Museums, more than memories

There are many ways to enjoy art. A museum has the reputation of being boring, but it can be fascinating.

Museums, more than memories

There are many ways to enjoy art. A museum has the reputation of being boring, but it can be fascinating.

Museums often bear the stigma of being boring, housing ghosts from past eras depicted by ancestors we never knew. My son, a reluctant companion on museum visits, invariably questions, “More museums? Why?” Answering isn’t straightforward; my usual response is, “Because experiencing art can only be a good thing.”

I’m fascinated by the emotions evoked by paintings on display—coldly exhibited, protected by vigilant guards, and encased in ropes, monitored by security cameras. Yet, these emotions can be unpredictable, surpassing our expectations when a piece touches a deep, inner chord. Museums, rather than mere showcases of ancestors, become accomplices in our unspoken experiences.

Collecting and preserving art serve diverse purposes—demonstrating power, wealth, sensitivity, or narrating stories through objects. Regardless of the motivations, each museum visit ties us to an ongoing history. And that is what I enjoy the most.

Guiding visitors through Madrid’s museums, I observe a varied spectrum of interest. Some treat it as a mandatory excursion, yet in every group, there’s one who engages with unwavering enthusiasm… but watching the least interested member is always intriguing; inevitably, a moment arrives when something captures their attention. It’s a moment that never fails to materialize.

What’s captivating is the deeply personal connection visitors form. Whether enchanted by a Rothko, captivated by a 17th-century landscape, enamoured with a sculpture, or moved by a portrait—each reaction is a surprise, each question a unique journey. The museum transforms from a collection of memories into a space where individuals connect with themselves, if only for a little moment. And that, undoubtedly, can only be a good thing.

Maria Iturralde

I'm a communication profesional, specializing in strategies for social projects and a lover of cultural connections. Originally from Ecuador, I've made Madrid, Spain, my home, balancing work remotely with enjoying the city's vibrant culture. Madrid isn't just where I live; it's where I've explored every corner, discovering its unique charm. By day, I'm a dedicated communication consultant, and off-duty, I'm out exploring Madrid's streets and museums. I also enjoy giving private tours, sharing the city's stories from a local perspective. It's not just a job; it's my way of bringing Madrid to life through storytelling. Join me on this journey as I blend professional know-how with a passion for Madrid's cultural richness.

Maria Iturralde

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walksinmadrid@gmail.com