Friday, April 20, 2012

Field Trip: Museum of International Folk Art

I mentioned recently, taking the kids up to Santa Fe one day when I didn't have any nieces to watch (my sister had the day off to take care of some appointments).  While I normally, love taking my nieces places, too, this day was probably more suited to older kids (> 4 years) and my oldest nieces were in school -- so it was just our kids and me.

 We started our day of adventure with the Museum of International Folk Art.  I've been mostly afraid to take all the kids (by myself) to art museums because they can be sort of particular about touching the displays and running around and when I'm one adult for five kids, I can't always guarantee my eyes will be on every child at every second.  But we visited the Georgia O'Keefe Museum in Santa Fe a month ago (we weren't allowed to take pictures in there) and it went really well, so I was willing to give this larger art museum a try.

Here are a sampling of photos from our trip.  It was amazing!  So amazing that S wants to go back for her 17th birthday with no younger siblings so she can peruse the displays more casually, so she can read descriptions and truly appreciate the art.

This museum is on Museum Hill in Santa Fe.  There are four museums there, but I limited this visit to just one.  But the whole area is really pretty (especially when it's spring and everything is in bloom!).

While Folk Art is definitely wide ranging in styles and art mediums, I think some of my favorite pieces were the "yarn paintings."  The details were pretty incredible and the colors were really bright and cheery ... plus, it seems like a kind of art I could possibly mimick in a school assignment.  It may not come out quite as nice, but it might be fun to try.

I read that the base is layered up with natural bee's wax and the project is completed in the sunshine so the wax stays soft enough to press the yarn into place.  Then the whole "painting" is brought in to cool and harden.

S and Z really enjoyed some of the historical pieces.  Those dolls up above S's head there were dolls found left behind in the Underground Railroad stops.  Z was really affected by the story about them because he loves his stuffed toys so much and he said he couldn't imagine having to leave some behind, knowing he could never safely go back for them.

I'd never really seen Jesus depicted in art after he was a baby and before his 30s, so this was a bit unusual -- Jesus at 4 or 5 or whatever the artist was trying to depict here.  There were a lot of religious pieces at the museum and it was fun hearing even our youngest kids pointing out recognizable scenes they knew from the Bible.

Even the doors were pieces of artwork.  I think that was another favorite feature for me at the museum.

I'm sure people might complain about this particular piece, but it just made me laugh out loud, so I had to share it.

They had a really neat special display of Macedonian bridal gowns, etc.  They even gave the kids take home paper dolls that they can color in this style (free!).  They all loved the dress that they could try on to feel the weight for themselves.

And the kids were all really well-behaved.  Well, technically, Z started out kind of rough (he kicked O in the leg and O was screaming like he was being murdered), but he cooled down rather quickly and started to actually appreciate the art and some of the stories behind the art.  I paired we three oldest people (S, H and I) with the younger three (Z, J and O) and we sort of meandered in pairs, never being out of the same room as the rest of the group.  It worked really well and I got some discussions about it (and some writing) the next day in class.

Field trips are so much fun!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting and enlightening for you and me, as well as the kids! Thank you for this field trip!