Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Flight of Europa, Re-Imagined

The other day on a school holiday, I took both the girls up to Indianapolis to visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art. You might remember that the idea of this trip filled me with trepidation, on account of the huge, screaming fit that a certain 4-year-old threw within eight minutes of entering (after standing in line for over an hour) the San Francisco Modern Art Museum. This trip was certainly better, in that we got the chance, you know, to see some actual art this time-- --but it did end, of course, in me tersely escorting the girls from the museum an hour after entering, and I wasn't quite successful in convincing Willow, at least, that a museum without anything to climb on is still super-fun, but after spending 5 seconds looking intently at The Flight of Europa--
Willow did sit down with her sketchbook and colored pencils and create this:
When Willow asked me why the lady was riding the bull, I told her that it was a big, friendly bull named Zeus and it was taking the Europa lady off on a special ride across the ocean. For anyone else who knows the myth of Europa, you can join me with a quiet "ahem" inside your heads, as well.

Next time (probably the IU Art Museum), we'll spend ten minutes looking at art, twenty minutes hanging out with sketchbooks (the girls were inspired to draw in the museum for quite a while after looking at the art, even if they weren't necessarily impressed by that art, so I'm calling the enterprise a success)--
--and then we'll move on immediately to some very different activity that requires a lot of climbing upon things.
If only art museums had a playroom.


cake said...

i love that the girls wanted to draw in the museum!

we visited the denver art museum over the holidays, and they seemed to have made a huge effort to include interactive stuff for kids and adults, throughout the museum. most of it was for older kids, but they did have this incredible darkened area, where they had a projection of bubbles on the floor, and kids would go stomp on the bubbles, and they would pop. i couldn't believe how excited all the little kids (ages 2-8 or so) were about those popping bubbles. everybody was getting tons of exercise, and having a blast.

julie said...

That. Sounds. AWESOME!

I like the idea of interactive things included throughout the museum, not just in one children's room somewhere. We go to the Field Museum in Chicago sometimes (dinosaurs, don'cha know?), but since they renovated this really amazing and huge children's area, we don't get to see a whole lot of the rest of the museum, because we spend most of our time in that room!

My ideal art museum would be something like IKEA--a dedicated supervised playroom so adults could make brief adult forays, but then also little children's areas in all the galleries, too, so kids could do a little activity right out in the open but engaged and out of the way while their parents look at the art.