The Queen City is home to the Mint Museum, a museum of craft, design, and American and European art. When Logan first began noticing the signs for this museum, he expressed over and over his desire to visit there. I think his desire had something to do with the word “Mint.” When I found out what the museum was about and told Logan, he was slightly disappointed that samples of mints from around the world would not be one of the exhibits!
Our opportunity to visit the Mint Museum came this past week after I received an e-mail from a friend that the museum was offering free admission to home schoolers for an afternoon. Now, driving to a new destination in uptown AND finding a place to park are not at the top of my favorite things to do, but I was up for an adventure with my kids on a rainy day! Their eyes were pealed for the big “P” signs indicating parking, and we found the right garage, then the elevators we took up, exited that building, and entered the museum right next door.
We signed in, got our stickers to wear, and headed to the “Family Gallery.” It was a very kid-friendly room where the kids took part in building and puzzle challenges, posing for pictures inside frames, making large doodles on paper, and creating art of their own at a well-stocked art center. When I finally coaxed them away from the art table, we headed upstairs to browse through two floors of exhibits. We saw glass and pottery designs, wood designs, woven bamboo designs, even art created with painted threads.
I am not an art connoisseur by any means, but there were certainly some very unusual (okay, strange!) pieces on display. One display from a distance looked like toilet paper thrown over ropes. As we got closer, we discovered the piece was actually made of white linen, in my words, “thrown over rope.” Another eye-catching piece was a preserved, dead Christmas tree decorated with clear glass balls filled with the dead needles from the tree. Now why couldn’t I have thought of that?!
We saw necklaces that looked more like (in Logan’s words) “neck braces.” Some were huge, some were twisted, and some looked very uncomfortable. There was one necklace made of all recycled plastic things the artist found, like plastic tabs from milk jugs, plastic care instructions that come with flowers, etc. Other painted works looked like my Luke could have made them and even done a better job!
I got excited when I found a painting by Benjamin West because we’ve studied a little about him this year in our history lessons. West was an American-born artist who became painter for King George III of England during the time of the American Revolution. Seeing West’s artwork made our book studies come alive. We also saw lots of paintings of George Washington.
We all searched for our favorite pieces, and Logan’s was a footed rosewood bowl. Lindsay’s favorite piece was called the “Pacific Rose,” which looked like a huge crystal suspended by a hook. Luke liked a wooden piece shaped like a huge slug. My favorite piece was called “Dancing Pear Bottle.”
Our day at the museum was fun and since admission is free on Tuesday nights between 5 and 9pm, we may visit again with Brad. Then he can pick out his favorite piece!