Growing up in Manila I had no heart at all for art and museums. Art wasn’t really a priority in poor countries you see. I’m almost sure the only museum I ever went to was a school-sponsored trip to Ayala Museum which back then had as a main attraction dioramas of Philippine history over the ages. Rather sad when I think about it now.
The first time I ever laid eyes on an original Impressionist painting must have been when I moved to the States. And even then I had to think long and hard how hastily squiggled paint could be worth so much money and admiration. I thought Impressionism was a gigantic leap backward – it looked so lazy.
Well, the more I went to museums the more I started appreciating Monet, van Gogh, and their ilk. It’s that or I could have just been brainwashed by all the marketing. Who knows.
The Kroller-Muller’s quantity of van Goghs was an embarrassment of riches. It almost seemed like they had as many as the van Gogh Museum itself. The building itself could use some sprucing up but the quality of the art was definitely world-class. Renoir, Picasso, Gaughin, Seurat, etc etc. Just wow. And to think it’s in the middle of nowhere! Saw lots of parents with their kids and all I could think was how lucky the kids were. Lucky for experiencing something substantial – because these things aren’t cheap – and for doing it while still young and impressionable.
Impressionists for the impressionable.