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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How not to put on an exhibition

The National Gallery in London has been the host of a much vaunted exhibition of Leonardo Da Vinci. Getting tickets was not easy - by the time you'd got to the check-out phase of the website, th ticket you were about to buy had been snapped up by someone ahead of you in the process. But I did managed to snaffle one for today, even though I started to try and buy as soon as tickets went on sale.

For me, the big attraction was that both the London and the Paris versions of the painting The Virgin of the Rocks were to appear in the exhibition, their first time in same room ever. I've seen each painting in its gallery many times, but to see them together would have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. What could possibly go wrong.

Well, the massive numbers of people allowed in during each hour of timed entry tickets was a problem. But it was as nothing compared to the curator's decision to exhibit the two paintings, not side by side, but at opposite ends of the gallery!

People were standing in the middle of the room turning their heads this way and that, trying to compare the two over the heads of the people standing between them and the paintings. It was not possible to see details from such a distance. The only place where they appeared side by side was in the film at the end of the exhibition. Well, sorry, I can put pictures of them together at home to better effect.

The man responsible for this expensive farce is curator Luke Syson. All I can say is, I'm glad he's soon off the the Met. I'm just sorry they didn't entice him away before he made such a botch of what could have been the most amazing exhibition ever.


JoJo said...

WHY did he set them up that way? What a stupid thing to do. How in the world can you possibly compare the two if they aren't side by side? Thank you for posting them together! Are any art reviewers or columnists taking the curator to task for such a snafu?

val said...

It's been mentioned, but not as seriously and disparagingly as it deserves.

JoJo said...

I was just reading about both paintings online. I had NO idea that they are 6' tall!!! Seeing them side by side on your blog, I assumed they were small paintings!

Anonymous said...

We're just FABULOUS at screwing things up over here, in fact, if there was an award for making the most inanely stupid decisions, we'd show everyone a clean pair of heels!

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