Wednesday, September 23, 2015


In the interest of exploring our little corner of Virginia to the fullest, I looked up a local art museum -- ready to cringe at the entrance fee, and wonder how long I'd be able to stay with three small children. Probably not long enough to get my money's worth! 

But no, the museum in question has free admittance. In other words, I can come back as often as I like, and can therefore limit visits to the scope of my extremely patient and perfectly-behaved children motley crew. They even allow non-flash photography in the exhibits. Don't pinch me, please!

In the relatively long time since I've been to an actual art museum, I had forgotten just how powerful it is to see a work of art in person. It helps when the art is housed in a breathtakingly beautiful building: 

It just so happened that I caught the tail end of an Impressionism exhibit; Impressionism just so happens to be my favored artistic style, so "anticipation" doesn't begin to cover it. Up the steps, through the doors, into the gallery. And there, all over the walls, some of the loveliest art by some of my favorite artists. Including several paintings by Childe Hassam and Charles Courtney Curran.

A Breezy Day by Charles Courtney Curran -- this painting was far, far smaller than I realized (maybe about 8" by 10"?), which makes the beautiful detailing even more astounding.

A little detail from the museum -- such a beautiful place!

The painting below was probably my favorite, "A Spray of Goldenrod" by Charles Courtney Curran. The appearance of light and shadow was so lovely -- and unfortunately can't really be captured on camera. 

To stand a few feet away from one of these paintings -- well, it doesn't bear describing. I especially like the oil paintings, because the texture of the paint on the canvas added an extra dimension. That's something you just can't experience on a book page or a computer screen. 

As for the littles... well, I wish I could say that their attention was always this rapt:

They did fairly well, though they were inclined to be a little wild toward the end. I'd love them for them to develop an appreciation for art as early as possible, so our tour consisted of lots of "What color are the shutters on the house? How many people are in the picture? What is that lady thinking about?" Still, we've barely scratched the surface of what the museum has to offer, even though we've visited a few times!

But that's all right. We'll be back.

1 comment:

  1. That's so neat! What a great opportunity to teach your kids and explore the museum at your own can't beat free for taking pressure off to enjoy it all at once!


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