This interactive new exhibit, on loan from the Minnesota Children’s Museum, gives children the opportunity to step inside the framework of famous paintings and explore art from the inside out.
Children enter the special exhibit by stepping through an over-sized frame and instantly become immersed in the worlds created by well-known artists. Each work is re-created as a three-dimensional, sensory, walk-in environment that includes a print of the artist’s original work, as well as important facts about the artist’s life and painting style.
Children and adults can enjoy a robust noontime meal in Grant Wood’s Dinner for Threshers, climb into a tent and explore camping gear in John Singer Sargent’s Camp at Lake O’Hara and add “corn husks” to the flower tower in Diego Rivera’s Corn Festival. Enter Clementine Hunter’s Big Chicken and get behind the reins of a giant rooster. Visitors can also explore a small collection of Mona Lisa prints featuring the original and famous parodies, then step behind a cutout version and replace Mona Lisa’s face with their own.
Some of the featured paintings in this bilingual exhibit include:
Dinner for Threshers by Grant Wood
Enter Grant Wood’s Dinner for Threshers and learn about rural life at the turn of the century. Visitors can tend to a chicken and eggs, prepare a meal in the kitchen, set the dining table, enjoy a noontime dinner, and mix and match the farmers’ patterned shirts. They can observe the painting’s details, such as patterns, the farmers’ tan lines and the hour of the meal.
Children step inside and explore Grant Wood’s Dinner for Threshers.
Camp at Lake O’Hara by John Singer Sargent
Visitors travel to the Canadian Rockies in 1916 at John Singer Sargent’s Camp at Lake O’Hara. Children can climb inside a tent and explore camping gear like Sargent would have used. After cooking a pretend meal over the campfire, kids can tell stories around the fire and arrange items in a magnetic frame to show what a painting of today’s campsite may look like.
Corn Festival by Diego Rivera
Travel south of the border through this piece from the Court of Fiestas in the Ministry of Education Building in Mexico City. Visitors can explore a rendition of one of Rivera’s frescoes, add flowers and ribbons of “corn husks” to the flower tower for a celebration and include their flourish in a mural on a miniature building.
In addition to climbing inside works of art, children can curate their own art gallery, draw self portraits at a designated computer station, take part in an art hunt through the exhibit and let their imaginations run wild by creating as many different images as possible at the three-dimensional pattern puzzle.
This exibit encourages children to make a personal connection with art and allows them to have fun and ask questions. The interactive and unique experience that Framed provides could likely be a first step in fostering a lifelong appreciation and understanding of art.