Tuesday, December 4, 2012

MoMA 2012

 A couple of weeks ago, we took the kids to the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in NYC. (I'd planned to take the homeschool kids on a field trip to Metropolitan Museum of Art, but discovered a week before that it was closed on Mondays. MoMA did not fit into our curriculum this year, but Todd's work ID got the two of us in free and the rest of the kids are free normally, so it seemed like the place to go.)

Upon arrival, we went right up to the top floor and were greeted with a crazy long line. When we finally entered the room, we saw the above picture and Lilyanna cried out through the mob of people, "Look! It's Starry Night!" I confess I had a moment of "That's right, adults, my 2 year old knows great works of art!" And just as I was feeling so smug and taking her picture, the security guard came over and said that next year she couldn't stand there.  This year she was still short enough, but next year she wouldn't be.  It was the most bizarre reprimand I've ever been given.  And then 5 minutes later she dragged her hand along a really huge painting while we were walking through the throng to get to the painting below. But the security guard didn't see it, so it doesn't count.  And I'll be sure to not let her do that next year. ;)

Below is of course "The Scream" by Edward Munch. There was a whole dark and depressing room of his stuff, but this is one of Caleb's favorite pictures so we had to see it.  (I confess I liked this painting a lot more before that Doctor Who episode...)
Remember the dark of depressing room of Munch I was mentioning? Well, as we walked out, I saw the below picture and though, "Oh, that's a nice picture of two people holding one another. He can be sweet!" And then I got close enough to see the title. "Vampire".  So, not sweet. 
But then I found this and discovered that my original impulse may have been correct! Yay! But then again, maybe not according to others. Whatever the case, I'm going to go with my first impression.

When we saw the picture below, Lilyanna said, "It's broken. We need to fix it!" So I guess we know where she stands on modern art.

We had to take pictures of the boys in front of some Mondrian paintings, because they studied him in art class in second grade, which meant I had to learn all about him, too, and that I have very large "We are trying to copy Mondrian" pictures in my house from the kids.  Nathaniel's expression in this picture nicely sums up his feelings on the museum as a whole.  Much of the day was spent with me saying, "I'm not going to listen to you whine."  Which of course did nothing to stop him, he just wised up and went further away from me to do it.

I don't know anything about the painting below except that I like it.  And it has a pomegranate in it.

This was a family favorite, because Todd's Dad inherited a metronome just like this one from his Grandma Burt (so Great Great Grandma to our kids). Every kid for decades has played with that metronome and been told to stop playing with it because it's not a toy. Apparently, not only is it not a toy, but if we glued a magazine picture of an eye on it, it would be art!

The last time Todd and I went to MoMa, I was in high school. He had just graduated. We did not go together.  I went with my Spanish class to see the Joan Miro exhibit after we had spent time studying Hispanic artists.  He saw the same exhibit, though several months before me with some friends and neighbors.  This time around they only had two Joan Miro paintings that I found, but I got a little nostalgic seeing them.

This was a fun one! When we walked into the room I though how silly "OOF" was. But then I sat in the room for several minutes and listened as every. single. person. who walked in the room looked at the picture, smiled and said, "Oof!" with varying levels of intensity. The artist had created a performance piece! And then I wondered if he'd done that on purpose or if there was something else behind its creation and it was just a happy accident. Either way, everyone smiled after seeing "OOF" and I liked that.
Caleb could have lived in MoMA. His brothers and sister not so much. Lilyanna because she couldn't touch anything, the other boys because the art didn't speak to them the way it did to Caleb. His brain was able to make wonderful sense and experience delight where to his brothers' brains there was just clutter and chaos. It was a nice bit of role reversal, I think.

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