‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Monday, February 15, 2010

Museum of Fine Arts

We are in Boston. It is school vacation week.

We had this vision of spending lots of time in museums. We pictured wandering through galleries, eating fruit and cheese at a cafe, living the mythical life of city people.

We did not picture hordes of children.

We also did not factor in the very real possibility that our own children might not want to wander through galleries learning about different artists (although we are riveting). We did not picture them collapsing in the coatroom, too overwhelmed/bored/hungry/hot to go on.

When we got off the T, Chris said "wow, it's like Woodstock for short people" because oh my lord who's been having all these children? They were piling in in droves. And all we could picture was lines and pushing and waiting and probably some throwing up. We pictured our children, catatonic in the coatroom.

Which is not at all what we had in mind.

That's when the museum people handed us the brochure of kids' activities planned in galleries all over the place. Those kids scattered like blown dandelion poofs.

Our family favorite was the Where the White Things Are sculpture exhibit. The kids looked at a display of white sculptures and then made their own from white craft supplies. Sugarplum made a chicken from a plastic egg, pipe cleaners, silk flower petals and a doilie. Studley made a robot with a piece of styrofoam, a pipe cleaner and some googley eyes. It took them well over an hour, during which Chris and I took turns wandering through the galleries and eating fruit and cheese.

Then they made mythical creatures out of clay and we took turns in the Seeing Songs exhibit.

The kids carried their white sculptures all over the city, garnering comments and praise everywhere they went.

It was a really good day.

Yes, this is a shameless yet unsolicited promo for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. But I figure why even have a web journal if you can't use it to publicly thank an institution?

Thank you.

p.s. We forgot their clay sculptures - a lion left lying on his back to dry and a slab of clay with holes, which is probably another robot. Feel free to add them to your permanent collection.


soccermom said...

I think it's great that we you have time off you spend it as a family. The museum sounds neat. Sad to say that on my "day" off I find myself far away from the kids, doing something just for myself.

TwoBusy said...

I presume you'll be doing the rounds at all the area museums -- Children's Museum, Museum of Science/OmniTheater, NE Aquarium. There's also the Harvard Museum of Natural History, should you feel like venturing 'cross la rive Chuck.

Celia said...

I love the art museum. Daddy took us all the time. I never cared for MoMA, but I could go to The Met every day.

I am always begging my husband to take me( you don't want to see someone with my depth perception and sense of direction try to make it into the city)and he is always wiggling out of it.

I have this awesome set of board books with art in them for Sea Monkey. Hopefully I can brainwash err teach him early.

Cape Cod Rambling Rose said...

I hope your next stop is the Museum of Science... which will be equally as busy, but HIGHLY entertaining with pint-sized-people activities galore. Heck, we managed with four youngens in tow, and not one of them got squooshed underfoot. A fruit cup or ice cream from the cafe squelched any complaints. ;) And the IMAX... take in a show if you can! Now the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum... C'est magnifique!!!

Bejewell said...

I was an art history major and even I find myself more drawn to the kids' activities most of the time. Who DOESN'T want to make a robot out of styrofoam? Seriously?

George said...

I recently went to the Hermitage in Amsterdam, which is kind of a submuseum of the St. Peterburg. Incredibly busy, people were still lining up to get in an hour before closing time. But what a collection, the paintings, the dresses, the hunting guns, etc. My pint-size was pointing out all the dresses she wants to wear, but reckons they´re not in her size (yet).
Can´t wait to see what the next collection there will be. I´ll my little one again too.

Bella said...

oh how i miss being a children's docent! and going through museums. VT is more science and outdoors... but i understand the museum at UVM if worth a look.

All Adither said...

Thank your lucky stars you weren't in Legoland with us.

JAbel said...

Where the White things are in Boston would have gone over REAL well in the 70's.

just making my way said...

We were thinking about going to the Aquarium, but ended up not. Partly for the crowded reasons you mentioned.

Your trip sounded awesome though! Thank goodness for smart museum people.