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QOTD and the Portland Art Museum

April 18th, 2007

from Zip:

“The real trouble with reality is that there’s no background music.”
— anon.

(Unless you’re me, then there’s always a Beastie Boys song playing somewhere in the background.)

Homeschooling, Day 8:

We went to Finnegan’s to buy… something, and another something, and something else. I can’t say here, because it’s a surprise for my husband. I’ll tell you tomorrow.

Then, pasta for the kids and a huge chicken Caesar salad for me. And iced tea.

Then, off to the Portland Art Museum (where my membership has already paid itself off, thank you). We liked these and these and especially this. I know, I know, some of you who visit museums are all quiet and hushed, hands on chins, stroking your faces thoughtfully as you discuss the undulating lines and the excellent use of red and yadda-yadda.

I think it’s good for kids to get comfortable around art at an early age. God knows they create enough of it — why shouldn’t they see what might happen, should you sell it? (Or die penniless, and some lucky soul inherits it, then donates it to the museum.) The first time I saw a Mark Rothko painting I was in New York. I’ve loved his work ever since. Then I find out, oh, last week or something, that he was Russian, yes, but they immigrated to Portland, Ore. (my hometown!) when he was ten.

Who knew?

Not me, because as a child I went to the art museum once. In the sixth grade. And our teacher spent the entire day screaming, “We’re going to have fun, dammit!” It wasn’t that fun. Although my mom (who chaperoned) and I have fond memories of that day, and still imitate him whenever we’re stressed out or in an awkward situation. It’s a real ice-breaker, screaming, “We’re going to have fun, dammit!” But more on that another time.

Our museum has lots of stuff that is family-friendly — family-oriented movies (sometimes) at the Northwest Film & Video Center, Museum Family Days, classes, camps, workshops, the sculpture garden, the GIFT SHOP. We love thee, Gift Shop. The Native American art collection is a great place to start. You know what sold my kids on the museum? Chandra Bocci’s gummi sculpture that was up for the Biennial last year. (Was it last year? It must have been.)

Talk about appealing to a young crowd. She was there, in person, assembling it. She talked with my kids, was so cool and down-to-earth, and best of all, she was building a sculpture with gummis — spiders, dolphins, bears, worms, “And that’s all,” Wacky Boy says. “Gummi everything,” Wacky Girl says. A stellar review, there.

I enjoy it soooooooo much more than the Children’s Museum, aka Germ Central. It’s so much more — civilized.



1 Comment

  1. Anne says

    My daughter’s favorite part of the Portland Art Museum is the NW coast Indian Art Collection. Actually there is stuff from all over America there in those rooms.
    We have to go to that part every visit and marvel at the potlatch dish that is easily as big as a canoe, look at the transformation masks, and while it was on exhibit stare at the silver necklace that is made to look like blueberries.

    Thanks for reminding me to go back there WM. Your kids are never going to want to go back to school. There is a gift in everything and you seem to have found the gift in a case of the lice.

    April 18th, 2007 | #

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