Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Narrative of Weatherspoon Museum

 Approaching the Weatherspoon Museum from Tate St, I am consumed with the strong columned, glazed structure, intermingling with the brick exterior.  The entranceway to the museum continues the facade with massive columns flanking huge iron gates, as they guard their treasure.  Surprisingly they open up into a hidden garden; a delightful prelude to the museum.  The garden is a well balance unity containing specialized landscape details and sculptured works of art.  As one strolls through the garden, taking in the various modern monuments, the door to the museum is not readily visible.  Upon approaching a loggia beyond the oasis, the entrance to the museum comes into sight.  At first glance into the vestibule, I am greeted with an announcement board posting highlights of noteworthy exhibits.  The patron can easily see a side path to rest rooms and fountains.  At the other end of the vestibule, I catch a glimpse through the glass doors of a dramatic volume of space with large sweep curves.  I grow excited with the anticipation of my visit, thinking; "Oh this will be good!"  Walking through the doorway to the museum lobby, I continue my gaze upward towards the ceiling, as my interest is captured by the beauty of the architectural details.  Glistening in white, and drench with natural light from above, the grand oval opening in the ceiling comes down to greets the walls with a sculptured relief.  Windows to the second floor sit above the relief, beckoning the viewer to come further.  Exploring the museum lobby in detail, I take in the dotting of artworks lining the walls.  Abundant recessed lights illuminate the path to accentuate their prominence.  I follow a secondary path off the lobby to pier through gallery doors.  The end of the path is emphasized with a sculpture artwork, backlit with natural light from a wall of windows.  Returning to the main lobby area I see other paths to the second floor galleries, via the elevator or stairs.  In front of the elevator is a donation bin, suggesting all donations are welcome in support of the arts.  Traveling back through the vestibule I once again spot the shaded comfort of the loggia.  I pause for a moment on the park bench, to relax from my museum journey, and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the hidden garden.