Thursday, August 9, 2012

Art you can touch.

Original post written on July 9, 2012

After our morning swim, we set off to find the Hirshhorn Museum. You may question taking 3 - 5 year olds to an art museum and I would scream a resounding “Hell yes!”  Besides all of the obvious - teach them how to behave in public and teach them a lifelong love of art, it is the most super cool art museum ever. Right now, they have an exhibit called Suprasensorial, which actively invites visitors to participate in the art. Like tunneling through 10’ strands of rubber hanging from the ceiling, walking through white rooms lit with colored fluorescent bulbs or laying on mattresses and pillows to watch a video.
We had friends who visited earlier in the year and they suggested taking fluorescent markers to experiment with in the room with the free standing fluorescent “sculpture.” I brought black paper so they could see the yellow highlighter in the room and watch it disappear into the black paper when seen in regular light. It was so cool, that it drew the attention of at least 7 other kids who came to see the “magic.” Thanks for the suggestion, Ms. Amy!

These same friends told us about a large sculpture of a naked man huddled in the corner of a room. When we happened upon it, M covered his mouth and giggled, “Peter was right! He does have a big penis!”

I wandered about the museum, thinking that museums and galleries really put a lot of faith in humanity. Allowing 5 year olds to come within inches of a Brancusi sculpture? Crazy. Letting curious viewers almost touch noses with a Mondrian? Unbelievable. I kept imagining A tripping over her own feet (as she is prone to do) and smashing hands first into a pedestal housing some metal sculpture which would echo as it hit the marble floors. Thankfully, the Salad was on their best behavior, especially since moments after we got there, a slightly older boy touched a glass bottle sculpture and a LOUD alarm sounded.

I think it scared the good behavior into them.

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