that were still in Moscow or other far-flung places. By all means tell the whole story but make sure you include the entire final chapter! Two presentational criticisms: the almost unreadable size of the captions has already been highlighted by several bloggers. Even more annoying was the lack of correlation between the captions and the exhibits in the displays of letters, photographs etc. Surely it isn't too difficult to put the captions in the same order as the exhibits? On balance I would have felt cheated if I had paid full price.

Dom F

Hi Christine,

Questions and answers :)

Comment: Great exhibition, I must start by making that clear,nnd the ipod based guides a smart move, although, as ever, the discounts on the (improved and welcome) audio-tour were a rather miserly 50 pence less than non members. Notwithstanding the need for income by the Tate,the DCMS cuts (etc) one might hope that if members who pay £100+ per year or more, might feel entitled to just a little greater reciprocation on the charitable donation they make every year to this great institution, - than saving a few pennies.

Question: There seems to be real and recurring themes emerging in the blog about over-crowing and the works of art descriptors paragraphs font size. I didnt have too much of an issue with these but many other seem to - With this in mind, can we also use the blog to feed back which suggestions will be implemented and which wont?

All, round keep up the great work.

Maggi Wilson

I had not realised when I booked the ticket that it was the beginning of halfterm. I had thought Monday would be quiet! Decided that I am not that keen on Gauguin's Tahiti paintings but preferred his woodcarvings and associated items. I found those much more interesting. I enjoyed the life history element and like an earlier commentator would have liked more opportunity to peruse.

A well laid exhibition but not one that personally I would visit again or recommend unless to an avid Gauguin fan.

Tony & Barb...

The 2 Gauguin at the Courtauld Institute remain among my very favourite paintings. So we had high hopes. It was busy but it is a joy to see so many people engaging art. We liked the thematic approach. It was helpful to see the earlier works and to see many we didn't know. We were interested to contrast his approach to the several different cultures.

sue

My husband and I are at the latter end of life, and our enjoyment of an excellent exhibition was marred by the small and inconveniently placed script. I simple sheet setting out the explanations would have been more use than the booklet repeating the easily read large paragraphs at the beginning of each room.

canet

Coming from France....such a good exhibition! well and simply organized, with drawings , and paintings from all over the world!! a real pleasure from the beginning to the end... and a good movie too, just outside the exhibition! Not so many people but we arrive at 11 am...

amanda tombs

Visited Monday 25 with my 13 year son and we thought the exhibition was brilliant. The ipod guide is an absolute must & brought the whole experience to life, the background information fasinating and you didn't need to read the blurb by the painting. Very moving haunting images & rather disturbing. Thank-you Tate.

Sue Halloway

I first saw Gaugin's work as a 16 year old art student at the Tate in the 60s. At the time, it was a revelation, and this exhibition provoked the same response.It was fantastic to see works which were new to me,( my favourite was the painting of the ham). If I had any criticism, it would be the volume of visitors...but equally how lovely to see that people still want to look at paintings.

patrick o'...

I don't agree with the above. The earlier stuff and back ground material is if anything more interesting since this stuff is generally less accessible. I'd love to do the exhibition on my own, but I understand that I live in the real world and it's great that so many people are interested; and it isn't as though Gaugin himself was living and working in an ivory tower! It's a fabulous exhibition which helps to put Gaugin into context and shows that he could 'do' the strangeness of life in a way that makes the surrealists look like clunky amateurs

Nigel Jackson

I visited with a friend on Sunday 24th October in mid afternoon. We found the exhibition far too crowded to have any chance of enjoying the pictures and taking in all the information available. The print on the descriptions of the pictures were far too small to be able to read from a distance. We will return when the gallery is less busy to be able to enjoy the pictures in comfort. Fortunately the Members Cafe was less busy so we managed to enjoyed tea and cakes to recover from Gaugin!

g harris

unfortunately had to go in half term so lots of children with minimal interest making a noise, not the gallery's fault, but never understand why parents take them and then don't try to interest them. was a bit either way about Gauguin before i went. Was absolutely amazed. Such a 'complete' exhibition. his use of texture, the ham on a metal plate, the leather backed chair, the colour combinations and use of pattern - i was entranced. this was a wow and such a contrast to some of the rubbish on display elsewhere, who in their right mind allowed those red daubs to occupy a room, their only connection to Bacchus is that i am sure the artist had to have been drunk, these are the real emporer's new clothes, by comparison Gauguin showed what art could be and what to some extent it should be. i intend to come back and as i have to pay over £60 to get to london that says a lot about the exhibition. I was enthralled, educated, inspired and had a wonderful time. Thanks for putting it on.

Angela

Thought Gaugin's work was vibrant, lively and diverse. It really pressed buttons for me. Despite the crowds was able to enjoy the exhibition which was well layed out.Having visited the Van Gogh exhibition earlier this year, (not exhibited to best advantage), it was most interesting to see Gaugin's art. It certainly increased my understanding and appreciation of his works.

The audio guide was very good with not overly long decriptions

Abe Goldburg

Yawn. The paintings and sketches are predictable, so, therefore, did not disappoint. I've seen Gauguin exhibits that much better demonstrated his carving skills (one in Oslo a few years back comes to mind). The exhibit was oddly arranged (with only a pretense of logic and rationality), and the channeling of visitors awkward, at best. I found three things particularly annoying: 1) Why is it that all curators or directors think they are celebrities, and this self-importance is reflected in publicity, posts, and other displays? 2) If you're going to have an audio guide, then have an audio guide -- not a commercial for an iPhone app. The guide was convoluted, difficult to follow, and caused more confusion than anything else. Why on earth would someone want to stand in a gallery of masterpieces and watch a few square inches of a video (and a not very well done one) or micro-photos? Have you gone mad? 3) It's nauseating to listen to (or read about) conjecture or post hoc speculation about what this or that in a painting probably meant, to arrogantly probe the mind of the artist (provide a psychological or emotional autopsy, is more like it), etc. Come on... sometimes a "bird is just a bird." I wonder how many artists would be spinning in their graves if they heard the senseless pontification coming from so-called "experts" about the artists' works. Other than that, it was a good collection, the museum handled the crowds well, and it was time well-spent. In all, a good job (but, Christine, stop acting like a celebrity).

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