Both the holidays and colder temperatures are upon us which translates to children home from school and more indoor activities. Featuring three exhibitions which are ideal for kids, The High Museum of Art is the perfect place to fend off boredom and stimulate growing minds. Even kids who are unenthusiastic about art will revel in images of cowboys, Indians, mythological figures and the wonderful, magical watercolors of Jerry Pinkney.
In connection with the Go West! exhibit, on Friday, November 29th, the High is featuring a special arts and recreation day from noon to 5pm (museum opens at 10am). All children under 17 are free and will enjoy learning about the American frontier though survivalist activities such as canning, metal smithing and yarn spinning. For special holiday hours and activities, visit the High’s website.
If you can’t visit the day after Thanksgiving, I have four free tickets for you! Simply enter to win by commenting below. (Note: you must be an Art History Mom subscriber to win.) The winner will be announced on Thanksgiving Day both in the comment section and on Facebook.
My friend Kelly and I, along with my mother-in-law Carol, recently gathered our mini tribe and headed to the High. Taking the kids’ ages into consideration (they are all under eight), we knew the visit needed to be short and sweet so we decided to divide and conquer the exhibitions. Kelly took the two boys to see Go West! while Celia, Kolbe and I explored Paris on Peachtree. Carol devoted her visit to Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney.
Below are a few highlights from the three exhibitions. Before visiting with your children, you might want to review these seven tips for a successful trip to the art museum with kids.
Paris on Peachtree, The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden
November 03, 2013 – January 19, 2014
The Tuileries Garden, created in 1564, is a world-famous public garden in the heart of Paris. The exhibition features sculptures, paintings, photographs and architectural models.
Upon entering the courtyard of the High, the visitor is welcomed by two bronze female sculptures from the garden which are framed by lovely boxed holly trees. The exhibition continues inside the Anne Cox Chambers wing where several over life-sized sculptures await. The girls especially enjoyed the Vase Decorated with Reliefs of Children Playing Games which portrayed kids riding on dolphins and slaying snakes. There is also a delightful pair of sculptures depicting the huntress Atalanta and her future husband Hippomenes, whom she promised to marry if he beat her in a footrace. He distracted her by throwing golden apples given to him by Aphrodite, thus winning the race and her hand. The story made Celia and Kolbe giggle.
The remainder of the exhibit, located on the second and third floors, was a delight. The girls were sure the bust of Louis XV as a Child (he became king at age 5) was winking at them. In the next room one is virtually transported to Paris while lounging in French chairs, surrounded by three walls featuring video footage of the garden. All that was missing was a café au lait and buttery brioche.
Go West! Art of the American Frontier from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West
November 03, 2013 – April 13, 2014
While the girls and I discussed the differences between Camille Pissarro’s and Oskar Kokoschka’s paintings of the Tuileries Garden, Kelly and the boys were exploring the American frontier at Go West! There they met Pretty Nose Cheyenne Girl and The Broncho Buster. The kid-friendly audio guide ($4.00) ushered Winston and Anders through the expansive exhibition which includes art and artifacts from 1830 to 1930.
Albert Beirstadt’s The Last of the Buffalo was a favorite. The boys were fascinated by the fact that the American Indians hunted the buffalo for food, clothing and shelter.
For children who have never visited the western United States, Bierstadt’s Yellowstone Falls gives them a glimpse into the breathtaking beauty and majesty of the landscape. Indeed, the work of artists like Bierstadt helped persuade two presidents to create the national parks, thus preserving the land for generations to come.
After roughly one hour, the six of us convened at the High’s café for a well deserved snack. Carol raved about Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney. She’s admired the Caldecott Medal winner’s work for many years, but after viewing the exhibition, she became a fan of Pinkney the person. My children adore his books and we were all thrilled to learn that the artist will be visiting the High and signing books on December 14th. It’s on our calendar.
Before leaving the High, we stopped at the gift shop and let the children pick out a postcard to take home. A mini-version of Albert Bierstadt’s Last Buffalo is currently on our fridge and upon seeing it, five year old Anders talks fondly about the cowboys and Indians he encountered at the museum. As for Kolbe, she dreams of one day visiting the Tuileries Garden in person, where she’ll see Hippomenes and Atalanta racing once more.
All artwork is courtesy of the High Museum of Art.