I remember back when the Milwaukee Art Museum first opened up the Quadracci Pavilion in 2001, Jay and I went to check it out. That was the first time I had been to the Milwaukee Art Museum and I was pretty impressed. We returned a few times over the years for different exhibits we wanted to see, but once we had LJ I never really thought about bringing him to the museum.
Earlier this year, his class took a trip to the symphony and to the Art Museum. He came home full of excitement and asked if he could go back to the Art Museum again as he didn’t feel like he had enough time to look around during the field trip. We were invited by the Museum to come back on a recent day off and explore as well as take advantage of their interactive iPod Touch tour.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure how much the Museum would hold LJ’s interest when it was just he and I. I figured we would spend an hour, maybe 90 minutes and be on our way. Boy, was I wrong!! LJ absolutely LOVED it. We checked in and got ourselves an iPod Touch for the interactive tour. (Got your own iPhone or iPod Touch? Just download the free app from iTunes and you are all set!)
LJ loved being able to learn more about specific pieces of art – some lessons are audio, some are on screen.
We spent time looking at the paintings on the main floor. That area was where his class had spent most of their time and he enjoyed being able to tell me about the different paintings and what he had learned.
Next, we ventured over to take advantage of some of the hands on activities. LJ had a blast trying to pick out what frames worked with which paintings and was actually really good at it! When you hold up the frame, a voice comes on and describes why it might or might not be the best choice.
We took a look through the current exhibit, Uncommon Folk. LJ enjoyed seeing all of the different types of art. The next exhibit is a Kandinsky retrospective that starts June 5th. We will be coming back to see that one as well!
Eventually, we made our way up to the third floor to the Kohl’s Art Generations Gallery which was full of all kinds of hands on opportunities. The theme of illusions is one that naturally appeals to kids and it is presented in a way that help kids (and adults too) understand the fundamental principles artists use to create depth and perspective in their drawings and paintings. LJ had learned some of this at school and the activities at the museum really brought his understanding to the next level. We both had a blast creating our own sketches, drawings, and even stop-motion movies. (Scroll through the slideshow below to see some of what we created.)
Our entire visit lasted over three hours and we still could have done more! I love how the Milwaukee Art Museum makes art really come alive for kids and how much their is for them to do there. The museum also offers ArtPacks! These are self-guided activities created to help families connect with art in fun ways. Current highlights include Sketchpacks—carry cases filled with a variety of paper and artist’s materials for drawing in the galleries, an Architecture Scavenger Hunt (complete with a prize!), Reading with Art—picture books with cue cards developed to be read in front of works of art. ArtPack activities are free and available from the ArtPack attendant stationed in the Kohl’s Education Center, in the Collection Galleries, Main Level.
You and your family can take advantage of Kohl’s Art Generation Family Sundays where families can enjoy hands-on art activities, interactive performances, family tours, visiting artists, and more! These events are free with Museum admission and for children twelve and under. For the budget conscious, museum admission is free the first Thursday of each month.
Thanks so much to the Milwaukee Art Museum for having us! We had soooo much fun and can’t wait to come back again.