Thursday, 17 July 2014

Alain de Botton!

Back in January I came across an article in Brainpickings "How Art Can Save Your Soul" that had a link to the video below:


After watching this I was hooked on Alain de Botton! He is a thinker who speaks and writes with a wonderful combination of intense honesty, erudition, humour and accessibility! In the video he mentions that he is going to be a guest curator at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in 2014 and wants to make the galleries thematically approachable relating to human emotions rather than by the date of execution of an artwork. At the time I imagined this being a pretty near impossible feat as it would require some major re-hanging --  I have been to the Rijksmuseum and a small local gallery it ain't!

So it was interesting to have my attention drawn to this article in The Correspondent where the author is defending de Botton's curation of the Rijksmuseum. Apparently he did not re-hang the entire museum but had notes throughout the museum to give some direction on how to look at various paintings and how to enhance your museum experience.


Alain de Botton explains The Battle of Gibraltar. Photo: Herman Wouters/Hollandse Hoogte

Having just finished "How to Think More About Sex", an immensely readable and enjoyable small book from the School of Life (founded by de Botton), I was delighted to read about de Botton's insights into the Rijksmuseum, as sadly I don't think it is on the cards for me to get to see the museum again in person any time soon.