The Secret Gallery

February 28, 2010
misdeed.png

Sometime ago I read about Room A at the National Gallery. It’s a gallery that not many people know about and is rarely open. In fact they only open it from 2pm to 5pm on Wednesday afternoon.

It’s almost like they don’t want people to see it. Well I love a challenge so me and the wife took a day off and went along.

We had a hell of a time finding the room. We went to the right floor. But we were on the wrong part of the floor. We asked for guidance at the information desk. “Room A?” she asked incredulously. I nodded. She sighed. She got out a map. “You need to go up these stairs, go through the central hall, through room 12, go towards room 29 and then towards room 26 and then go down the stairs.” When we got to the stairs they were roped off. Was it closed because of the staff’s industrial action? Wifey went and spoke to a guard, who spoke to another guard, who then let us through.

The room is harshly lit with strip lights. There’s the constant white noise of portable air conditioners as well as repeated buzzing from the over-sensitive alarm system. Hear a buzz and you’re too close.

The collection is a real jumble. There is some really fantastic stuff in there. There’s also some things that are so poorly rendered you’d wonder who paid money for this crap (there are so many poorly rendered baby Jesus willies I was starting to freak out. Is it blasphemous to misrepresent Jesus’s willy?).

There were too old dears who, when they weren’t discussing the merits of Morrison’s (the supermarket that is) were making criticisms such as “I think that painting’s too big”

There was a painting called the Toilet of Venus. There was An Allegory of Justice which was some dude riding a grumpy ostrich.

My favourite thing of all was a painting called After the Misdeed by Jean Beraud. The picture at the top of this post does not do it justice.

It’s well worth checking out, if they’ll let you in. If not you can see the virtual gallery here.

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