Three Exhibitions for Children Young and Old Await at the High Museum of Art

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.


Our visit

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.

Atalanta and Hippomenes

Guillaume Coustou the Elder, Atalanta and Hippomenes, 1714

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.

Camille Pissarro, Place du Carrousel, Paris, 1900.

Camille Pissarro, French, 1830 –1903. Place du Carrousel, Paris, 1900
Oil on canvas, 21 5/8 x 25 ¾ inches,
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Ailsa Mellon Bruce
Collection, 1970.17.55

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.

Laton A. Huffman: Pretty Nose, Cheyenne Girl, 1879

Laton A. Huffman (American, 1854-1931), “Pretty Nose,” Cheyenne Girl, 1879,
collotype, 3 7/8 x 7 7/8 inches.
Buffalo Bill Center of the West, gift of Thomas Minckler, P.100.3574.

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.

Albert Bierstadt, The Last Buffalo, 1881

Albert Bierstadt (American, born Germany, 1830–1902), The Last of the Buffalo,
ca. 1888, oil on canvas, 60 1/4 x 96 1/2 inches. Buffalo Bill Center of the West,
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Trust Fund Purchase, 2.60.

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.

Albert Bierstadt, Yellowstone Falls, 1881

Albert Bierstadt (American, born Germany, 1830–1902),
Yellowstone Falls, ca. 1881, oil on canvas, 44 1/4 x 30 1/2 inches.
Buffalo Bill Center of the West, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Taggart, 2.63.

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.

Detail from The Lion and The Mouse, Jerry Pinkney

Lion, Mouse and Net. Illustration from The Lion and the Mouse,
Jerry Pinkney, 2009. ©2009 Jerry Pinkney Studio. All rights reserved.

Tales of Uncle Remus:The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, Jerry Pinkney

Brer Rabbit Goes Back to Mr. Man’s Garden
Illustration from The Tales of Uncle Remus, Jerry Pinkney, 1987.
©1987 Jerry Pinkney Studio. All rights reserved.

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.



Share via email


  1. I’m a Francophile and didn’t know about the exhibit…must go!

  2. cathy zeliff says:

    Thanks for the review, Kristen! Can’t wait to check out these exhibits. Your photos of the art work will be shown to my son ahead of time so he can have the delight of recognition when we are there. I thought we had missed Pinkney in November; thanks for letting us know about his visit again in December!

  3. Wow! Fascinating! I am so impressed with your knowledge and passion Kristen! Thank you so much for sharing!! I hope to take the kids!

  4. Kristen, you are contributing to the lives of your children and so many others by your love for “Art History.” l truly appreciate how you communicate it to all of those that are listening. Keep it up!


  1. […] early and visit the Paris on Peachtree or Go West! exhibitions. Be sure to read my family-friendly review beforehand. I will be there with the kids so please look for us if you […]

What do you think?


Heads up! You are attempting to upload an invalid image. If saved, this image will not display with your comment.