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Monday, January 04, 2010

First trip to the Portland Art Museum

portland art museum I kept putting it off as I thought Ana might not be ready, but, turns out *I* wasn't ready to take this first step with Ana, really.

But, over the Winter Break, as we pored over art reprints at home and did some art work ourselves, I found myself feeling ready to take Ana to the Portland Art Museum.

The snowfall had stopped, the chillness was refreshing, and to make the day more memorable, Ana and I rode the bus to explore the Portland Art Museum.

I didn't want to explain the paintings or make it a possibly boring experience for her. So, I let her guide me. I stopped where she stopped. Answered whatever she wanted answered, as best as I could. And was glad that, that particular day, Ana was in the discovery mode. She spent more time looking at Asian and Native American Art than their American and European collection - possibly because of the layout of the museum and the order in which we visited the permanent collection.

I was surprised when she asked to go back and stare at one particular exhibit - Raven to Sun Transformation Costume - in the Native American exhibit. Not sure why, she seemed fascinated with it. I wonder what was going through the 4¾ yr old senses and imprinting on her brain...

She did have a few questions about the nudes - paintings and life-size sculptures - but, mostly curious about why it is there... and of course, she stared at a particular female nude painting (I forget the artist) asking about her feather hair decoration and pretty sandals, not worried about the rich surrounding in which the lady in the painting stood, simply wondering what happened to her clothes and then convincing herself that it depicted the middle of her dressing ritual and that she was getting to the clothes when the painting was done....

"This room is full of baby paintings, Amma. I think babies like Oggie made these art", she stated with certainty.

"Hm... you think so? The canvas is so big, and am not sure how babies can reach to the top and paint...", I was trying not to sound dim.

"No silly! They put it on the floor so babies can paint the whole thing and then hang it up. I think that's what they did. Maybe we can bring Oggie's painting to hang up here", she declared with enthusiasm.

We were staring at Modern Art!

She was a bit disappointed that she couldn't actually do any art project there even after I tried to explain the purpose of art museums...

Now that the first step is taken, I hope others will follow, making it an enriching experience for both of us... I know I have a lot to learn and it would be nice to learn some of it through Ana's eyes... Thankfully, I am not an art snob and I hope that helps Ana's experience.

*picture courtesy

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At 4:29 PM, Blogger Praba said...

Adorable little Ana! Babies working on canvas - how sweet an imagination is art museum dedicated just to children's artwork!! And an art center attached where kids could do learn art.

We have kiddie art shows in the area once a year - part of a community festival - the area's schools bring their children's best artwork to showcase.

At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How wonderful to hear about your lovely experience at the PAM. In the future you may enjoy going to the PAM's Sundays for Families Art Making. It is from 1-3 pm every Sunday (free w/adult admission) and is lead by a practicing artist. Also, there are larger free family days three times a year. Enjoy your discovery!


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