Museums have the unique effect of taking you back to a previous time period and letting you feel as if you were there during the events that were occurring. Children are often times taken to museums to learn about historical events that occurred because through immersing oneself in the life-sized portraits and images, we are able to feel the full effect of a particular moment in time. Museums also unite people in a peaceful manner because individuals from all over the world travel to museums to learn about one another’s cultures, history, and events.
For my Australian Experience class I had a field trip to the Museum of Sydney and felt as if I was time traveling through a decade of beauty, elegance, corruption, and conflict. The emotions that I felt as I walked through this museum were stimulating and I was truly enraptured by all the culture that I was surrounded by. The particular exhibit that we examined for my class was called Underworld and consisted of mugshots from the roaring twenties. As I walked through the exhibit with my classmates, I felt as if I was truly immersed in the lifestyle and conflicts that were occurring during this corrupt time period. The art in this exhibit was depicted in the form of powerful photographs of real people who were culprits during this time period. The images were very powerful because there were black and white mug shots of real people who had committed crimes of embezzlement, theft, fraud, etc. It was very interesting to see these mugshots because many of the individuals in the pictures looked very elegant and put together. I found it hard to believe that these high classes, put together individuals were convicted of serious crimes and were facing many years in prison unless they were able to pay off their bail. Many of the women in the photos were dressed in glamorous attire and pearl necklaces and the men appeared to be suited, professional business men. The name of this exhibit was particularly symbolic because this crime scene in Australia during the twenties was truly a hidden away “underworld” in the sense that the rich and high class members of society had a deceiving side to them. These “noble” wealthy men and women would commit acts of fraud and take advantage of people around them. It was truly interesting to be exposed to this dark side of the roaring twenties and to find similarities between the crime scenes in the United States versus Australian culprits.
Another time that I felt truly immersed in art was during my trip to the city of Melbourne. This city was unlike Sydney in the sense that it was filled with culture, inspiration, and art. Everything was aesthetic and or drew your attention in the most positive way possible. Walking through the narrow city streets of Melbourne there was never a dull moment and you truly became enraptured in the street art. Unlike the art in Sydney, the art in Melbourne was much more modern and reminded me a lot of New York City. In New York all the streets are filled with street art from famous artists who are all trying to portray a message or share some inspiration with the people of the busy city. Melbourne reminded me of New York because everything was art. Even the bathrooms in all the cafes and restaurants had art on the walls and were designed by locals who were feeling inspired. Melbourne has no laws against graffiti on public walls; therefore, many young, talented individuals often times graffiti important messages or symbolic images on any bland walls around the city.
During my time in Melbourne I visited the National Gallery of Victoria. This museum was unique in the sense that it was composed of modern, classical, and historic art pieces. For example, it had exhibits of life sized skull sculptures, rooms filled with flowers, life-sized, abstract shapes, etc. However, it also had historical pieces from Picasso and Monet. I felt truly immersed in many different cultures because the artists of this gallery were all from international places. There were British, French, Japanese, South American, African and Chinese artists. It was truly inspiring because you would go from a room filled with Picasso’s memorable pieces to a room of interactive, modern art designed by an emerging artist. It was as if I was constantly time traveling back and forth from our modern era to a time when romanticism was what inspired art. As I walked around, I observed individuals of many different age groups all interacting with the art in distinct ways. This museum will be a milestone in history and truly acts as a place to make many different world collide in a unique way.