The Best Things in Museums are the Windows

harrell fletcher
Harrell Fletcher, Some People From Around Here, 1996, Highway I-80, Fairfield, CA. Collaboration with Jon Rubin.

I just ordered a children’s book by Harrell Fletcher, an artist who is committed to making life more interesting than it is. In 2012 he was Artist-In-Residence at The Exploratorium in San Francisco, where he made “The Best Things in Museums are the Windows.”  The artwork may not look like art you recognize from museums, but he is a leader in changing how we define art, relate to our communities, and imagine our world. Harrell’s work has challenged me to live more imaginatively and be more self aware.  Next time I take a walk with my children, we might start from the highest window in our house to set our destination. Below is a short documentary about Harrell’s artwork and residency at the Exploratorium. You can also view it here.

harrell fletecher

In Bomb Magazine, Allan McCollum introduces Harrell like this:

“We generally expect our artists to be more interesting people than those from other walks of life, and we reward them for their special abilities to help the rest of us find complexity of meaning, beauty and even grandeur in the world around us. So when an artist attempts to sidestep that mythology and chooses a project that shifts the attention away from himself to the capabilities of other people, it’s not an easy task; such efforts can be hard to read without prejudice. Harrell Fletcher, an artist originally from California and now living in Portland, Oregon, has taken it upon himself to turn the spotlight onto others. With a dedicated, empathic intelligence, he treats us to the joy and poignancy of appreciating our fellow humans by walking a difficult line between artistic skill, organizational savvy and anonymity.”‘


harrell fletcher


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