Monday, August 1, 2016

Forbidden Sketching

Sketchbooks are VITAL.

Just saw a recent, highly-irate commentary by Oliver Wainwright on the Victoria & Albert Museum's policy of not allowing photography or sketching! in its temporary exhibits.

That's really pretty awful.

(If you don't know it, the V&A is a treasure.  Buy a plane ticket and an entry ticket and go visit it immediately.  I'll wait.)

...You back?

Sketching in a museum is how an artist studies.  Learns stuff.  Not allowing sketching in an art museum is like not allowing reading in a library.  Anyway, the irate article is in The Guardian HERE:  in a post titled "'No Sketching': V&A signs betray everything the museum stands for."

Now, it's not like you should go running around and recklessly sketch just any old how: one of our local museums here in Dallas - Fort Worth does restrict sketching to pencil only (afraid that the temptation to draw an ink moustache on a portrait might be irresistible), but after asking you to put that pen away, they'll happily provide the pencil.  Because they know that being able to sketch is important.

Sketching is so important that the V&A even has a webpage extolling the importance of sketchbooks HERE.  (They should read it.)

Why is drawing so important?  On the V&A's page architect Eva Jiricna explains it perfectly:

"If I draw it for myself, I understand it. If I try to imagine it, it is too whimsical. Sketching is a tool - an extension of one's brain."

A page from the 13th C sketchbook of architect Villard de Honnecourt
Seeing, drawing, trying to understand & thinking - copyright long expired

So why the V&A's no-drawing ban?
Keepin' the line movin'.  Move along, move along...  I mean, are museums about art and education or are they about selling some tickets here!

Such a pity that drawing - and thinking - takes so damn long isn't it?

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