There are numerous things I love about being a librarian in a museum. Being around art, constantly learning about art, seeing people inspired or changed by art. All great things. My professional experiences and time at university give me the right to say this is my "field" and I am super-lucky to have a job that's in that field.
Having a broad knowledge of art and art history really sucks sometimes though. For instance, it can ruin fictional movies or television shows. I can become completely disengaged when a film/episode deals with art in an either improbable or downright incorrect way. I do a lot of eye-rolling and I've noticed it more and more.
Here are some recent examples:
1. The Forsyte Saga: I really loved the early 2000s remake of the series based on John Galsworthy's books and I just watched it all again. I think Damian Lewis is fantastic as the despicable Soames Forsyte and Gina McKee is simply gorgeous - especially in those Art Nouveau outfits near the end of the series. The problem for me, however, is that damn "Degas" painting that keeps reappearing throughout the second series. It's prominent as a work that the father (Soames) bids on because the work reminds him of his daughter Fleur. The person he outbids (spoiler alert!) eventually marries the daughter of which this painting is reminiscent and they keep alluding to it.
Here is the work:
And here are multiple examples of Degas' work. Okay, I know I'm being a snob, but I see very very little resemblance to his style. I know... it's just me. But, it did take away from my enjoyment of the series.
2. Framed: This BBC production from 2009 was based on actual events. Here's a nice synopsis from IMDB:
When the National Gallery in London is flooded the Director, Quentin Lester, decides to transfer the entire collection to the Welsh caves where the collection was stored during World War II. The entire operation is supposed to be secret and the cover story is that they are a mining company looking to reopen the mines, good news to the economically depressed town nearby. It takes local school teacher, Angharad Stanner, all of a day however to learn what is really going on.This was a cute, uplifting film, but I had to cringe several times at the art handling and serious lack of security issues. Even back in the 1930s and 40s the museum standards were better than this.
3. And lastly, for now: I am Legend, starring Will Smith. Smith plays scientist Robert Neville in this apocalyptic film - which I actually quite enjoyed. However, at the beginning of the movie, we see Neville in his home which has amazing art work. That Jean-Michel Basquiat work alone is worth about $3 million. Do we really find this kind of work in youngish scientist's homes these days?
If you're an art snob like me, I'd love to hear about other examples. Even if you're not an art snob...