I spend my weekdays (and sometimes nights) in the Programs & Engagement department at the Rubin Museum of Art. Here’s a writeup from New York Times art critic Holland Cotter about current exhibitions and this year’s theme of the future —
Moments from Berlin, Prague, and Vienna.
Remember that one time we almost didn’t see the Sistine Chapel? (It’s a fun story.)
“That one time” happened less than three days ago and now I’m up at 7:30am-feels-like-1:30pm, 20 hours of travel removed from Rome and it kind of doesn’t feel real.
But, it was. And it was so worth it because the Sistine Chapel was perhaps the most overwhelmingly beautiful thing I have ever observed. The paintings – oh! yes, the paintings; but also the deep commitment among the men who took it from idea to reality, and the weight of the fact that I know this God whose story is laid out so beautifully before the eyes of thousands of people every day. I know this God and he’s infinitely more beautiful than even the grandest examples of human creation. He’s the origin. I, a self-supposed lover of Beauty, forget that far too often.
Standing, eyes upward, in the chapel with these things in my head, it was all I could do not to weep for the sheer too-big-for-words beauty of it all. In the end, sure, it would have been sad to visit Rome and miss the Sistine Chapel, but it’s heartbreaking to consider a life without any acknowledgement of ultimate Beauty.
One thing I have asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
Vienna, Austria: June 6, 2014 – June 12, 2014