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Museum-Goers Say The Darndest Things

3 El Morocco New YorkWinograndRemember the old Art Linkletter “House Party” TV show feature, “Kids Say the Darndest Things”? Linkletter would interview kids and they would provide answers that boggled the mind, either because they were funny or poignant.

I couldn’t help think of it yesterday, after a visit to the Metropolitan Museum.* Among the exhibits I visited was Garry Winogrand, which consists of “more than 175 of the artist’s iconic images, a trove of unseen prints, and even Winogrand’s famed series of photographs made at the Metropolitan Museum in 1969 when the Museum celebrated its centennial.” It’s “a rigorous overview of Winogrand’s complete working life and reveals for the first time the full sweep of his career,” the museum says

On my way out, I stopped to look at the book where visitors leave comments. “Good exhibit,” the last person wrote. Then I noticed that he or she had ranked the exhibit, on a scale of 1 to 10, and a 3.

My eyes went back to the comment line: “You should colorize them,” it said.

Photo Credit: © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, Courtesy of the Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

* I consult to a foundation that supports the Met.



  1. Neil McGowan says:

    The Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg keeps a “book of classic remarks made by visitors” in the room provided for the tour guides to have a cup of tea. Some of the entries are truly magnificent. Two examples:

    AUSTRALIAN VISITOR: “All these pictures show the Virgin Mary with a boy! Why can’t some of them show her with a girl, eh? I mean, there must have been times when she was with a girl too, right?”

    GUIDE: “These two pictures illustrate Leonardo’s technical development. We see that the background is flat in the early picture. But in the second, later picture, we see he has introduced perspective. It’s a development of the early C15th.”
    VISITOR: “Is that the C15th AD, or BC?”

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