Looking at “Footbridge With Cross Before Trees at a River”

Last week while I was visiting family, I had the opportunity to sneak away for a morning at the Cleveland Museum of Art. As I was making my way through an exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Cleveland Print Club, this small print from Caspar David Friedrich stopped me in my tracks.

Footbridge With Cross Before Trees at a River - Caspar David Friedrich

Even though I was familiar with Friedrich from art history classes back in college, I’ve never sought out his paintings. I would have never noticed this minor work of his if I hadn’t serendipitously walked by it in a gallery and been in the right mental state to appreciate it.

That’s one of the beautiful things about museums — the opportunity to discover something you love, completely outside your filter bubble. There are hundreds of pieces of work at the museum, you never know which is going to be the peice that resonates with you on any given visit. Usually I go intending to see a specific piece or an artist, but it’s almost always some unknown work that makes the lasting impression.

A week later, I’m still not sure what it is specifically about this print that I find so compelling, but that hasn’t stopped me from looking at it online at least once every day — every time I enjoy something new. The main reason I’m even writing this is so I have an excuse to share this print in the hopes that someone else might discover and appreciate it like I am right now.

So anyways, go to your local art museum and look at stuff you don’t normally look at. You never know what’s waiting for you.

Written by Mark Allen, who is currently open to new product management and design roles in Toronto or with distributed teams. Say hello on Twitter.

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