Friday, May 9, 2008

visiting friends

I'm really discovering lately that my children have a relationship with art that I will probably never fully understand. Living in the city of Chicago and visiting the Art Institute 10+ times a year they have almost made "friends" with the works of art and going to the museum is like a visit to an old familiar neighborhood. Yesterday Clara requested a special trip to see her friends after having a blood draw in regards to this.

Clara has an old friend that she has to visit immediately each time we go to the museum... Shiva. But along the way, we made some new friends in the Japanese galleries...

The girl has a fascination with Asian and East Asian art.

After that visit was complete, we were off to visit a friend of Alex's... the Mummy Case and Mummy of Paankhenamun. This time taking the time to visit the interactive computer kiosks to view not only close up photos of the outside of the case but x-rays of the mummy inside.

By this time we were over an hour into the visit so we decided to take a break in the children's library. And there they got to know just a little bit better what had before been just a casual acquaintance...

The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso

It was while in the library that we learned from a volunteer that a large number of paintings from the Art Institute's impressionists collection is going to the Kimbell in Ft. Worth during the remodeling of those galleries.

We rushed upstairs to say good-bye to some of our favorites... Paris Street; Rainy Day, van Gogh's Self-Portrait, At the Moulin Rouge, the Degas paintings (Clara's favorites) and a few others along our way (including a long sweeping good-bye to the Monet galleries as something like 36 of those are going to Texas).

Thankfully, for Alex, his favorite painting is too large to be relocated easily...

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Seurat

I still get moved nearly to tears when I stand in front of that massive painting and realize that I am fortunate enough to be in it's presence on a regular basis... it's just overwhelming.

We were running out of steam at this point, but the kids had two more friends they needed to see. We were able to find the Head of Medusa, but Saint George Killing the Dragon was in storage.

I've always felt guilty that we're not doing some sort of formal fine art study with school... but I'm realizing that with our frequent visits to the Art Institute, I'm not sure we have to. Alex has a fascination with Seurat and began pointing out other Seurats as we passed through galleries and halls... he also pointed out those who used the same style... pointillism. So much is being absorbed through our regular visits that it should make doing a little extra at home easier since I already know where their interests lie.

Okay... I've rambled on enough... it's just something that fascinates me as I'm just now, as an adult, creating these relationships with art that my children have at 6 and 8 years old. It makes me happy! :-)

No comments: