July 20, 2010

Birth of Impressionism (The Art of Un-Kid-Friendly)

When the De Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park advertised their new exhibit, Birth of Impressionism, it went directly onto my personal wish list. With a traveling husband and kids home for summer, I reserved tickets for an afternoon in the city with my girls.

Upon entering the museum we sensed a stodgy vibe, and I wondered if I had made the right choice to bring them along. After all, this was the line to enter:

After a few laps through the gift shop, a U-Turn at the too-many-people Cafe, and a few games of MathGirl, we were ready to hit the line for our reserved session. Luckily, the line moved quickly. We thought. Until we reached the crowd.

But that's OK, I do this for a living. I take kids out and about, and darn if I'm not going to have a good time doing it. So we used the time in line to chat about art, and the difference between realism and impressionism.

When we finally entered, I had the girls choose their favorite painting in each room and talk about why they liked it. We discussed colors, people, objects, titles, and artists. We stood close to paintings, and then we moved farther away, to view how the artwork changed with perspective. We choose our prettiest dresses, and guessed the ages of the children we saw in the pictures. While everyone else was in their audio-tour world, we observed the French Impressionists through our own eyes.

Then later, of course, we made science experiments in the Cafe. All is well that ends well, or so they say.

Thanks for reading. More family adventures are on display at Trekaroo's Spotlight Thursday link exchange!


Lynette said...

I say, three cheers for experiential learning, whatever the lesson!

Amy @ The Q Family said...

That's a great tip for taking young kids to the museum. I will have to borrow the idea next time. Normally, I would try to read the description for them. It probably bored them to death. Discussing about it seems more fun! :)

Lauren Wayne said...

Yea! That is marvelous. I want you to take me to the museum next time I go. Down with stodginess!

Jen @ Two Kids and a Map said...

I am laughing at the last picture! Looks like a regular dinner around this house! It looks like you guys had a good time despite the lines! One tip I read a long time ago and just love is to stop by the gift shop and pick up postcards of paintings that are hanging in the museum. While you are walking around have them do a scavenger hunt. The past few museums we went to didn't have a good gift shop, so I printed about ten pics of paintings and had them search that way.

Unknown said...

I think you were brave,very brave, you should be awarded for all kinds of bravery. I would have bolted. Love the reference to the too many people cafe had a nice chuckle on that one.

Good post!