The Crocker Art Museum with Third Grade
This week, Ian's class visited the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California. Students are learning about the Gold Rush and California history. Visiting grand artworks was the perfect way to learn about the past.
I easily forget just how new the world looks through their eyes. These students enter the museum having not even been alive ten years ago. To them, the 1960s are just as ancient as the 1860s. And seeing the scale of art is so different from photos in books or projected onto a wall.
One of my favorite things is watching them react to art. We started in the modern art part of the museum. At my son's age (8), he sees art as a pursuit of realism, such as "does it look right?" The idea of modern art is challenging to him. "What do you mean, I can create with shapes, or colors, and it doesn't have to "look like" what inspired me?"
Their conversations are amazing.
My other favorite thing was trailing behind them to hear the collective "ooooh," as they entered a room. Such as the "wow," when they saw this gallery display.
How can you not be awed by the scale of art?
They also marveled at the textures. "That's shiny," or "that's glittering," or "The paint's so deep!" All worthy reasons to bring children to art galleries. That and the effect of walking from one room to another. And all the history that they naturally fall into as they explore.
They studied this artwork depicting a Native American tale. They had studied the story and art in class. Sitting in front of the actually portrait was a new experience for them. They noticed new pieces of the story by discussing the piece in person.
They felt equally amazed when they walked from the modern section of the museum into the classical mansion. The frames! Heavy, ornate frames with gilded decorations. The paintings towered over them. They puzzled at the stories in each frame.
And when they walked into the foyer with two giant paintings and a marble statue, the floor inlaid with geometric patterns, they oohed and ahhhed all over again. Each new space inspired them in different ways.
They loved that the musuem gifted family passes so they could return. Because the greatest adventure of the day was discovering that art museums are really, really fun. And time is never enough time to learn everything about the art and the artists. That, and the inspiration! What incredible art will these young artists create?
Have fun exploring!
Gear: Canon Mark iii, Sigma Art Lens 35mm, Olympus Tough TG-4 in the water, and iPhone 7 *disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links, while your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting our adventures!