The blog for inspired travel with children

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Museum Exhibits

My son’s tolerance for museums varies.  He can spend hours and hours at a place with hand-on components – especially if they involve water.  He has almost no interest in rooms filled with paintings, although sometimes I try to prolong our stroll with a little game of I Spy – he gets a little exposure to the art and I get a few extra minutes to gaze.  I would love to take him to the following exhibits, happening this summer around the world – I think he’d enjoy them for a reasonable amount of time, and I would too!

The Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris is hosting an exhibit on that personable elephant beloved by children the world over, Babar.  The exhibit will feature original artwork as well as artifacts and runs through September 2, 2012.

In California, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is showcasing this amazing sculpture:

 Metropolis II by Chris Burden

Created by the artist Chris Burden, Metropolis II is an exquisitely planned jumble of miniature roads and railways, with actual tiny vehicles zipping along.  We’ve seen plenty of model railroads in our day, but nothing like this.  While you’re there, you can’t miss the La Brea Tar Pits, located at the Page Museum right next door.  This amazing museum features over a million Ice Age fossils, with an active on-site dig recovering more fossils all the time.  Children can watch paleontologists at work and explore the Pleistocene garden – a landscape that recreates the Los Angeles of 10,000 – 40,000 years ago.

Yayoi Kusama isn’t exactly a children’s artist, but her work often has an undeniably child-like appeal.  I’d love to take my son to her upcoming retrospective at the Tate Modern in London and see what he thinks.  You’ll have to act fast on this one – the exhibit runs only though June 5, 2012. 

The Passing Winter by Yayoi Kusama

At the Queensland Art Gallery in Australia in 2011, Kusama installed the "The Obliteration Room," a domestic scene painted entirely white.  Over the course of two weeks, nearly every surface was covered by colored dot stickers, given to children to place where they wished.  Amazing!

The Obliteration Room By Yayoi Kusama

Another exhibit happening this summer at the Queensland Art Gallery really invites the participation of kids.  Artist Fiona Hall’s project “Fly Away Home” deals with the worlds of humans and birds, as well as issues of migration and the environment.  Children can contribute by making a bird and nest of their own from paper money designed by Hall.  The exhibit runs through September 16, 2012.

I've never planned a trip solely around a museum exhibit - but I can see doing so for the right exhibit.  I'm still sorry I missed the Alexander McQueen show at the Met last year!  I may try to catch the show on Jean-Paul Gaultier at San Francisco's De Young Museum this summer - I think my son would go for it, and when we're done, we can stroll over to one of his favorite playgrounds right there in Golden Gate Park.  Everybody wins!

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