Monday, February 11, 2013

"V" is for Van Gogh

Back in September, a homeschool-mom-friend of mine embarked to arrange group tickets for students to see the Becoming Van Gogh  Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. As a world exclusive exhibit, it was an awesome thing to have an opportunity to see. Given the long lines and the crowds we encountered, I'm amazed we got in at all. I'm so thankful for my friend arranging it! In anticipation, we ordered the Usborne Children's book of Art and worked through it daily so we would have the book finished just before we went. Tyler loved the Van Gogh painting Sunflowers, and even made a sketch of it for me. Considering how much Tyler struggles with artistic pursuits, I was seriously impressed. We really loved this book as a prep introduction to art before our big trip to the museum.

I carpooled with my dear sister (in-law) and my neices and nephew. That made it even more fun! After the 4 hour drive, we arrived in  Denver around 11 and easily found parking. We enjoyed a self guided audio tour where the kids could tune in to more audio explanations of each piece that were right on their level. As grown ups we could listen to more in-depth critiques and about Van Gogh's life as he evolved as an artist. There's an excellent write-up about the exhibit here on the Denver

I don't have any photos from the exhibit, as photography was prohibited. Honestly, I didn't want to photograph the art, but the adorable way the children were interacting with it. Imagine my 6 year old nephew, seated before The Potato Eaters, pondering the audio descriptions of how Van Gogh admired their hard-working hands. I wasn't sure how my littlest children would enjoy the exhibit, so I only took my older two, and they enjoyed it immensely. Experiencing it with them on a more one-on-two ratio was also really enjoyable for me.

After a lunch in the park across from the museum, we went back and enjoyed the rest of the Denver Art Museum, or at least what we could see in an afternoon. I must admit I was a bit jealous of the museum guards on each floor who I'm sure got to see it all much more in detail...

My cousin, Kate, who lives in Denver, met us there and served to help us find the most interesting points quickly. We moved quickly through some areas, and more slowly through others, but overall I know I could easily take a week there and not take it all in. A few highlights:
Classical Art

Modern Art
Another of my favorite parts of the trip was the architecture of the museum. The original Denver Art Museum is tall and unique, and we found the windows offered views that nearly competed as framed works of art. But the newer addition of the Duncan Pavilion and the Hamilton Building, really completed the picture going from ancient art to modern. Coming from a flat wide open prairie life, my children and I are always amazed at the city sky-line anyway.
holding up the roof on the Hamilton Building

It was well worth the visit, and when the other two are a bit older, I look forward to going again, and seeing what new and amazing exhibits will be available then. I was impressed by the collection they had brought in from around the world, and I expect great things in the future.

Originally Posted 11/4/12
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