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Kids and art museums: Oil and water or chocolate chips and cookies?

 
 
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 01:56 am
Quote:
Frame it for young eyes
A brief museum foray can bring artworks to life for a curious child
By Sebastian Smee
Globe Staff / September 3, 2010

http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Original_Photo/2010/09/02/kids2__1283462246_0975.jpg

Museums, it’s easy to forget, were once for adults. High-ceilinged places with a muffled, whispery ambience, punctured sporadically by the echoing clack of adult shoes, they were ideally suited to illicit rendezvous on rainy days or courtly, courtesy-filled outings for retirees.

Now, every museum this side of Tbilisi sees it as central to its “mission’’ to function as a kind of day care for kids and a crutch for desperate dads and moms hoping to kill a few hours and provide — against all odds — something culturally edifying into the bargain.

http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/articles/2010/09/03/a_brief_museum_foray_can_bring_artworks_to_life_for_a_curious_child/?page=1


I. So... how young were you when you first went to an art museum (not a natural history museum, a science museum, a sports themed museum or hall of fame, etc...)?

Do you remember your first impressions of this visit?

II. Do you bring your own children to art museums?

What do they honestly think of the experience?

What is the ideal age for a child to visit an art museum? How about a modern or contemporary art museum/gallery?

III. Nonparents: What do you think of museums targeting families and children as future patrons of art museums? Do you mind their presence in the quiet and hallowed galleries and halls of the typical art museum? Do you encourage other parents to bring their children to art museums or discourage them?
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Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 07:21 am
@tsarstepan,
I have no idea what age I was the first time I was hauled museum to the, it was NYC in the 50s, the 1950s there were museums with art, I'm sure I was there.

Since I donuts remember when I first went, there's no way I can offer an impression, I also don't know if it was an Impressionist exhibition. Laughing I was probably .k. by it, pictures, colors it would have been exciting like opening a storybook with pictures/drawings in it.

Later when in school, during city stays we went to museums, I remember the sheer horror followed by delight when we ended up at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art instead of The Museum of Natural History (that may have been the 3rd grade with the teacher who had a new poem us learn each month and a piece of artwork).

I'm not a parent (sigh of relief).
An ideal age to start them there is unknown, children mature at different rates and have different interests. Debbie might love sculpture and hate Van Gogh
Shocked while Ralphie may love Van Gogh and detest sculpture. Each kid is different age both for and interests.

I've no problem with museums going after children and their parents to be patrons. The budget cuts make it so schools can't afford to educate these children about art. Same as for music, if Lincoln Center wants to go after families to entice children, then it's good to me. In grade school at one point when back in the city, I was given a ticket to a local amatuer production of The Barber of Seville, at the local college, it introduced me to live theater, I was 10 or 11 at the time. So, yes, museums and other arts segments (theater, music, dance, literature [library]) should come after families and even offer discount rates for them.

General children in ate reasonably well behaved in museums and don't get excessively loud. My theory is the high ceilings, weird lights and marble floors freak them out into a peculiar haze. Take them to storefront galleries like the ones in Chelsea they are not as well behaved. Let the museums after the children and parents come, teach the little ones. tools, Give them the and they can then pass that rich history on to the next generation sharing what touched them most.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 08:37 am
@Sturgis,
Sturgis wrote:

I have no idea what age I was the first time I was hauled museum to the, it was NYC in the 50s, the 1950s there were museums with art, I'm sure I was there.

I have little recollection how young I was the first time I visited an art museum. Growing up in the 1970's and 1980's I can recall with a greater ease going to the Boston Museum of Science with my father and sisters.

As for an art museum? I believe I was in high school when I went to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts with my French class. Whether it was the first time I have been to an art museum or the first time an art museum made an impression on me as an individual only hypnosis will drag out the actual memory out of me.

Quote:
Since I donuts remember when I first went, there's no way I can offer an impression, I also don't know if it was an Impressionist exhibition. Laughing I was probably .k. by it, pictures, colors it would have been exciting like opening a storybook with pictures/drawings in it.

Clever how things might have worked out that way. For my initial high school French trip, we would have gone to see the Impressionist paintings on permanent display in the MFA. They seem to be also the most accessible works of art in these style of large scale museums.

And forgive my extension of the pun, they tend to make the greatest impression on the young and young at mind especially when it's the first major form/movement of art one's is introduced to.

Quote:
An ideal age to start them there is unknown, children mature at different rates and have different interests. Debbie might love sculpture and hate Van Gogh
Shocked while Ralphie may love Van Gogh and detest sculpture. Each kid is different age both for and interests.

So true. Children develop so differently that this applies to all forms of culture. When is the best time to introduce a child to certain books, movies, etc.... It's all an individual case by case basis.

Quote:
General children in ate reasonably well behaved in museums and don't get excessively loud. My theory is the high ceilings, weird lights and marble floors freak them out into a peculiar haze.

Great way of expressing this plausible truth. This grand scale museums have an overwhelming atmosphere of being a cathedral of culture which most kids seem to instinctively recognize at the onset. I never met a wound up kid in a museum as they seemed mummified in this peculiar haze for good or for bad.

Quote:
Take them to storefront galleries like the ones in Chelsea they are not as well behaved.

Give them the and they can then pass that rich history on to the next generation sharing what touched them most.

Galleries aren't presented in a kid friendly fashion so the more accessible these large scale/survey museums are too the next generation of possible art goers the better it is for the whole population of art goers in the future of the survival of the art world itself.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 09:26 am
I don't remember how old I was when I first visited an art museum, but I do remember that it was a school function, probably 4th or 5th grade.

My daughter was 5 or 6 years old when we first went to an anthropological museum and afterwards entered the art museum next door. Just for fun I thought but the kid was genuinely interested and so we marched through all the exhibits and talked about the paintings, what she liked and what not and why...

There is no need to explain to a kid of that age who the painter was and how
famous he was - just having them absorb the painting itself and ask them questions is enough to spark their interest.

Naturally, a museum shouldn't be a form of "free childcare" - that's plain rude!
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 09:32 am
@CalamityJane,
I never seen packs of wild children roaming the halls and galleries of these grand scale art museums so we don't have to worry about being mauled by free roaming predatory pack of children in these places.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 10:05 am
@tsarstepan,
I grew up with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center -- I don't remember when I first went, but my earliest memories are of already being comfortable with them. I liked both of them a lot.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 10:20 am
@tsarstepan,
One of my earliest memories of a museum visit as a kid was to the Natural Sciences museum in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The reason I remember it so clearly is when we were visiting the hippopotamus exhibit, there was this huge hippo eating a head of lettuce and in the process of letting her **** hit the fan. Her tail was spinning like a propeller spraying everyone and everything with it. It went on for several minutes and I can still see it all very clearly in my memory as if it were yesterday. It was hilarious!
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 10:42 am
@Butrflynet,
We visited art and history museums quite frequently when we were kids, both as family outing and as school field trips.

One that stands out in my mind is the San Jose Winchester Mystery House.

0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Sep, 2010 10:46 am
@Butrflynet,
Really learning the aftereffects of the cliche when the s**t hits the fan at such a young age. Razz
0 Replies
 
 

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