Art World Missed Connections: Eager in Front of Eggleston, and More


Valentine’s Day is still a month off, but love appears to be in the air judging by this week’s batch of Art World Missed Connections, which include stand-out posts pertaining to almost-encounters at the Whitney Museum and the Frick Collection, an awkward exchange at the Morgan Library and Museum, and a classroom attraction between art history students at the Art Institute of New York City. We’ll begin at the Whitney, where a pair of photography lovers couldn’t quite connect, prompting one of them to write a poem.

A fruitless visit to “American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe” produced the non-rhyming poem posted as “boy at the whitney, william eggleston photograph – w4m – 21 (Upper East Side)“:

me in my burgundy coat
you in your flannel shirt
us both looking at william egglestons photographs
from opposite ends

we met at the image of a face of a grocery store
i didn’t want to move
you didn’t seem to want to either
i couldn’t bring myself to look up at you
you in your flannel shirt
me in my burgundy coat

we parted ways
without even a slight glance
but maybe that was the beauty of the moment
the tension of both our shyness
me in my burgundy coat
you in your flannel shirt

With punctuation and standard prose line breaks, this would actually be a very standard post. Best of luck, shy photo fans.

Meanwhile, a few blocks over, a young woman chaperoning her visiting parents through the Frick had her style seriously cramped. Her inability to talk to a fellow Frick-goer resulted in the post “Thoughtful stranger at the Frick – w4m – 25 (Upper East Side),” which recounts:

You’re tallish, dark haired, glasses, scarf, carried a Medium Brown Bag. I liked your air of reserve and curiosity. After a while I noticed you seemed to linger in the same places I did, sometimes next to me. This sounds like you were creepy but you were not. Sorry I spent a lot of time explaining paintings to my parents. It feels kind of indelicate to me too, but then parents enjoy that sort of thing so much.

If mine weren’t there from out of town, I might also have paid better attention. Sorry I ignored you as you texted unconvincingly next to me in the hall by the Chardin. I remember finding that odd–alas too preoccupied at the time to realize you’d probably wanted some opening to hello.

If it’s you, recount one or two of the paintings we wondered at the most.

As this was just after Christmas–a past eon in internet years–I don’t know why I even bother posting now for the first time. I guess I just still remember that we moved through that museum at the same pace, which doesn’t happen so often.

Somehow the awkwardness of the two parties in that post is far more endearing than the Whitney Museum twosome. However, speaking of awkwardness, we barely made it through this item, titled “laughing at the gift shop counter (Friday, Jan. 10) – m4w (Murray Hill),” without instinctively burying our face in our hands:

Sometimes a moment occurs, and as it is happening you ask yourself if it, indeed, is a moment or not.
I think it was. And I walked away like an idiot.

After a wonderful visit to the Morgan Library and Museum, I stopped at the gift shop, natch.
You and your co-worker were laughing, and you looked so beautiful and so happy, experiencing pure delight.

I went out the wrong door, found a few more things, and came back to you, making some lame joke about how you were having too much fun to leave.
But then I left, wondering if I missed what could have, indeed, been a moment.

Am I dreaming?

This awkward gift store drifter was clearly not dreaming, but he does have one distinct advantage: He knows where the lady he’s got eyes for works. Also, as a gift store employee at a library, she’s sort of a librarian, and everyone knows librarians are extra sexy. Just ask the young scholars involved in this post, “Art Institute In Tribeca – m4m – 21 (TriBeCa)“:

Art History Monday Morning. You sat next to me in the beginning of class than in front of me during the slides. Your adjective was terrifying and mine began with P. Tell me what mine was if you decide to reply to this.

You will probably never see this but hey heres to trying. Talk me next week maybe can exchange numbers or something.

Wait, what does “Your adjective was terrifying” even mean?

— Benjamin Sutton (@bhsutton)

(Image: Detail from Elie Nadelman, “Tango,” 1920–24. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Mr. and Mrs. Arthur G. Altschul Purchase Fund, the Joan and Lester Avnet Purchase Fund, the Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch Purchase Fund, the Mrs. Robert C. Graham Purchase Fund in honor of John I.H. Baur, the Mrs. Percy Uris Purchase Fund, and the Henry Schnakenberg Purchase Fund in honor of Juliana Force.)