Walter Mencken 2:37 p.m., March 1
Let’s say it’s a Tuesday afternoon. Sunny and warm. And let’s say you’re in Balboa Park and have decided to take advantage of the day by dining al fresco at the Prado. The problem is that everyone else has decided to do the same, and the line to get your name on the waiting list extends out into the courtyard.
You have your mind set on lunch on that patio, so you wait in the line. And then when it’s your turn to give the hostess your name, she tells you it’ll be a half-hour to 45 minutes before she can seat you.
She hands you a buzzer, which will vibrate when your table is ready. The courtyard is already full of buzzer-holding people. So you head out toward the parking lot and lo! The San Diego Museum of Art stands before you, beckoning you from across the way.
You succumb, even though you know your buzzer will not buzz from this distance. At the door, you check your watch and ask yourself if the short amount of time you have will be worth the $12 admission fee. You decided it will be because you can always return after lunch.
And then you discover that today happens to be the Museum of Art’s Free Tuesday.
This afternoon, you decide to spend the first half of the 25 minutes you’ve allotted yourself in the Art of North America room, where you ogle at Francis Luis Mora’s “Morning News,” and Eastman Johnson’s “Woman Reading.”
"Woman Reading" (ca.1874)- Eastman Johnson
You then head into the Pacific Horizons exhibit of Melanesian art.
When you pull your camera out to take a photo of a Melanesian mask, a security guard tells you no pictures are allowed on Free Tuesdays.
The 25 minutes pass quickly, and you cross your fingers you haven’t missed your buzz call. On your way back outside, Robert, another security guard, tells you to come back anytime.
Also on exhibit:
Walk from the Sun – through March 18.
Dyeing Elegance – through May 27.
Echoes of the Past – through May 27.
Modern French Paintings – through May 31.
Still-Life in the 20th Century – through May 13.
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