This New York Life

Many years ago I took a trip to Paris to visit my brother. When I was visiting the Louvre, I came across a school field-trip – about twenty 5- or 6-year-olds. There were doing a scavenger hunt, looking for objects in the paintings in one of the galleries in the museum of impressionism. I remember smiling as a couple of kids matched the image on their sheet with Pommes et oranges. A masterpiece. A game. How amazing it is, I thought to myself, that the mundane backdrop of these children’s lives is this painting, this museum, and this city with all of the richness it offers.

This morning I was a parent chaperone for Mei-mei’s first grade trip to the MoMA. The children observed only 3 paintings while at the museum. We started with Christina’s World:

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The children interpreted the painting with the guide, and then did a worksheet in which they attributed words to Christina.

Then it was The Sleeping Gypsy.

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The kids interpreted that painting as well, and noted the move away from the realism of Wyeth.

Then The Hunter (Catalan Landscape). An entirely abstract piece.

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The kids were absolutely focused on the paintings they were studying. As they sat in a circle on the floor in front of The Sleeping Gypsy, they engaged their guide in a lengthy discussion of the piece. Just a few feet behind them and to the left, situated alone on a small wall in the center of the gallery, hung The Starry Night.

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As the children walked away from The Sleeping Gypsy, I caught Mei-mei’s attention. It seemed a waste to not even see it. I nodded my head toward the painting. She knows The Starry Night quite well from her art curriculum back in Montpelier. She smiled and gave me a thumbs up as, through the crowds, she glanced at the masterpiece.

How amazing it is, I thought to myself, that the mundane backdrop of my children’s lives is this painting, this museum, and this city with all of the richness it offers.

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This entry was posted in Musings, New York City, Parenting, Travels and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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