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Thursday 9 August 2012

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

This Tuesday it was free entry day at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) so the girls and I went on an adventure in modern art.

Enigmatic Combat by Arshile Gorky was one of our favourites

Inspired by this post on Design Mom about visiting art galleries with kids, I decided to prepare a little treasure hunt for Ava to stave on the dreaded "I'm bored" comments which usually go hand in hand with kids and art galleries. Ava is quite fond of a treasure hunt and is always eager to hunt down every last item - no matter how boring it may seem for a five year old! I prepared a treasure hunt of eight paintings and two sculptures for Ava to track down. I made sure to select artworks that I knew would be currently on display at SFMOMA and that would be of interest to Ava. I also made sure that they were all located within relatively close proximity to each other within the museum. Visiting museums and galleries with small children always takes much longer than expected and I knew that we may have run out of time to finish the treasure hunt had I selected artworks spread out over the four floors of the museum. Had that happened, I know that Ava would have been quite upset.

Ava crosses Violin and Candlestick by Georges Braque of the list

Ava with No.14 1960 by Mark Rothko

Ava quite enjoyed her little treasure hunt and was very excited every time she found another painting to cross off her list. As with most museum and gallery visits, Ava was keen to wear headphones and listen to the audio tour. She made sure to listen to the audio tour for every painting and sculpture on the treasure hunt as well as any others that took her fancy. Whether or not she understood what she was hearing on the audio tour is beyond me but it did help keep her interested!
Ava listens to the recorded information about Paysage du Midi by Andre Derain

The girls check out Red Liz by Andy Warhol

Along with the treasure hunt I prepared a colouring-in page of Femme au Chapeau by Henri Matisse and packed a good selection of coloured pencils. I found the colouring page on an activity sheet on SFMOMA's Online Resources for Families page. While I tried (in vain) to get Lola napping in her stroller, Ava sat down in a quiet area and coloured in Matisse's Femme in her own colour combination. Once Ava was done with her colouring she was keen to go see the real painting and compare. 

Ava shows of her interpretation of Femme au Chapeau by Henri Matisse

Hmm... which one's best?

Once we'd had our fill of artworks on the second floor it was time to head up to the Rooftop Garden and fill our bellies with lunch. It was a lovely day and the girls enjoyed sitting out in the sun watching construction work on a nearby building while they ate. The Rooftop Garden is also home to several sculptural pieces. By far the favourite with the girls was Alexander Calder's Big Crinkly as picture below with Lola. They both thought it looked like a giraffe. 

Out in the Rooftop Garden Lola checks out Big Crinkly by Alexander Calder.

Time for a quick bite to eat on the Rooftop Garden
The girls liked watching the cranes and elevators on this nearby building as they ate their lunch on the rooftop garden
Oops! The girls got told off by security for getting too close to Mahout-Vishnu by Mark Di Suvero. 

Lola laughs at No Pain by Robert Arneson

Ava runs from Louise Bourgeois' spider-like The Nest

The view from the fifth floor

Back inside after lunch we checked out a few more paintings before it was time to leave. I would have loved to have stayed longer however we had to head back to Berkeley for swimming lessons. Ava was really keen to see more of the museum, as was I, so another visit is definitely on the cards.

Ava with Andy Warhol's National Velvet

Ava makes the sign for Love with Robert Indiana's iconic Love

We all liked Leaky Ride for Dr Leaky by James Rosenquist

Maybe we need a new bike...

Looking up from the foyer of SFMOMA 

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