Art through the eyes of children

We went to the art museum, and although Flowergirl’s desire to run through the large rooms, twisting corridors and up staircases precluded an extended visit, we enjoyed our day of speed-art.

In particular, I loved hearing Sunboy’s and Flowergirl’s impressions of these masterpieces. How interesting the way a two-year old and a six-year old filter appreciation of art through their growing understanding of the world. Please excuse the blurry photos; flash is not allowed in art museums. Of course, it doesn’t help that Flowergirl often exists as a blur of activity at all times.

I immediately knew it would be an interesting day when Flowergirl observed, “Man showing his bottom” as we admired the below statue. Indeed.
man showing his bottom

At a pedestaled statue, Flowergirl said, “She climbing!” This is undoubtedly related to her fascination with the “Five little monkeys jumping on the bed” song which admonishes against standing and jumping on beds. Yes, get down, won’t you please?

woman climbing
We continued to the French Impressionism wing. I showed Sunboy the impasto in Vincent van Gogh’s Night Cafe, and told him it was one of the few paintings he signed. “The paint is like a sculpture,” he said. Yes, it is.
Vincent van Gogh Night Cafe
Sunboy and I had just finished reading Linnea in Monet’s Garden by Christina Bjork, a wonderful children’s book describing the life and contributions of Claude Monet. Sunboy loved it and I was thrilled to show him some of Monet’s paintings in person. We talked about the green in the red rocks, the orange in the blue sea and the stippled visual texture. We looked at a painting close and from across the room. Sunboy said, “It looks like a bunch of dots but then you get far away and BOOM it’s rocks and water.” It’s magical.
Claude Monet
Sunboy is eager to return to the art museum soon, but Flowergirl may need to stay home next time if we want a longer visit. We talked about how much of the art in a museum is very old, precious and could not be replaced. There’s only one like it in the world and there isn’t enough money to buy something like that. Priceless, like people.

art museum

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