Thursday, June 25, 2009

Art Museums with a toddler

Having a toddler in tow hasn't stopped me from visiting London's amazing museums. One of my favorite parts of vacations when I was little was going to museums because my Mom made it so fun. We never spent more than an hour or two in a museum and we were always going to see something specific, not just wandering aimlessly. It made it sort of like a treasure hunt.

I want my daughter to love museums too, so I'm brainwashing her from the beginning. I think it's important for kids to learn about art and I think it's great at a young age for many reasons. Most recently I've realized that it can teach a child to recognize objects in different forms. It's fun to watch little E try and see what I'm pointing out even when it's not clear (I love modern art, so many of the objects I show her take a bit of work to SEE). Sometimes it takes a minute, but it's wonderful to watch as she finally deduces what those brush strokes make up and says 'choo choo' with a grin on her face.

How do we keep our 18 month-old quiet and interested? Here's how...

What do you see? (she can say tree) Do you see a boat?

Do you see what's coming down the hill? What does a horse say?

Can you show me how you dance? (that's a Kandinsky! Cool!) What does a cow say (even though it's an ox)?

ps. if you are a modern art fan you MUST visit the Courtauld Gallery at the Somerset House on the Strand in London. This museums is arranged according to collector, not chronologically. It's amazing to see the pieces each collector chose and to identify running themes or colors. The Courtauld houses the best collection of Fauve works I've ever seen in one place. I got chills to see several Vlamnick and Braque and Derain works all in one room. There is also an entire room of Kandinsky works that are stunning. Only one or two in the whole room reflect his later abstract style. I always love seeing artists' early works. AND there's an amazing courtyard with a waterfountain kids can run through. So fun!

1 comment:

Kasey Later said...

Jane sent me this link and I peek in on you once in a while. I love that you brave museums even with your little are a fabulous mom. And an inspiration to me. Maybe I'll take my rascals this week to the Detroit Art Institute. I also love your photography. Do you offer online classes? It's so fun to check in on you. I'm so glad you're having a fabulous time!
Love ya!