A Museum State of Mind

I can remember the first exhibition that made me fall in love with museums. I was a junior in college studying art history and I had an assignment to do an exhibition review on a Kerry James Marshall exhibition (One True Thing: Meditations on Black Aesthetics) at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
The show seemed to go on forever, each piece more interesting than the last, on all white walls and in several different galleries. It was amazing and I went back to learn more and see the show as many times as I could before it closed.
It only takes one exhibition, one artist, one museum visit to start a life-long love affair with museums. I not only became more interested in Marshall’s work, but also gained a new appreciation for the experience of viewing art and visiting museums.
I think that Jean-Louis Forain: La Comédie parisienne is going to be the exhibition that provides that experience for a lot of Memphians. This city is fortunate to have the exhibition here for three months which provides any and everyone the luxury of seeing the show over and over again. Everyone at the Dixon is excited about the opportunity for the Forain show to spark that life-long love affair with art and museums that can stick with you forever and we wanted to provide you with everything needed to enhance your visit and make that possible.
Jean-Louis Forain, French, 1852-1931, Woman with a Mask and Black Gloves, 1894, Watercolor and gouache, Les Arts Décoratifs, musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, Photos Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris/ Jean Tholance
Every department at the museum is working to perfect every detail: from the wall colors, to the vocabulary used in the text panels, to the plantings in the gardens, we want you to be able to view Forain’s work in the most educational and enjoyable experience possible.
Café Forain opens on June 28.  
We know that spending an afternoon walking through the galleries can stir up quite the appetite and we, along with Just for Lunch, prepared for that as well.
The effect that some of these changes will have on the museum is temporary and the colors of the wall will eventually change again. The visitor’s memory of this show, however, can stay with them for a life-time and create the desire to see more shows, view more art and experience museums in a new way.

– Chantal Drake, communications associate