Happiness is a Warm Space: Enchantment as Feminist Virtue by Amy Levin

Art can provide a balm for the modern soul – Claude Monet

Living in New York has its vices, and anxiety-triggering space is one of many. Though the city offers ailments just the same, whether they are in the form of meditation or medication, I’m beginning to believe the statistics delineating just how much more anxious us city-dwellers have become. But once in a while you catch a break.

This past Friday, for me, it was the free admission to the Museum of Modern Art. My favorite exhibition room of the MoMA is neither original nor surprising – Monet’s water lilies. The cool hues of greens, blues, and purples that spread across the triptych canvases so effortlessly interrupt the chaotic bodies roaming about the room, evoking a calm, liberating energy. My lungs expand, my shoulders relax. It is my opinion that more people sit down in this room more than any other in the museum.  These ameliorating spaces, which, using Monet’s words, provide a “balm for the modern soul,” not only lift us emotionally and physically, but they offer us something a bit more. . .metaphysical. The water lilies are just one example of the way that art can offer us a sort of spiritual uplift in, what most of us would consider, a secular space. Continue reading “Happiness is a Warm Space: Enchantment as Feminist Virtue by Amy Levin”

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