The first museum my parents took me to was the Museum of Natural History, because nothing can compete with a giant blue whale hanging from a ceiling. But after that, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Later on I read "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler", about a brother and sister who ran away from home and lived there, sleeping in the Medieval bed and washing in the cafeteria fountain. I can follow my art history chronology by tracking the halls I loved most, in order: Egyptian, Medieval, Renaissance, the Impressionists, Greece and Rome, and so on. What's great about going away for a while is that when you go back you find yourself drawn to rooms full of things that hadn't interested you in the past. You realize that you are a little different than you were before.
There are things you knew you would like:
Icelandic artist Katrin Sigurdardottir,
That tiny square in the Hans Hofmann, that I wish I could have squeezed through,
And my hero, El Anatsui, all from bottle caps.
It's one thing to see in a magazine, or online, but up close, for real, amazing.