Monday, October 15, 2007

Fancy Art Museum

We didn't go to the Gardens on Friday after all. The weather was fine, but I had a different idea: the Fancy Art Museum. We had never been there. So we picked up Big Girl from school at noon after Music Together and helping a little with Fair set-up, ate lunch, and sat down to have a discussion. I asked the kids if they wanted to go to an art museum, and suggested that we make ourselves a scavenger hunt. They were enthusiastic about the idea, so we named things we thought we might see in the art and BG made a list with check boxes. On it were things like dog, cat, elephant, monkey, penguin, cow, whale, dragon, ostrich, robin, apple, hat, pillow, tree, boat, car, train, ocean, beach, clouds, moon, stars, vase of flowers, person sitting, person running, Jesus, fork, church, party, pumpkin, bat... When we got to the museum, we looked out for things on our list and BG checked them off.

It is not a kid-friendly museum. It is a real, serious, art museum. There were guards everywhere, and we were talked to four or five times! I thought the kids really behaved very well, but the guards were very quick to say something at any inkling of anything. Some of the things they said to us were no running, no touching the walls, no touching the nameplates, no touching the barriers... Despite all that, I thought it was great to take the kids to someplace that felt so grown-up and cultured. They were very interested in looking at the paintings and spotting things in our hunt. We also looked for colors and had fun with the abstracts. It was really handy that they have a beautiful Monet-style garden to walk around in and be a little louder! There are statues to look at out there (in addition to the Rodins out front, before you come inside).

Here are some of our favorite paintings from the visit:

This portrait of a dog in the 17th-18th Century gallery was a hit with the kids!

There were so many we liked in the 19th Century gallery! They have an extensive Degas collection. But Middle Girl really veered towards this portrait of a peasant by Van Gogh.

In the 20th Century gallery, we liked this one by Rousseau with the monkeys and oranges. We also enjoyed examining the Kandinsky (below) for colors and shapes.

Saturday and Sunday was the Fair (Hoedown). We spent most of the two days there and ate lunch and dinner there both days. The kids did rides, crafts, games, watched the entertainment... Big Girl played with her friends and her sibs and was very into the whole fair experience. I baked cakes for the cake walk and goodies for the Sweet Shack. I also performed with my band on Sunday evening, to close out the fair. My voice made it all the way through, which was a relief since I had sung Saturday night at a gig with my other band! That was a fun one too -- it was the polytechnic school's 100th anniversary gala dinner dance, and the dance floor was packed for the whole two hours (we decided not to take a break).

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