^ a particularly captivating italian peasant boy by william morris hunt in the mfa’s salon room
most rooms in art galleries these days seem spacious and sparse, giving each painting its own space. stepping into the mfa’s salon room, therefore, was a significantly – refreshingly – different experience to what i have grown used to. more interesting still is the fact that in the 1890s, all of the mfa galleries exhibited art floor-to-ceiling, styled after the famous parisian salon. the aesthetic and the idea behind the salon entice me. the mfa’s explanation describes the salon as
the epitome of worldliness and sophistication. a typical salon exhibition, which might include thousands of paintings, placed the largest and most prestigious works “on the line”, at eye-level. paintings by lesser-known artists were often “skyed” towards the ceiling – though part of the game at the salon was deciding whether your judgment was better than the judges’.
i want my mind to be shaped like a salon, containing art of all kinds: paintings, but also books, plays, cupcakes…some on the line and others skyed, awaiting further inspection. ★