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Visual Arts (and Crafts)

By John Kelly and Craig Stoltz
From the book "Kid-O-Rama"
Copyright 1998


Art Museums in the District | Specialized Collections | Art Museums in Baltimore | Watching Art Being Made | 
Making Your Own

The front of your refrigerator should be proof enough that art is important to most kids. Art exhibits can be, too. We know what you may be thinking: The hear-a-pin-drop surroundings, the marble floors, the heapin' helpings of high culture — galleries and girls and boys don't mix. Well, you may be surprised. For the most part, while children care little about art history or art movements or even artists, they do like cool pictures. The key is not to overdo an art museum. See what the kids want to see, bail out when they get restless.

Many museums in this chapter have special programs designed with kids in mind. Most require reservations, so call for information. Many also publish free or low-cost family guides. These point you toward specific works, engage you in scavenger hunts and provide puzzles and trivia. While they're useful, we've found that the guides are not the magic bullet you might be seeking. By all means, pick one up (especially if it's free), but recognize that younger kids may not have the patience to work through the suggested activities.

Here's something we've tried with success: Have each child wear a backpack that holds (in addition to snacks) a pad of paper and sharpened color pencils. If they come across masterpieces they like, have them sketch their own versions. That will help them focus better on the art, and other patrons will regard you as the clever parents you no doubt are. And keep in mind other places where they can watch art being made or where they can make things themselves.

Art Museums in the District | Specialized Collections | Art Museums in Baltimore | Watching Art Being Made | 
Making Your Own

Art Museums in the District

National Gallery of Art Corcoran Gallery of Art Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
National Museum of African Art National Museum of American Art National Museum of Women in the Arts
National Portrait Gallery Phillips Collection Renwick Gallery
  Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art  

Specialized Collections in the District

Art Museum of the Americas Mexican Cultural Institute The Textile Museum
  B'nai B'rith Klutznik Museum  

Museums in Baltimore

Baltimore Museum of Art Walters Art Gallery American Visionary Art Museum

Watching Art Being Made

Torpedo Factory Art Center Glen Echo Park

Making Your Own Art

Kidshop National Cathedral
Medieval Workshop

Paint-Your-Own-Pottery Places

The District Maryland Virginia
Made By You - Connecticut Ave. Made By You - Bethesda Made By You - Arlington
Made By You - Wisconsin Ave. Made By You - Annapolis The Mud Factory
    Paint Your Own Pottery

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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