I love a good museum or art gallery trip. The buildings themselves are often art pieces in their own right, particularly here in London – I’m thinking the British and Natural History Museums’ main halls, the V&A’s interior court, etc. The exhibitions are so broad and numerous there is generally too much to see, numerous temporary collections and always an incentive to return.
Occasionally, the most intriguing displays come not from amazing 17th century painting nor ancient artifacts, but the visitors themselves. So without further ado, here is a selection of the most annoying people to come across in museums.
*Spoiler alert: they’re not a real professor* Or at least we don’t know for a fact. What we do know about is their passion for 8th century Phoenician architecture, and that they’ve read all there is to read about the history of cultural identities in medieval Sicily.
And they love to let people around them know, almost as much as they love the sound of their own voice. Look guys, I studied History at the University of Bristol, home of the pretentiously posh-sounding overcompensating for their failure to get into Oxbridge. If I think you’re overdoing it, you really are. Also it’s 2016, please take off this sweater vest…
Are you part of a school trip or a large family? Do you enjoy walking in a perfectly straight line in order to cover the entire width of the corridor like a superbly disciplined rugby team, just because you have enough bodies to do so?
Do you also enjoy taking the time to really process things, and stroll around rather than rush through the aisles so you can really read the meaning behind every painting? If so congratulations, you made the black list because you’ve been obstructing everybody else down the entire time.
The cynical skeptic
Very much the real life equivalent of the YouTube comment section conspiracy theorist troll, the cynic has some top-secret insight which undeniably proves that mainstream historical knowledge and consensus, driven by extensive research collected by the brightest minds of our time, is actually totally wrong. Oh yeah.
Pyramids? Too pointy, man couldn’t have built them alone. In fact, there is evidence dinosaurs may have helped. The Moon landing? Filmed in a studio down the road. It’s true – there is even an article on Buzzfeed about it.
Right, so babies is that tricky point where I might come across as a soulless moan (if I somehow haven’t already), so let me justify. I’m all for kids experiencing culture from an early age, but babies? I’m not saying that little Oscar isn’t enjoying this exhibition about the myths and reality behind Da Vinci’s work but…no actually, that’s exactly what I’m saying!
Babies can’t process what’s going on, so why bring them out? You know what can be processed? Continued loud cries from a toddler who’s clearly overwhelmed by the noise, amount of people and sheer scale of their surroundings. In fact, new rule: if you’re not old enough to walk alone, you shouldn’t be allowed in museums.
Trigger happy people
In most cases, I’m that person with the camera taking a stupid amount of shots (don’t worry, it’s a blogger thing). But I never understood people taking lots of shots in museums. Sure, grab your shot of the giant Diplodocus Dippy in the museum hallway like everyone else, but why take a picture of everything?
Will you really show these pictures to your children in 20 years time, as you fondly look back on the animal skeleton section? This one’s a picture of a monkey – they’re not even extinct! Taking too many pictures not only means you will come out not having seen the exhibition through your own eyes, but you’ll quickly realise very few of those shots are Instagram-worthy. Don’t get me started on people who take pictures of the little side bio text next to paintings…
Too cool to be impressed by anything they see, they are usually the person that has to be dragged along to the gallery. You would therefore assume they are the least artistically aware member of the group, but you’re wrong.
‘I could do that’, they tell you looking at some of the most respected work of art in the world, sporting the oblivious confidence of an American diplomat at an Iraqi peace conference. They could do it, they just don’t feel like it. Essentially, this is their way of telling you they’re not that happy to be there.