Consider the Lillies of the Art Museum

Thursday night I’m sitting on the couch working on my death mix-CD and The Wife comes in and she says,

“Grab your coat. We’re going out.”


“The art museum. Monet’s Water Lillies is in town for an exhibit in its full triptych glory.”

“But…but…The World Series!”

“Seriously? You’re going to pull the World Series on me? OK, here’s the deal: If you can name one of the teams that’s playing, you can stay here and watch Big Bang Theory.”

“Uh…hold on… give me a second…The New York Yankees and…The Dallas Cowboys!”

“Well, at least one of them is a baseball team. Get your coat.”

And so it was that The Wife, The Son and I made our way to the Saint Louis Art Museum for Monet’s Water Lillies, a special exhibit featuring eight works by the great impressionist painter, highlighted by his massive Agapanthus piece.

Inspired by the pond in his garden at Giverny, Monet began work on Agapanthus around 1915 and today the 42-foot triptych has found a home at three different museums: The Saint Louis Art Museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City and the Cleveland Museum of Art. This is the first time in more than 30 years that the three pieces have been displayed together like God and Monet intended.

We had two tickets and no sitter so we agreed that I would go in first — since it would probably take me .5 seconds to go through the exhibit — and The Wife and Son would hang out in the main hall. Then The Wife would go in and leisurely stroll through the hall and read all the placards while listening to the audio tour and The Son and I would try to climb on top of the man-on-horse statue out front.

It’s a nice exhibit, especially if you’re into the works of Claude Monet. In addition to Agapanthus, the show features a couple of pieces from Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris and a few other related works. It’s a whole lotta water lillies.

The centerpiece is, of course, the triptych and it is certainly an impressive work of art.

I made my way through the exhibit in short order — I even read some of the placards — only to find my family were not in the main hall where I left them. Knowing The Wife the way I do, I headed for the Van Gogh and found them.

The Son and I made for the gift shop and The Wife grabbed a set of headphones and entered the exhibit. In the back of the gift shop we found an area where they had some computers set up for children to “paint” on. Well, that kept My Son The Artist occupied for the rest of our visit. I didn’t even have to break out the granola bars.

The Wife eventually emerged from the exhibition hall — suitably impressed — and even had time to wander the gift shop while The Son was still drawing. All in all, a nice night at the art museum. I tape Big Bang, so I didn’t miss anything.

I also didn’t miss the World Series. I’ll leave it to you to figure out what meaning of the word “miss” I’m using there.

Monet’s Water Lillies runs through January 22,


One response to “Consider the Lillies of the Art Museum

  1. I’m trying to figure out how such great Monet paintings ended up in St.Louis, Kansas CIty and Cleveland.

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