Why We Go to the Met Every Sunday (and Have for 60 Years)
To constantly inspire breakthrough conceptual thinking, my wife and I go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, religiously, every Sunday.
Lou Dorfsman, design chief for CBS Radio and later the CBS Television Network for over 40 years, once said, “In reality, creativity is the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.”
However, nothing comes from nothing. You must continuously feed the inner beast that sparks and inspires. I contend the DNA of talent is stored within the great museums of the world. Museums are custodians of epiphanies and these epiphanies enter the central nervous system and the deep recesses of the mind. The shock of an epiphany, a word derived from the Greek “epiphanie,” has been an almost daily occurrence since I was a youngster, mystically echoing throughout much of my work. (For example, I transformed the Met’s excruciating image by Francesco Botticini of Saint Sebastian into a 1967 Esquire cover depicting Muhammad Ali.)
My wife is an artist who paints under the name Lewandowski-Lois. Our spiritual day of worship is spent each Sunday at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, where we experience, without fail, the shock of the old. (When in London, we go to the British Museum; in France we visit the Louvre; in Madrid we go to the Prado; you get the idea.) Mysteriously, the history of the art of mankind can inspire breakthrough conceptual thinking, in any field.
This post is part of the GOOD community's 50 Building Blocks of Citizenship—weekly steps to being an active, engaged global citizen. This week: Become a Member of a Cultural Institution. Follow along and join the conversation at good.is/citizenship and on Twitter at #goodcitizen.
George Lois is a renowned art director and designer, known for the groundbreaking covers of Esquire magazine he created in the 1960s and 1970s, which have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art.