Along with our co-op, we decided to spend the morning at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Portrait Gallery last week. This museum is one of our favorites. We thought we would go do one of the scavenger hunts in the Luce Center upstairs. You get a button when you do one. We have a whole bulletin board of buttons.
We did do the scavenger hunt, but first, we spent more than an hour sidetracked by the Norman Rockwell exhibit. An Art Cart was waiting for the kids in the museum’s amazing courtyard. There, two museum educators told the kids about Rockwell and explained his artistic process. Apparently Rockwell staged all his paintings as photographs first. Then he painted from the photos. The museum educators gave the kids a notebook of Rockwell’s works from the exhibit and told them to pick some that they could recreate and we could take photos of. What a brilliant idea! Here’s Mushroom posing as a teacher. BalletBoy and one of his pals are the students:
And here’s the actual Rockwell painting:
I’m not a huge Rockwell fan. However, the idea behind the exhibit was that his works tell a story. As we moved through the exhibit, we talked about the emotions and the actions. What comes next? What happened before? We imagined what expression faces hidden from view held and imitated those we could see. In short, it was a great exhibit for kids. Also, you should have seen BalletBoy’s face when I told him the man who created Star Wars was the owner of many of the paintings on display.
Surprises like that are one of the many reasons we love life in DC.