Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Photography

Imposter Art Lover

Sure, I like art, I’ve even taken a few classes and been to a few museums.  But perhaps that is not enough.  It was suggested to me the other day when I couldn’t name a certain photographer by looking at just one photo, that I maybe wasn’t really cultured enough.  It was a comment made to make me feel smaller than the person who was leading the discussion, and it did work, temporarily.

Here’s the thing, art is pretty hard to define, so deciding who is cultured enough to understand it is hard as well.  After thinking about this exchange I decided that while maybe I do not have a broad or deep enough understanding of art, I will continue to enjoy it in my own way, because I feel it adds a lot to my life.

The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum recently relocated to St. Louis, so I went to check it out.  Their feature exhibit right now is called: Decisive Moments: 20th Century Street Photography. Street photography is not something I do all that much myself, but I do enjoy looking at photographers who do it well.

They also have many types of cameras on display.  Here is one that caught my eye:

ISO 800 9mm 0ev f/4.5 1/6

ISO 800 9mm 0ev f/4.5 1/6

ISO 400 9mm 0ev f/4.5 1/20

ISO 400 9mm 0ev f/4.5 1/20

This museum is modest in size but impressive in what it has to offer on display, so worth a visit for the art lover or imposter.



63 thoughts on “Imposter Art Lover

  1. Nelson says:

    “It was suggested to me the other day when I couldn’t name a certain photographer by looking at just one photo, that I maybe wasn’t really cultured enough” …. the person who told you that must have a serious problem or a great misunderstanding of what is culture.

    Knowing about culture does not means you are cultured, and you can know a lot about culture and still not appreciate at its full value. Culture is not there to be known but appreciated and you can appreciate and you can ppreciate culture even if you know little about it


    • I agree with you here. I do try to appreciate what is around me even if I am no great scholar. I think there is room to appreciate things in many different ways, and trying to make it seem like there is a “right” way is missing the point.


  2. People who try to make other people feel small are small people. Anyone with a true cultural background would not use it against you. They would delight in sharing it with you. I hate jerks. Okay, hate is a strong word. Snobs are jerks.

    I love museums. I can’t believe you were allowed to take photos of the exhibit. That is nice. Most art museums do not allow it. And I have been to museums that allow photos, but not of their special exhibits. I love your pictures.


    • Yes, I think in this case, snob is the right word. This museum just relocated here, so it has been open for a few months. The exhibits were well thought out and will be rotating a lot. I think the cameras they have may change frequently just because I am told they have a large collection. This museum allows photography if you have your flash off.


  3. poppytump says:

    Amy – I’m so very glad it was only ‘temporarily’ …. I can only vehemently agree with your words “I decided that while maybe I do not have a broad or deep enough understanding of art, I will continue to enjoy it in my own way, because I feel it adds a lot to my life”
    There is such a lot of tosh written , spoken, alluded to in the ‘name of Art’ some jumped up people assume a position and think that their opinions are the ONLY ones that count , and then there are plenty of mean minded individuals who seem to get great satisfaction from seemingly being clever, but show only in fact that THEY are ignorant and unenlightened .
    Gosh …. re pictures … I’m glad I don’t have to work with that camera 😉


    • It just bothers me when people think there is one “right” way to enjoy art or one set of facts you have to know in order to be educated. Writing about this has helped me blow off some frustration that had been brewing for me particularly over the last week or so about the issue.
      As far as the cameras go, that one was kind of like the “point and shoot” of the exhibit. Some of the others were so large!


  4. I guess I’ll join you amongst the uncultured, according to “that” person’s definition. But do you have to know who the artist/photographer is to appreciate their work? S/he sounds a bit superficial.


  5. vk2fmia says:

    Art and photography should be appreciated for what it is, not by who created it. Not being able to name the artist does not make us uncultured, the indifference to other peoples opinions does.


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    • I was just a bit fed up this week with “right” answers that seemed to be taking over the art side of my life. Writing about it helped me process it a bit and hopefully move on.
      I have to say, I love this whole blogging thing, more than I really thought I would. I love writing about what I am doing, so it feels great to have you say that you enjoy coming to to take a look. The other part though is going to look at what others are creating. That has really brought a lot to my work in terms of ideas and inspiration. I also think it has been a glimpse into the lives of many different people, and I think if you can understand and appreciate how other people are living their lives that is a positive in so many ways.


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  9. Su Leslie says:

    Cultured enough for what? Was the person who made that comment really so insecure that it actually made him/her feel better to diminish another person. As my son would say “what a dick!” 🙂 Have a great weekend.


    • That’s one way to sum it up 🙂 I think this person does have some issues. I think I was just reacting to it badly this week because there were several times this past week where it was suggested that art had a “right” answer or interpretation. That attitude just bothers me.


      • Just because you felt badly about how you took it doesn’t mean that you didn’t have a right to feel insulted. That is your right. They were in the wrong on so many accounts, and you should feel irritated about being picked on like that. It is not your place to suck up abuse. I’m glad that you wrote this post. Even if that what’s-it-what’s-it read this post and still didn’t get it, you’re standing up for yourself. That’s what’s important.

        And yeah, what a dick!


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  11. Sonel says:

    I feel art and even photography are there for us to enjoy Amy, not make us look ‘cultured’ or even intelligent and whoever said that to you, don’t have a clue what life is about, so don’t you take what that person said to heart. I love art as well and have quite a few photographers as well whose work I love but for the death of me I won’t be able to tell whose work it is just from one photo and that doesn’t make me ‘not cultured enough’. I am cultured enough to know that no one says that to another person and hurt their feelings like that. It’s rude and insensitive.

    Love that camera and what a great shot! Great post. 😀


    • I think this person would have a fit if they were aware of how much time I spent looking at blogs as I am sure that would not count as “art”. However, I really love this platform. For example, I love the fact that you and I can talk back and forth about our images and our working process. Having conversations like that has really brought a lot to my life so how could that be wrong?
      I just thought that camera was too cute to pass up 🙂


      • Sonel says:

        Ha! Let that one have a fit. He/she can be glad they don’t know me, otherwise it will have a thousand fits. LOL!
        ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ – we all have the right to enjoy what we want. As for me, I don’t care who thinks if I am cultured or not. If people don’t like me the way I am – uncultured as I am – then they must pass on as I am just going to shock them. hahahaha

        I love that too Amy. It’s fun and I love how you describe every process and what you did. It’s the same here and I agree – how can that be wrong?

        I totally agree. Way cute and you’ve captured it so well. 😀


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  13. wow – you said it so well with this:

    It was a comment made to make me feel smaller than the person….

    and have encountered plenty of folks like that – and also had to process a bit before I realized the scene – you know, and that their low self-esteem, their envy, or their still struggling to find contentment is what leads them to try to put others down – or leads them to project things on others – whew – it also makes me appreciate the opposite people when I meet them – the ones that can edify and uplift – but reading about this person’s comment reminded me of a couple people in particular.

    anyhow, I also LOVED how you wrote this:

    “have a broad or deep enough understanding of art, I will continue to enjoy it in my own way, because I feel it adds a lot to my life.”

    amen to this – and the thing I have noticed about the arts – is that the more we get to know – the more there is always still to know – whew – and so as I scratch the surfaces and explore- well like you said – it allows me to enjoy it in “my own way” – and that is what really matters – the joy of our experience.

    oh yea, cool pics – and the “side loading bedless camera” looks like it was pretty edgy when it came out with those upgraded struts!! lol 🙂


    • Looking through those cameras was just fun, it is great to think about how the technology of photography has changed over time.
      It was just a tough week for me in terms of “right” answers. I just think that is missing the point when it comes to art. However it was an opportunity for me to reassess how I respond to this kind of thinking, a sort of am I my own person or not? Also, to be more mindful of how I speak to others, are there times when I am being snobby and condescending to others? and if so, knock it off.


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  15. I’m sorry that happened to you – I can’t stand when people are pretentious like that. I love the capture! I collect vintage cameras and have one of those.


  16. Your unpleasant experience with the that disdainful person, reminded me of an Orson Welles quote, “I don’t know anything about art, but I know what i like. ” 😀 That camera is a real blast from the past, isn’t it?


  17. “It was suggested to me the other day when I couldn’t name a certain photographer by looking at just one photo, that I maybe wasn’t really cultured enough. It was a comment made to make me feel smaller than the person who was leading the discussion, and it did work, temporarily.”

    You’re exactly right. That’s what that comment was. A stupid test and dig. I am a lifelong visual artist (2D illustration and photography, including street photography as you already know) and I still get questioned by people who think they know a thing or two about the arts, and test me the same way.

    They’ll even ask me if I familiar with another artist in the city or a nearby city; out of literally thousands within the region of various high and low popularity, to see if I’ll stupidly say yes when I really don’t know who theye are. When I tell them that I don’t know who the person is or that I am not familiar with their work; which usually isn’t even close to that types of visual art I’m most interested in, the person cross-questioning me starts acting like a complete jackass toward me. They try to make out that I not a real artist, and don’t know anything. I feel so sorry for these shallow people.

    As an artist, art snobbery is something that I absolutely detest. I get it from other artists, and non-artists alike. It’s really disappointing how people develop strange and confining ideas about the way things are even when they are far from reality. The fact of the matter is you ARE an art lover, even if you don’t know most of the artforms, genres and identities of artists out there.

    Your critics need to get lives!


  18. I heard, there is no separation between the artist and the observer. The one who appreciates the work of art, is the same as the one who is the artist herself. They both see ‘it’. “Art”, is personal, and very subjective. So, that statement was thoughtless, and indicates a weakness of character, in my opinion. I’m glad it was temporary.


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