Maureen Price

MUSEUM STUDIES

Museums are remarkable. They are one of the few gathering places for the general public that aren’t necessarily commercial by nature. They are places where it’s usually understood that quiet, reflection, learning, and respect are of great importance. That said, they are a rare breed in this day and age of noise and disposability. I think that’s one reason why I’m drawn to them.

The more time I spend in my local museums, the more I’m drawn not only to certain works on the wall but to the other people walking the galleries. What brought them here? Where are they from? I’ve become interested in what makes them linger on certain paintings or what entices them to read the entire placard on the wall. I notice how their body language changes in front of some work or when they feel the need to whip out their cameras. These moments have brought out my own desire to photograph. My fascination with these museum goers has led me to capture them in their moments of reflection, boredom, apathy, confusion, or exhaustion.

I’m drawn to people who seem to be unconsciously referencing the work in front of them. Do they have any idea that their bodies start to mimic the figures on the canvas? Or that their clothes match the color palette? These are the people I seek out in one gallery after another. There’s a certain satisfaction in collecting these visuals and knowing that only the security guards have any inkling that I’m not just another tourist snapping a soon-to-be-forgotten picture of the Rembrandt.

This work is an ongoing project.