Museum of One

My mother was a docent for many years. Which made her a terrific museum companion, except that woman had STAMINA when it came to viewing art.

I’d be limping 10 paces behind begging for another espresso while she called over her shoulder that there was just one more exhibit we should really try to catch and had I ever seen the Rothkos in the permanent collection?

I sure miss her.

Of course, I’m not going to museums anyway because I’m home all the damned time. But today I looked around the house and realized it’s its own kind of museum.

Each of us lives in a Museum of the Self.

You’ve got the stuff from your Blue Period (likely high school), and the sketches that were studies for your Great Works, and the skills you picked up during that residency in New York. Each thing you own is a little piece of who you are, what you’ve done, where you’ve been. You’re the artist and the curator.

But beware: curation is not the same as collection.

It doesn’t mean keeping everything you’ve ever created. Artists don’t keep their models tucked away in closets, or the subjects of each still life packed into the kitchen cupboards.

You choose your best works and frame them. You keep a few of the process pieces, maybe a couple of the drawings. You might discard an entire year’s worth of work because it just doesn’t, well, work.

The point is, you CHOOSE what to keep and what to discard.

You don’t worry about what other people think – you’re the expert. You resist the temptation to keep EVERYTHING, because quality beats quantity.

Choose the best, ditch the rest. Or at least catalogue it in an orderly fashion. And if one of those rejected sketches gets out into the world and makes someone else rich then great! Sharing the abundance increases it.

Don’t worry about being a minimalist – you don’t have to have one of those galleries with white walls and paintings spaced miles apart. One of my favorite galleries is Gertrude Stein’s salon – walls crammed with art, but only the good stuff.

Modern art might not be your thing, but I for one would like my home to be more like Gertrude Stein’s and less like a Home Depot ad.

Full of personality. Maybe not for everyone. But my ultimate retreat and inspirational temple.

Is your home more art gallery or storage container? You get to choose.