Remember back to elementary school: piling into a bus and traveling to the local museum to stand in line and learn about important people from days gone by. Whether this is a good or bad memory is up to you, but I seem to remember the annual museum field trip as a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand I loved the excuse it gave us to break our mundane school day and spend the afternoon chatting with our friends on the bus and eating our white bagged lunch on the museum lawn. On the other hand standing in a line and touring dozens of exhibits with a constantly monotone tour guide was pretty boring.
While planning my latest excursion I feared that same feeling of boredom, as I’ve never been one to pay attention for anything for more than a few minutes at a time. I was plotting a trip for Peace College Qatar delegation (as mentioned in a previous blog post of mine), a group of 11 young women from the Gulf nation who would be coming for a little less than a week. The trip I was planning, a visit to the North Carolina Museum of Art, would be one of the main attractions as well as a chance to showcase the best of American art to the girls. Naturally I was aware that there would be global art there as well, but we hardly had the time to even see all of the American pieces right?
Well partly. When the time came to make our way to the museum the girls were anxious to see what America had on display, as well as what international works the museum had on displayed. They seemed equally excited so we decided to let the girls have free reign of the museum, which in turn gave me a chance to see some amazing pieces from around the world!
The North Carolina Museum of Art is located just outside of downtown Raleigh and consists of hundreds of pieces from Europe, Africa, North and South America, as well as a special selection from ancient Egypt. In addition the museum boasts several special exhibits a year as well as a showcasing of student art from local art institutions.
Many of the girls from abroad instantly gravitated towards the North and South American pieces, but I found myself slipping away towards the European section. All of the art within the museum is amazing but I have always enjoyed the elegance of many of the older pieces....And the interest of those super cool takes on the classics!
Besides the classics The North Carolina Museum of art has various pieces of modern and interactive art to encounter as well as a giant museum park full of various sculptures and pieces (the reason why you should go on a sunny day!)
As I went around I was curious to see what the Qatari girls' (as well as my peers’ and professor’s) favorite pieces were, as well as what kind of art they most enjoyed:
Whether you have a few hours or a full day the North Carolina Museum of art is an amazing place to discover the world through an artist’s eyes! Or through the eyes of several crazy girls.