My daughter came home from pre-school and told me that her class was starting to study famous artists. She started telling me all about Jackson Pollock- “The King of Splatter Paint’. She asked me to Google his painting named “ #1” because apparently, he numbered his works of art (news to me). She was excited because in class they had the kids create and name their own paint colors and she had proudly named hers ‘sky’.
Next up was ‘Dot Dot Seurat’, the master of pointillism. Usually, when she is this excited and enthused, we listen, share what we know about the topic at hand and then often log on to the Internet and learn more together. Today, I thought a bit outside the box and picked her up from school with a surprise. This would not be a typical Tuesday afternoon with a trip to the playground or bookstore.
The Guggenheim Museum is 6 short blocks from our home. My little one immediately fell asleep in her stroller, while my big girl and I entered the museum, went to the top floor and started our roundabout descent. The current exhibit was macabre. I don’t fully know what or who it was, since the days of audio tours or reading the detailed panels are a distant memory, when you have small children in tow and you’re petrified of losing sight of either one for a split second! We ambled past photographs, projections and bizarre works of art. We talked about what we liked and what we didn’t, what was weird and what was beautiful. I tried to explain a little about how subjective art is. We stopped and looked at the amazing rotunda and marveled at all the people and the architecture. We ventured into the permanent collection where we saw works by Monet and Cezanne. As a passionate ballerina, she stopped for a prolonged moment in front of the Degas ballerina sculptures and I could tell she instantly loved them. My big plan was to surprise her by revealing an original Jackson Pollack. Despite what the museum website claimed, there were none to be seen at the Guggenheim that day. In the lobby, we threw a penny into the fountain and made a wish and made our way outside the very exciting revolving door.
My sleeping baby woke up as soon as the fresh air hit her and her sister told her she had missed ‘all the fun.’ I asked what her favorite part was and without a moment’s hesitation, she said the ballerinas. We walked east and decided to take a rest amidst the freshly planted tulips on Park Avenue. We had lollipops and played punch buggy every time we saw a cab, stroller or puppy. We laughed a lot and worried that the gray clouds would turn to rain and catch us without umbrellas four blocks from home. It was a perfect afternoon.
Years from now, maybe they’ll remember moments from that day, maybe the uniquely shaped building, or the ballerina sculptures or my baby will have faint memories of the museum as a serene napping place. It’s hard to say what my favorite part of the day was, but it might just be the lollipop break with my girls on Park Avenue. Oh, and the fact that on a regular Tuesday afternoon, a visit to the Guggenheim is just a stone’s throw from our home.
Prior to becoming a stay at home mom, Mina was an HR Recruiter for years. Now her time is spent happily juggling the demands of two young daughters while trying to expose them to the endless adventures the city has to offer.
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