Aside from the morally questionable game of “If I could steal one thing” that I play in museums, I tend to go through them fantasizing about putting irreverent Post-It notes up hither and thither. Knowing that museums tend to frown on that, I do not, of course, do it. Still, I think it would be a very interesting social experiment to see how people engaged with non-official, humorous commentary. Would they take them down in disgust? Post their own if they could in response? Methinks it would be an amusing experiment, but we shall, alas, never know.
Being in New York for a few days, I am doing the rounds of small museums built by American industrialists. Yesterday it was the Frick, today the Morgan Pierpont for the one and only U.S. stop for Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth. So, before I head for the day, I thought I’d post the “Post-Its” that I couldn’t put up in the Frick.
“Giovanni! Did you just knock another sculpture on the ground, young man? Basta! How many times do I have to tell you not to wear that esecrabile sword in the house!”
“Wait! I’m not ready. I just put a lozenge in my…. Oh, never mind.”
This spring, the fashion forward woman will be matching her hair to her feather. Ladies, this is de rigueur.
“Mama said this cap was a mistake, but she was sooo wrong. (She also told me, I should shave my stubble and get a real haircut. The woman knows nothing.) My hat is no worse than that guy over there…”
“Are you talking to me? Are you seriously talking to me, you fop? My hat has points! Yes, fine. They’re soft points because it’s velvet, but it’s still a bloody serious hat. Yours looks like an undercooked pudding. Poltroon.”
“Points are for mustaches. Not hats. As for the pudding monstrosity, the less said the better. You’re both rather preposterous. Ask Mrs. Leyland over there.”
“Would you all just be quiet and let me contemplate the van Ruisdael? Peace and a fine prospect. That’s all I ask for.”
And now, if I could steal one thing….