I LOVE the Norton Simon Museum. I think I fell in love in the 7th grade when I went there on a field trip for school. It made me hunger for visits to more museums; many, many more. I’ve always especially been drawn to 19th Century European artists, and the Norton Simon has a great collection of 14th-20th Century artists. They even have a world-renowned collection of art from South and Southeast Asia if European art isn’t your thing.
I recall having a scavenger hunt of sorts on that first trip to the Norton Simon and “discovering” paintings, sculptures and artists as a sort of “mission” to see who could find all the items included in the “hunt” before the day was over. I really think there was something to that introduction to the museum with a quiet game that will always stay with me and really sparked my interest.
I went back to the Norton Simon many times in my teenage and young adult years, I visited many a museum in Europe in college, and then I started having babies. My trips to museums definitely didn’t stop, but they became VERY intermittent, with the exception of the art class I took with Grace in Massachusetts.
Grace and I took a class at the Worcester Art Museum on scholarship that was fantastic. Each week we’d have a brief lecture on some aspect of art within the gallery and then we’d go to the “studio” and create an art piece in the same style that we had just learned about. I wish I could have taken this class with all of my children.
For some reason, once the twins came along our museum visits pretty much came to a stand still. Until recently.
We went back. We took all of the kids to one of my favorite art museums.
For the most part, it was wonderful. We showed the kids works from artists they had heard of (the older kids at least) like Renior, Degas, Monet, van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Picasso. We introduced them to artists like Cezanne, Gauguin, Corot, Courbet, Diego and Warhol. We even entertained answers to interesting questions like, “mommy, why does that lady have her underware off?” , answered with, “hurry, let’s go find daddy”. Afterward, we even had a discussion about what they enjoyed the most.
I have a feeling that visiting museums on a fairly regular basis is back on the table, and I couldn’t be happier.
The grounds at the Norton Simon are coming up. I can’t wait to show you how beautiful they are.