I took the girls to the Art Institute of Chicago recently. I had a free afternoon and my membership card (thank you GroupOn), so it seemed like a good way to hang out. I wanted to see the new Modern Wing and show them the Thorne Miniature Rooms.
I learned a few things about taking small children to the Art Institute. The first was that I needed to edit which galleries we visited as a lot of the works were not appropriate for six-year-olds. The second thing I learned was that the bathrooms were not that easy to find when we really needed them. Of course, that could have been because I didn't really know where we were on the map. I always asked one of the very nice employees for help. The third thing was that the girls love the artwork, but needed a bit more downtime. Now that we found the children's area in the Modern Wing, we know where to head to take a break.
In the words of the girls, here were their impressions of the various galleries.
European Art before 1900: Mom, why is Jesus bleeding on the cross? Why doesn't that woman have a top on? Why do all these people look sad?
Impressionists: Oh, look at the pretty colors. It's a haystack? I think it looks like a vase.
Contemporary Art: Look at the ballerinas. Hey, I just played with that picture on the computer game downstairs.
Photography: Can we do that with our cameras?
Sculpture Court: (and other sculptures) Why doesn't that guy have arms? What happened to her body?
Modern Wing: Oh, look at the pretty colors. Look at the light over there. Why is that thing hanging from the ceiling?
Thorne Miniature Rooms: Can we put these in our doll house? Look at the trees outside the windows (in the miniature rooms). I want a doll bed like that.