The Magic of Art Museums

Lisa Stewart Design Magic Museums

Art museums are magical places because they inspire me. The Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota did not disappoint when I visited recently.

As Frank Gehry’s first American art museum, the Weisman became known as “Baby Bilbao” because it shows glimpses of the design features — molten Cubism, light-filled interiors, a faceted metal skin — that soon took spectacular shape in Gehry’s best-known building, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

As we entered the museum we were stopped dead in our tracks by this amazing exhibition by artist Sharon Louden. Made of 250,000 aluminum strips it echoes the treatment used on the building’s exterior and it floods the interior with reflected light. Fascinated, we thought, “What on earth? How and why did the artist come up with this?” It was a mystery. We surveyed the entire work which spanned three walls and 3,000 square feet of floor. After some time, with our questions still unanswered, we decided to stop analyzing it and simply enjoyed it.

And therein lays the magic of art museums:  Artwork, just like some things in life, can’t be explained. And I find the mystery refreshing. I am free to explore but it’s not my job to figure it out.  My mind is cleared of thoughts as I embrace the creativity of it all.  Once opened, my imagination is able to access the vision within and I can design homes with inspiration.

So take the time to head to your local art museum and let the magic begin!

Lisa Stewart is an interior designer serving the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC.

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