Tuesday, March 8, 2011
King-Sized Prank: Having Fun in Front of a Velazquez
The best portraits look as if the subject could step right out of the frame and walk among us, maybe even sign an autograph or two. Recently, something like that happened in the austere galleries of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Two nembers of an improvisational comedy group stood in front of Diego Velázquez’s 1623 portrait of King Philip IV of Spain—one claiming to be the king himself (shown above) and the other announcing the king’s presence and willingness to sign autographs for the crowd. Fun, irreverent, oddly respectful, and ultimately harmless, this escapade (or “mission,” as the improvs call it) shows that museums can be places of humor and liveliness and not dread catacombs of culture. Can this king-sized prank and the positive press it’s brought prove to museums that it’s OK to be fun? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "King-Sized Prank."
[Many thanks to Roy for passing on this story to me.]