Ever since we first became disoriented at the Metropolitan Museum as a boy in the 1950s, we've been acutely aware of the anxiety of art appreciation. All that knowledge, all that money, all that skill. Hand me a pillow, please!
This is why Adam Weinberg is onto something with his introduction of yoga to the staff of the Whitney, but he hasn't gone far enough. The Whitney may be small for a museum, but it is the perfect size and shape for an ashram, ready to peacefully revolutionize the art experience.
Imagine! Museum "guards" dressed in flowing robes trained to administer instant pressure-point shoulder massages for a suggested tip of $5.
Or museum-goers encouraged to lie on the floor with pillows rented at the door, gazing up in relaxed bliss at gloomy Edward Hopper.
Weinberg himself could lead us in chanting sessions, surrounded by the Whitney's permanent collection, for the low fee of $10.
Turn the basement restaurant into a tea room, with plush sofas for make-out sessions and strolling troubadours answering song requests for a few dollars more.
Then, for the especially well-heeled, $100 buys you a personal skin-care lesson with a goody bag of samples from Leonard Lauder, in the Whitney trustee room.
This is a win, win, win situation: Whit revenues would soar, no staff would ever be fired again, and museum-goers would be as still and calm as a roomful of Elie Nadelmans. But that's not all folks -- what about introducing relaxology to the psychic jungle of Chelsea?
Let's start with the dealers -- who wouldn't want to have Andrea Rosen lovingly walk on one's back, or truss up Mary Boone and tickle her with a feather, or get free chakra massage from Larry Gagosian?
Luthring and Augustine could sell flowers on the street backed by the Matthew Marks sextet, with Jack Bankowsky on tenor, say, and Tim Griffin stroking the skins. Cool, man, cool.
Each dealer could specialize in a sideline, such as midget wrestling from Mike Weiss or optometry from Daniel Reich. In such an atmosphere of permanent bliss, the dealers would start giving the art away (oops, can't do that!).
Everyone would be famous for 15 minutes and relaxed forever. Thank you, thank you guru Adam of Whitney Weinberg, massaging your funny beard -- fun and fantasy while looking at art.
CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).