Saturday, August 4, 2007

A Day at the Getty

Whenever someone visited us during our years in New York City we’d always include stops to the Metropolitan Museum, the MOMA, the Guggenheim, the Brooklyn Museum, there were so many places of profound interest. There were obviously far less similar venues in Oklahoma but we were busy building our professional careers and we hardly missed those heady days.

Yesterday, we found ourselves at the Getty Center. I will admit we were reluctant visitors because our time in California was limited and we wanted to shop for golf clubs and books and for an idiot-proof digital camera. Turned out to be one of those exceptional, totally unexpected eye-opening experiences.

We could have stayed there a full week and only scratch the surface of the vast repository of human experience available. Must have been my age and the kids were not with us and we had the whole day but seeing those sculptures and paintings and glassware and furniture and jewelry and photographs displayed in a fabulously designed building amid the most expensive real estate on earth filled me with wonder. I remember being awed by the display of wealth and power in New York and I would always muse as to how far we were in the Philippines from attaining these soaring feats of achievement.

Years ago, Emerson decried the absence of such a tradition in the US. He wrote about not having pyramids, history and authors but instead of being discouraged he wrote that “our day is come; we have been born out of the eternal silence; and now we live,--live for ourselves,--not as the pallbearers of a funeral, but as the upholders and creators of our age; and neither Greece nor Rome, nor the three Unities of Aristotle, nor the three Kings of Cologne, nor the College of the Sorbonne, nor the Edinburgh Review, is to command any longer…”.

I know our day is coming.

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