Have you ever seen the Thomas Crown Affair (the newer one with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo)? I'm thinking specifically of the scene in which Crown is sitting on a leather bench somewhere in the Metropolitan Museum of Art; early morning, no one around but the security guard... he opens a white, crisp pastry bag and pulls out a croissant (which I'm sure is delicious). His posture relaxes, he bites into his croissant (which does not flake apart all over his expensive suit), and studies the Monet painting on the wall in front of him.
This is his morning ritual.
This is the kind of moment I was wishing I could have when I recently visited MoMA, but I'm not so sure those hushed, solitary moments in the gallery of your choice are easy to come by in the big city art museums in reality. Even on the days I have managed to hit the Art Institute early, it always seems to be the same morning that 75 junior high students are visiting. Which provides it's own entertainment. On one of my recent visits there, I wandered into a gallery where a chaperon on her last rope was yelling at 4 kids, "Where do you think you are going? I'm not going to come searching after you! We are NOT here on YOUR terms! We are here on MY terms!" and she marched out. Sufficed to say, she scared the crap out of them.
So, maybe I can't have a gallery all to myself, and maybe I can't eat my breakfast quietly on a leather bench in front of my favorite painting... and maybe I will never be able to eat a croissant without getting light, buttery flakes down the front of my shirt. But, I still enjoy experiencing art museums - no terms necessary. Here's a few shots of MoMA from my recent visit.