To this day, I carry the ticket in my wallet: entrebillet for one studerende to the Louisiana Museum for moderne kunst. To reach Louisiana, I took a 30-minute train ride north from Copenhagen, followed by a short walk along a narrow rain-soaked road splattered with red and yellow leaves.
Claude Monet’s Water Lilies were visiting Louisiana. Also visiting that day was a group of children suffering from some kind of disorder. Every so often, one of them would scream a pure and piercing wail. In my mind, the Water Lilies became linked to the sound of screaming.
From Louisiana, I walked six miles farther north along the Sound to Elsinore, the castle where Hamlet takes place. It was a Tuesday. I was the only visitor. The guard/guide, a thin old man, showed me rooms not usually open to the public.
I was living then in Montpellier, France, home of one of Europe’s oldest medical schools. The school’s anatomy museum displayed ancient body parts in ancient glass cases. Jars on a high shelf held hundred-year-old malformed fetuses.
Museums house art, history, science—and something more, something which depends upon the visit’s purpose. Class trip? Solo adventure? First date? I remember some art and artifacts—and I remember a piece of who I was that day. A museum preserves more than its collections.
Many thanks to Carli for the gift of this three-month guest-editor gig. My time is up. And many thanks to you, Dear Reader, for being here.
Guest Editor, Spring 2011