Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Toddlers don't like Impressionism

On Sunday morning, we took the kids to see the Birth of Impressionism exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. The exhibit featured many familiar and not so familiar masterpieces from the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. When we lived in Paris, this museum was my favorite, so I was so happy to see some old friends, including Caillebotte's The Floor Scrapers (the light is so amazing, and I find myself very calm enjoying the beauty of this work) and one I hadn't ever seen before, an unusual Cezanne entitled, Maincy Bridge (it's so geometric, so structural, but you can feel the cool, humid air and sense the mystery of the water under the bridge). Of course, there were the Renoirs and the Monets, but we see them so much these days on calendars and notecards, that they don't thrill me like they did when I was in high school. Unfortunately, today these masterpieces are nearly cliche.

Okay, so I loved the exhibit. The kids were grumpy and hungry (we woke them really early, whooshed them out the door, and stuffed some -- not enough -- Gorilla Munch cereal in some Tupperware which they gobbled in the museum cafe before our exhibit entry time), so you can imagine the loud complaining from Stefan ("I want to go hooooome") in between content sessions on benches with his Hot Wheels cars and the quiet, yet constant, complaining from Maylin ("I'm booooooored"). I even gave Maylin a primer on Impressionism the day before, so she saw many of these paintings in a book before seeing them in person. I thought it'd be cool for her, but boy, was I wrong.

We had a pleasant lunch in the cafe afterward, so at least the visit ended on a positive note. Maylin did remind me that she had warned me before of her dislike of museums. Ugh. Thought this would be inspirational for my little future artist. I guess she's still a little young.

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