Hello, and welcome. I’m Diane Tucker. The first time I visited an art museum I was seven years old. I said to my grandmother, “I want to live here!” We were inside the Detroit Institute of Arts, surrounded by Diego Rivera’s masterpiece, The Detroit Industry Murals — his frescoes full of people, nature, and technology. I saw a grand staircase at the far end of the beautiful courtyard gallery and imagined it led to my bedroom.
As the years went by I became less comfortable in art museums. I began to think of them as dazzling but intimidating, like Gothic cathedrals. Oddly enough I still feel that way, even though I’ve led more than 250 gallery talks at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
Nevertheless, I keep coming back, especially for the stories.
For years I’ve earned a living writing and producing stories — about the greening of Henry Ford’s iconic River Rouge Plant (Discovery Channel), about a grandmother fighting ISIS (National Geographic Explorer), about America’s historic 2008 presidential election (Huffington Post). So when the head of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab told me one advantage humans have over computers is our ability to tell stories, I knew he was right, even though I know zero about computer coding.
Art can transport us across cultural boundaries and centuries of history. Art is about life. That’s why good stories are intrinsic to all great works of art.
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