Metroblogging the DIA: Interiors

Designing exhibit halls ain’t easy. You have to take into account the type of art being show, the time period of its creation, a theme the curatorial staff is trying to convey to the visitor, and the tones of the artwork.

That said, your DIA has done an terrific job of creating spaces for the art. Galleries incorporate historical interior design features that take you to the time and place of the art’s creation. Take, for example, the entrance to the Italian Art gallery on the second floor/Farnsworth Street side. The Corinthian capitals and Ogee-arched entrance way takes you into the seventeenth-century Italy portrayed in the paintings.

From gallery to gallery you’ll notice different color schemes, various intensities of lighting and different types of lamps. For example, the ancient art galleries on the first floor are softly lit by octagonal fixtures. Entering the African Art gallery, my attention was drawn to the lights above me not because they were piercing but due to their utter non-obtrusiveness and even gentleness on the eye and on the art.

The second floor, which primarily houses modern-era artworks, is much more intensely lit, but this is a generalization since the intensity of light and the color of the walls can change dramatically from room to room.

With all of this variation, my eyes began to tire and fatigue after a few hours. The eyes of a museum-goer are already quite strained due to the over-excitement of the senses and the extra intensity of concentration required by these masterpieces.

A great art museum does to the eyes what the front row at a rock concert does to the ears. So if you’re going to make it through the entire show, it might be a good idea to take occasional breaks so that you can take it all in and really experience the museum without suffering from sensory overload or a nasty headache on your way out.

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