Anthrow Circus

In Monet’s Room, Quietly


I turn the corner and am jolted by fluid splashes of color, original blues, greens, and oranges, not their recreated versions. Then I hear myself sigh, easing from the city into this quiet space.

When Monet designed the Water Lilies galleries in Le Musée de l’Orangerie, he specified that they should be experienced in silence. Viewers should whisper, step softly. It’s a space set apart—a cathedral built in reverence for the absence of sound.

On Looking at Rothko


When I see a Rothko painting, the feeling is akin to that moment between waking and sleep when one is delayed—happily—in an absence of category. A purity of breath and stillness without effort. A cessation of being. But to be transported to these realms by his art, I must see the original painting in person. Otherwise the image has no effect.

And this is the enduring strength of Rothko in the age of the smartphone.

How to View Art


Prior to the coronavirus pandemic’s disruption, the world had seen a surge in international travel and tourism, forcing many museums and other popular tourist destinations to take crowd control measures.

For example, the Louvre renovated the Mona Lisa’s exhibition space last year and improved traffic flow to better handle the painting’s many, many visitors, who largely view the painting through a sea of cell phones and cameras, let’s be honest.

View From a Pandemic: Europeans in America


As I observe the global pandemic unfold from the comforts and safety of my Washington, D.C., metro area home, I am transported back to the basement shelters where my parents, sister, relatives, neighbors, and I hid from the daily deadly mortar attacks during the most recent war in Croatia.

Two Paintings and an Encounter


This week’s writer illustrates the power of art for guiding us to new places. For her, two paintings in a Vatican gallery thrust her into a spiritually profound encounter.

These, the “Pope’s paintings,” cried out to God more than any others as we wound through masterpieces in the sad, vast Vatican.

We were plodding through the quarters and it was less crowded than the other museums, as it was not on the path to the Sistine Chapel.

I started to tremble when we saw a Raphael, his last before death. A secrecy pervaded the image, forcing me to a craggy edge of longing at which my eyes watered.

Imaginibus: Illumination in the Detroit Institute of Arts

By Marina Gross-Hoy

The Detroit Institute of Arts is a gem. It has one of the largest art collections in the United States, with objects spanning from ancient Mesopotamia to contemporary America.

The reason for my visit on a blustery March afternoon was to test Lumin, the museum’s brand new augmented reality mobile experience.

Imaginibus: Retreating in the Met

I felt overwhelmed by how much there was to see, and I didn’t know how to structure my visit. I wanted to see everything, and simultaneously, I longed to take my time with the artworks. Then, as I was meandering through the Greek and Roman statuary, all of a sudden I came to a halt…

Imaginibus: Fostering Imagination in Museums

“A museum is doing its job when this relationship between object and visitor is reciprocal: The visitor attentively observes the object and perhaps learns information about it, and she then applies her own experiences and “cultural baggage” to give the object meaning…”