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Elizabeth LeBlanc

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What has been your most exciting, most pivotal, most life-changing "museum moment"?

How has a museum changed your life? Did you discover a new idea, fall in love with a work of art/artist, or have another kind of memorable experience from the act of visiting a museum?

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  • May 19 2011: Well,I grew up 9 blocks from MOMA,I was with my girlfriend Ethel,we were in love,and we were both 10 years old.It was 1956,a freezing Wednesday afternoon.So to be alone,and warm we walked to the MOMA.In those days the place was empty.You could hear the guards footsteps so they were not a problem.We went to the awninged bed of Louis the IV,or V,Red silk,and hopped on,BANG......no matress,it was 'wood'.Anyway we lied down and kissed,our first kiss.Then we looked at each other,,"Thats it"??? we did not think it was such a big deal,so we went to look at the art work,and the knights in armor................Nothing to do?I'd walk to MOMA,4 times a week for years.Age 12 to16,every day,I lived there,knew the place like the back of my hand.You could blindfold me,top of the staircase,say Dali,the Crusifiction,and I would lead you right to it.First floor same thing.I felt like it MOMA was mine.THEN,more and more people started coming.Hundreds of them,it was horrible.By 1966,the place was a zoo,to crowed,I'd go to the Gugenheim,or Natural history,or one of the others.Then I went to The Arts Students League,to paint every day.After classes,you could paint in the MOMA,had to go to the office first,you could not copy to scale,I would just pick some figures and make up my own.Some you could not even sit by.I lived 4 blocks from the Gugenheim,1966,my second apartment,I would go to them every day,you meet some interesting people there,it was part of my life.The Rembrant room,the impressionists rooms,the moving 12 foot high,gold wire star.The rooms with the furniture,and beds,like they originally were in 1500's New Amsterdam,and in France a 1600'sblue silk walled bedroom.,2nd floor,back left.The Knights,swords,spears,and that ali baba sword with the golf ball emerald on the hilt,1st floor back right.The mummy,the Egyptian room down stairs,always felt strange vibes in there.100th street,& 5th Ave,Museum of the City of New York,is a real good one.Now I live on MAUI,and now I miss them.
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      May 19 2011: love this little memoire herbert..very nostalgic..I miss those days too when MOMA, The Frick, the Guggenheim, even the Met could be a private getaway..don't really enjoy going any more..impossible to have that same very intimate connection with particular works and with galleries and favorite spaces unless you have elite member priveleges.
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        May 22 2011: Yes, I totally miss the days when museums were empty. Of course, it's good for them to have the income/ticket sales, but the experience of going to an art museum is much different now than when I was in art school in the 70s or even when I went to London, Paris and Rome in the mid-80s.

        In the 70s my hangout was the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh. I used to love to go there and sit with the Renoirs. I'd go every Saturday. But we also did art school field trips there with our painting and photography classes.

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