I have long since been afraid that there are places that kids are theoretically welcome, but not practically. You know, a place where they are supposed to let you in, but they'd rather you not come?!
I've avoided art museums mostly because it overwhelmed me to think about keeping my kids quiet, and still, and away from all of the art. Since I've had kids for the last fifteen years of my life, I felt like it was time to start visiting some of these great storehouses of beauty.
The Kimbell Art Museum is located in Fort Worth, TX. It is a free museum, with a featured gallery that has an extra fee. The best part is that there is free parking! Can't beat that!
When we arrived, my family was warmly welcomed and all of my kids received a little listening device to facilitate a self guided tour of the art. There are little symbols on the signs next to the art that identify explanations of the pieces in terms kids can understand. I have to admit that I enjoyed those stories as well.
The first piece we encountered told the story of two brothers and their playful pose for their portrait. While they listened to the well produced audio story, I listened to the adult version that discussed the period of the painting and the symbolism of the stick in the hat. Apparently it was a sign of freedom, and something the older brother would be more interested in as he was reaching the age where boys transition into young men. We were all fascinated.
Around the corner, my girls met a Picasso. While both paintings exhibited skill and thought, their artifacts were very different. The audio walked my girls through a beautiful explanation of this piece. I loved watching my girls faces as they discovered the hidden gems.
All of my kids enjoyed different aspects of the museum. Ellen, my youngest, still struggled with not touching the walls, but once she found a bench to sit and listen, she was thoroughly content.
My son decided he's more of a lover of realistic art than impressionist or modern. It's exciting for him to see and compare various pieces of art. This museum has curated a beautiful and eclectic variety of art, and families are most definitely welcome (just maybe in large groups)!
What keeps you from taking your kids to the museum?
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.