ParadoxApril 6, 2009
Today I had the pleasure (and surprisingly, I say that without even a hint of sarcasm) of serving as chaperon on my son’s field trip to Washington DC.
When we saw a painting by Claude Monet of the bridge and water lilies at his home in Giverny, I naturally wanted to take a picture of it because way back when (1984) I had stood on that very bridge. I caught the eye of a National Gallery security guard and asked if I could take a photo. He said yes. I added, “without a flash, though, right?” To my amazement, he told me that I could use my flash.
Later, we were in the Hirshhorn Museum of Modern Art, when I took a picture of a painting by Trevor’s favorite artist, Rene Magritte. The guard came rushing over and told me that I was not allowed to use flash photography anywhere in the museum.
Or, put another way…
Claude Monet? Flash Okay.
Louise Bourgeois? No Flash. (Actually, I wasn’t even supposed to take any kind of photo in this particular exhibit, flash or not.)
I don’t get it.