Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reading Room (March 10, 2008)

This picture reminds me of a phone call I got the other day from a telemarketer, trying to sell me a membership to the Royal Ontario Museum. First, actually, he tried to convince me to see the new exhibit coming to the ROM, a Chinese sculpted Terracotta Army. Thinking quickly, I replied that I'd already seen the exhibit back in 2008, at the British Museum. He was thrown off by that, but continued his sales spiel (as I expected) with the membership pitch. I told him it was far beyond my budget (the reason they called is that they probably found out I am a member of the Art Gallery of Ontario, which only cost me $40 for the year).

What I didn't add was how much of a colossal rip-off I believe it to be, especially considering the horrible hash-job they did on hiring a famous architect to create an ugly appendage for the ROM building. Not only is the collection not worth the price, but the architecture is practically offensive and already looks like something designed to look "futuristic" in 1983.

For the record, while I was indeed at the British Museum (where entry is free) in March 2008, I didn't go in to see the exhibit--it wasn't my interest in seeing the Reading Room. I wanted to see where Marx had worked, and when I found it would cost an extra ten pounds to go in, I decided not to (I was on a limited budget). Plenty of time to go back and see it, now that the Chinese pottery army has moved on.

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