The Nasher Museum of Art


BED Water Tower
ME/WE Water Tower
 Over Martin Luther King weekend, my parents and I took a little road trip to see a few colleges in North Carolina. Duke University was our second tour of the day. We had gotten to Durham a few hours early for our campus tour, but we were exhausted. The weather was cold, bleak and rainy, so naturally our spirits were low. By some saving grace, the woman at the visitors center directed us to the Nasher Museum of Art. At first we were in search of food, but of course art was on the agenda after were were caffeinated. 

In my life, I've been to many many many terrific cafes all over the world, but the cafe at the Nasher Art Museum was nothing short of phenomenal. The aesthetic of their food was simple. I am a firm believer that simpler is better. I had a their "Red, White and Green Panini". On that grey day, the ingredients of my sandwich were so fresh and that it took me by surprise and the warmth of my tea wrapped me like a hug. I don't know if it was the little sprigs of basil or the juicy tomato or the fresh bread that made this panini so amazing, but after savoring each bite my head was clear and I could finally concentrate on the scenery.

I hadn't realized before, but the art museum was nearly empty. Besides a few students having lunch with their professors and an older couple, the only noises that could be heard were the sounds of silverware on plates and drops on the roof. Art museums are great, but empty art museums completely change the viewers perspective. It becomes a more intimate and one-on-one experience with the works. 

The Nasher Museum has an amazing collection of works from all over the world from many different time periods - something to satisfy the taste for antiquity or modernity. After spending a decent amount of time in each gallery my favorite works were Chilean artist Iván Navarro's This Land is Your Land water towers. His inspiration came from the water towers of New York, which were a common sight after his move from Chile. Of course the visual experience of having water towers in an empty museum was intriguing, but I walked under the towers out of child like curiosity and looked up. At the base of the tower words were created in neon. These words come from the artist's personal experiences as an immigrant and are a metaphorical reminder of freedom and democracy in America. 

The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University gave me an aesthetic experience, but the simplicity in their food and presentation of art allowed a theme of comfort and warmth to speak for itself. I don't think I could have appreciated these messages as much as I did if the weather wasn't a contrasting bleak and grey. 

If you want to explore more of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, click here

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