Teaching Children to Appreciate Art

I have a confession to make: As a child, I hated visiting museums and galleries. I grew up in rural Idaho where the closest art museum was a day’s car ride away, so this shouldn’t have been a problem. My father is an artist, however, and this meant that we travelled extensively to shows and galleries. Many of our travels involved traipsing through art galleries and museums for hours on end.

Art was an everyday part of my life as I watched my dad work, and so it was hard for me to think of a visit to a museum to look at hundreds of works of art as an adventure.

I’m sure I found some of the art interesting, but after ten or fifteen minutes in a museum, I would have seen enough. I’m sure my parents endured a great deal of complaining and whining from me and my siblings. I couldn’t imagine that my parents truly found the art interesting – I suspected that they derived some kind of sadistic pleasure out of dragging us through the galleries until our eyes bugged out and our legs buckled.

Last week Carrie and I took our children on a tour of upstate New York, bits of Pennsylvania and Northern Ohio. We visited historic sites, Niagara Falls, and took in the green, wooded countryside (quite a shock for our desert-dwelling children).

We ended the trip in Cleveland on Friday, and since our flight didn’t depart until late in the afternoon I thought it would be a great idea to take our children to the Cleveland Museum of Art.

You should have heard the groans when I announced my intentions! I quickly realized that the baton had passed from one generation to the next and that I was now my parents. Truth be told, I may have even taken some secret pleasure in the whines and groans . . .

The thing is, my childhood visits to galleries and museums did plant the seeds of a deep and abiding love of art. I’m extremely grateful that my parents insisted I experience great works of art in museums. I feel I owe it to my children to provide similar experiences.

And so, we set off for the museum. I had visited the Cleveland Museum of Art previously, and had fallen in love. The museum itself is beautiful, and the art collection is broad and well-displayed. After the Met in New York, Cleveland’s museum just might be my favorite in the country.

Before our visit with our children, I had gone on the museum’s website to find out when docent tours were offered. We arrived just as a tour was beginning. Our docent was an immigrant from Hungary, and her accent made it a little hard for my kids to understand what she was saying. As they became accustomed to her accent, however, and as we visited the various exhibits in the museum, my children seemed to pay more and more attention.

There were whispered complaints about tired feet from our nine-year-old, and some mutterings about the tour being “boring,” but when the tour ended after about an hour, something interesting happened. Instead of wanting to bolt out of the museum, my kids wanted to go back and look more closely at art we had moved by quickly.

Each of our children seemed to find something of particular interest. Our seventeen-year-old daughter wanted to spend more time in the modern art gallery. Our fourteen-year-old son was fascinated by the ornate suits of armor and swords in the Armor Court (of course). Our Eleven-Year-Old daughter loved the ornate china and tea services in the decorative arts gallery. Our nine-year-old was fascinated, if slightly exasperated, by the pop art section, and modern gallery (at one piece she said, “This makes me very angry!” so we talked about what makes modern art so interesting).

This nine-year-old skeptic wasn’t sure what to think of the modern art collection

We saw works by Caravaggio, Monet, Picasso, Sargent, Turner, Warhol, Rothko and many other artists that they have learned about in school through the Art Masterpiece program.

Our docent had shared interesting facts about various artists that we wouldn’t have known otherwise. I was able to share insights from the many biographies of artists’ lives that I have read. I think those extra insights turned what could have been a boring walk around to look at “pictures” into a journey into the history of art.

In the end, the art museum ended up being one of our favorite stops on the trip, which does my heart good.

One visit to an art museum probably isn’t life-changing, but I hope we are doing our part to instill a love of the visual arts in the next generation.

How Did You Gain Your Love of Art?

Did your parents drag you to art museums? If you have children, what did you do (or are you doing) to instill a love of art in them? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

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43 Comments

  1. My love of art came from two high school teachers. One who taught jewelry (wax casting, metal sawing, chain making, bezels etc.) and the other basic art. The teacher that taught basic art called me out when I turned in inferior assignments and as an honor student, I didn’t like that so I got my stuff together quickly and became a star pupil. No one else in my family has a love for art and no one has the drive I have to create no matter what medium. Not sure where my creative gene came from in my lineage, but I am grateful that I have it!

  2. Like you both my parents, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents were artists. I loved creative projects of any kind but could not find my footing as a teenager. I had to leave home and go into the world away from all those artists surrounding me to understand just how important and intrinsic art was for me. I have been painting for nearly 50 years now.

  3. When I was young, my mother was an artist, specializing in pen and ink and charcoal. I began to draw as well, trying to emulate her. She taught me about Charles Dana Gibson, Maxfield Parrish, and Aubrey Beardsley. My love for drawing transitioned to a love of Hollywood glamour photography, and I do believe both of these have greatly contributed to my work today.

  4. Art Museum was not in my growing-up vocabulary, though a first or second grade teacher checked “vocabulary” as one of my strong points. Ironically, I had to ask my parents what that word meant. However, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t draw pencil scenes on Blue Horse paper, and I vividly remember receiving an easel, pencils, chalk, paper, and finger paints one Christmas before I started school. I always had crayons, brushes, and a tin of watercolors. And I still have pieces of that original chalk, kept in the original box. Sentimental? oh, yes.

  5. The local art committee sponsors shows in the city hall. Each has a theme like “Sharp and Flat” with the meaning completely up to the artist. We took our granddaughters, 8 and 10, to this show and asked them to figure out why the artist thought their work belonged in the show. The girls immediately noticed the photo of a bridge with spires on top and a flat road bed and we were off on an adventure. This is a great way for the people who are trying to engage with the public to help make the experience more meaningful. I enjoyed it too.

  6. Hi Jason: I’ve been enjoying using Master Piece Kits with ‘kids’ of all ages, a simple tool to let kids (or adults) create one little piece of a whole or the whole themselves. (A 9 piece drawing that is painted one abstract piece at a time: examples on my website.) An exploration just for fun, a lesson of what color, value, temperature can do if led by an artist, or a life lesson if led by a counselor (used at juvenile hall and homeless shelter) and very framable. I’m always amazed at the innate color, style, technique choices of each individual. Fun to read about the interest of each child at the beautiful museum!

  7. I grew up on air bases in Canada, usually based in a somewhat rural area, so I had little opportunity to visit art galleries or museums. When I turned thirteen however, my father was posted to France for four years. My parents weren’t interested in art or museums, but I was and took every opportunity possible to visit. I’ve always loved art! Once I had children of my own, I dragged them reluctantly through many museums. They didn’t enjoy it much at the time, but they both now have a great appreciation of art. They are the ones who encouraged me to take art classes and are my biggest supporters.

  8. My sister had an art box, and I loved to do art in the basement with her. Her forte was pencils, charcoals, and oil pastels. She was frustrated that our county fair had entire categories (about 20 lots each) for acrylics/oils and watercolor/tempra, but all the “graphics” (about 20 lots, but shared with lots specifically for block prints, etchings, scratch art, and greeting cards) got shoved into one category–and the premiums were only 60% of what the paintings’ were.

  9. In 1999 we got to visit Germany since my sister was there with her husband in the military. We took a side trip to Paris and visited the Louvre among other things. A picture from the trip showed our 16 and 22 year old young adult children sitting in the Louvre with their bored expressions. The 16 year old did enjoy the sculptures but that was the end of her attention span. She recently admitted how much she regrets wasting the oppurtunity.

  10. Under the title: “teaching children to appreciate art” I have thought You would give some tips and hints HOW You tought this.
    In my former life in Germany I had to earn my liveleyhood as a document-filmmaker (this explanes my deficient English°) and for these films I showed new ways in modern german art-padagogic to make children excited about making objects of all sorts of art und and, important! to interprete or talk about their works.
    Important also: they had to choose themes and learn conciously observing things going on .
    An example : installing selfmade wooden frames with blanc canvas/nettle- tissus in very small river and waiting to look after them several days later to see what the water has Painted ! on the canvas and interprete it. I filmed the children with these explications and what they said was great .They were about 8to 9years old.
    This ist only a glimps of what one can do for and with children.
    Now living since more than 15 years in southwestern France I met some artteachers who told me that the pedagogic rules of teaching fine arts are rather conventionell and the parents tooooo! Perhaps it is different in Paris – but what a waste of human ressources.

  11. Thanks for sharing your family’s experience!
    I came to my love of art kind of late in the game… oh, I always admired the well known masterpieces, but, even though I spent most of my life making art, I really didn’t KNOW much about it. It wasn’t until I went back to college, at the age of 58, with an art degree as my goal, that I began to appreciate what art is & how it has reflected and moved our world & the people in it. And it surprised me that I was so terribly under educated and under exposed to art & its place in the history & the future of our species. Growing up in a relatively small, blue collar town without any public art or museums or galleries, there were no local entities that validated art…
    This year my old home town held it’s first art show, thanks to the efforts of a small group of folks who work very hard, most on a volunteer basis, as an “arts council” there. If I still lived there, I would probably be one of them.
    So I cannot say enough about the importance of making the Arts a part of public education and the impact of going to museums & galleries at any age but especially as children, which I didn’t have the opportunity to do. Really, if you don’t want your kids to have a “cookie cutter” life, you must expose them to things they don’t see every day. Instead of Disneyland, or some other mindless tourist trap, show them art & music & science & history! As parents we can do the world & ourselves this favor…

  12. My Mom was a realistic oil painter and my Dad an engineer who enjoyed the creative process. There were seven of us kids. Looking back, I don’t know how they did it but we did get dragged through museums of all sorts, enough to make lasting memories. We must have made quite the visual ourselves. It wasn’t until I was well into my own art career that I realized how fortunate I was to have seen paintings literally “built” in my own home every day of my life. Now it seems quite magical to me. I have gone on with my own artistic interests and techniques, but witnessing all the elements of her work firsthand– the courage, the successes, the failures, the persistence – was valuable beyond measure. I went on to art school but I often wonder which was was a greater influence. I am extremely lucky to have had both.

  13. I loved this post. The look on your daughter ‘a face is priceless. I appreciate your tips and wise art council. Thanks. We hope to someday be a part of your gallery family or catalog.
    Jeanne

  14. My father was an excellent artist, although he never did anything with it after he got out of the army. He did amazing drawings with colored pencil before I was born. I don’t know what happened to all those drawings. I never went to a museum until I was in junior high school with field trips. I also had an amazing art teacher who would take us outside during class and teach us how to really see everything around us–all the amazing colors and shadows that normally we wouldn’t notice. This was in Ohio, so your visit to the Cleveland Art Museum was a treat for me to view. I lived in Akron and initially worked at a business college that was located across the street from what was then called the Akron Art Institute (now the Akron Art Museum). I usually spent my lunch hours browsing the museum and became very familiar with all the exhibits. This was almost 50 years ago. The original building is still there (built in 1899), but they’ve built a new museum attached to the old one. Looks sort of strange with the drastically different architecture but I think it’s cool they have retained the old one. Since I didn’t visit a museum until I was about 13 or 14, I never got bored except for perhaps the historical antiquities. But I was always mesmerized by the paintings and could spend a long time just gazing and investigating a piece.

  15. I look forward to receiving posts from Jason and folks who contribute – learn so much and feel validated as an artist each time.

    I was born into poor, second generation, post WWII Irish (mother) and Italian (father) families to whom art was the last thing on their minds. I am the first to have received a college education in our family. I did take as many art classes as I could in HS and majored in Art and Art History and Education in college. My true love of artists and art history developed from Sister Magdalene LaRowe’s Art History classes in undergrad. We affectionately called her “Maggie”. This was back in the late sixties when it was an all girl’s Catholic liberal arts college in upstate NY.

    Sr. Maggie had a way of making her presentations something to look forward to. She told stories of the artists’ lives, of the time period, of the culture surrounding the artists and connected us to their passion, their sufferings and their successes. Sr Maggie had a wonderful way of leading us through her examination of each piece so that we felt in awe of the talent and creativity. I love art museums and to this day each time I look at a piece of art, I ask, “What would Sr Maggie say about this work?”

    To this day, I enjoy going to museums with my family and friends who always ask me to tell them about a painting, a sculpture or an artist. I recently saw Sr Maggie’s gift being passed along when I listened to my son tell his two children about El Greco and his work. Thank you Maggie!

  16. My father’ love of classical music kind of ‘rolled over’ into a love of art for me. But it wasn’t a hard roll – I had been drawing since I was able to pick up a pencil and I think it’s just ‘baked in’ to this loaf. The music ingredient also came along for the ride (only its spread to include jazz and just about any other kind of music)

  17. I wish I’d know your itinerary- the Albright Knox in Buffalo has a wonderful modern collection in a spectacular classic museum space.

    My current favorite, however, is the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver- for the building almost as much as Mr’ Still’s work.

    Great post! And great parenting.

  18. I loved your daughter’s expression after viewing the light bulbs and dryers! Cracked me up 🤣!

    Unfortunately, my parents never went to art museums. I never experienced an art museum until I entered the art program at the University of Arizona just out of high school. I appreciate any art museum. One of my favorites is the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena CA.

  19. We were just in Cleveland area and Niagara Falls, wish I would’ve known, as it would’ve been fun to meet you.

    My teens are not fans of going to art event stuff. Sometimes we make them go, othertimes we leave them at home.

    Did you tell your kids that the Cleveland museum of art was used as Sheild Headquarters in a marvel movie?! They might get a kick out of that, the giant atrium is seen in Captain America Winter Soldier.

  20. I’ve had to learn to never under-estimate children. Where art “appreciation” is concerned, the two pitfalls are to try to give appreciation to them or make them be adults. Let me explain.

    We were a poor rural farm family. Early on, we would go to a nearby University to their free concert series. And I absorbed all sorts of music mostly classical. I was a constant builder and draw-er but there were no museum or famous art experiences. I honestly don’t know when the first experience was for me- probably college art school. And art history was awful. Had I not been stubborn, it probably could have scarred me.

    And then I taught art in public school. My first career was with filed trips to museums. I honestly can’t remember anything about those trips or what he children may or may not have picked up.

    My second career involved the inner city and there were no field trips except the reward trips at he end of the year to parks and picnics. But what I did was to have a deck of art postcards. We did a project on “visual transcription”. My students knew that when they drew a picture, it was something only they could do in that moment and it would not be the same again.

    So- a piece of paper and a deck of art cards. No choices- picture was face down. They could trade once if they wanted to but the trade would be face down and permanent. When they saw that someone’s “bad” picture went into the deck … . And they set to work- the room was silent except for a sigh once in awhile. When I said reluctantly that it was time to stop, they erupted with, “But I’m not finished.” We continued it a second week. And the third week they wanted to frame the results. The drawings were fresh and exciting- with details I’d never seen before, orientations the artist didn’t use but the student artist did- revealing a new and sometimes dramatic perspective.
    I share this because art appreciation as I see it is an experience which is difficult to contain, and I was desperate to bring something of my art world to them.

    last note: My daughter would ram through museums that I took her to. She knew I would want to see art, and as far as I could see, she was there to play with the museum. (Oh Well – I could self-indulge). That was not the case. She somehow ingested whole galleries of images and could talk about them later.
    I have to add that she watched me cry and sob when I saw the Cimabue Crucifix at the Met after the Florence flood. She asked me why. I told her. That was quite a turning point for us that art was that deep and important.

  21. I was fortunate to have lived in suburban Washington DC in my formative years ( 9-13). Coming from semi-isolation in AK I felt like I was dropped into a lush garden of exposure. I don’t think parents can place enough value on progressive public schools. We had regular field trips to the Smithsonian Museums including the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery of Art, the Corcoran, the Freer … it opened up a whole new world.
    Initially, I didn’t make a direct connection between art galleries and my scribbled drawings and $2 watercolor set. Remember them? 🙂 Along the way something changed … I looked closer, I evaluated, I actually listened to what the docents said; a critical viewpoint developed. I began to apply that to my own drawings and they became better in school art classes. I began to see myself in the persona of an artist.
    My girls don’t remember me not painting … one of my favorite photos is my youngest as a toddler, sound asleep on the bottom tier of my pie-cart taboret in my studio, Going to art museums and galleries was part of their experience growing up. It wasn’t unusual; it was this month’s fun outing. With one daughter’s career, art is related. The other, art is an integral part of her life as a simple therapeutic pastime to counter a stressful government job.
    Jason, the baton has indeed been passed. My eldest is again in Washington DC. She brings my grandson to the same museums I went to as a child. She has been taking him to art museums since he was a toddler … she makes him think objectively, why do you like this painting? He has his own “art corner in his playroom.” When he tires of his dinosaurs and toys he says, “Alex needs to paint.”
    Regardless if any of our kids or grandkids seek a career in art we owe it to them to make art a part of their lives. They will be enriched for it.

  22. Most North American art museums including in Canada have great programs for children which are engaging and educational. They are presented by specially trained people. There are also some great online activities for children at many institutions and weekend afternoons for families to learn together.
    As well there are some great school programs offered by museums. In Canada at least school classes have opportunities in major centres to see art and engage with this. In some areas there are rural outreach programs.
    I have observed 1st hand how effective these programs are often involving hands on activities and ways of interpreting works of art through movement ,dance creative writing etc . In a former teaching life I have been involved in engaging children through these methods.
    I hope these programs have not been cut in the US

  23. I did not grow up with a family who went to museums….It is hard for me to imagine now. A family took me in when I was 18 who took me to my first art museum. It opened a new world to me. Now whenever my family travels we always stop at the local art museum or other museums. We also often visit our local art museums. When my children were little we played a game of ‘Can You Find ….’. sort of like ‘I Spy’. For example, “Can you find the painting where there is a lady is in a boat looking over her shoulder?” When my son was 3 y.o. he loved horses, so I had him count how many paintings he could find with a horse it. It gives them something to look for…they may not learn about the artist or the painting but they are engaged. As they have gotten older they find paintings of artists they have learned about. We also bring pencils and drawing pads so they can draw at least one painting they liked best.

  24. I remember my mom pointing out the amazing brushwork on a portrait by Frans Hals. We lived about 3 hours from San Francisco so were able to see exhibits from time to time. That and I could always get what I wanted in an art store let me know that art was VERY important. I remember being reduced to tears by a Vermeer one time.

  25. I think I must have been born with a love/appreciation of art. The “hunger” has always been there. I was an adult before I had an opportunity to visit a museum or any other gallery for that matter. The public schools I attended were rural and quite small and offered no visual art exposure. There was limited music provided with a band and choir that I participated in while in high school which I benefitted from and led me to an appreciation and love of music of all types though classical is my favorite. I never wanted to produce music though the way I have a drive to paint.
    My father was a farmer/laborer, my mother a housewife/factory worker. I think my mother however could have been an artist had circumstances been different. She encouraged childhood activities such as making scrapbooks, reading and singing. She quoted and wrote poetry, made our clothes, created quilts and needlework pieces that were quite beautiful. My family did recognize the fact that I liked to draw and it was encouraged. One of my older sisters outfitted me with pastels, charcoal, paper, easel, smock and a couple of “how to draw” books when I was 12 and I was hooked. I had no formal art lessons until I sought them after I finished college. Even though art was not my career I have seriously painted since that time. I can’t be sure but I don’t think I would have been reluctant to go to galleries as a child. I would have shared your 9 yr old’s skepticism about those pieces though.

  26. The scent of Grandma’s oil and acrylic paintings in progress was part of the wonder of growing up painting at her kitchen table. Now it’s my kitchen table that hosts the painting parties for my own children!

    We live and breathe art in our home–hanging on the walls, books full of art history on the shelves, and the kids have their own easels and cupboards full of supplies. We are lucky to live in an area with a thriving artist scene, and visit and participate in local art exhibits and contests for fun. Local fairs are a great way to introduce kids to art appreciation and participation!

    We also enjoy the art displays/galleries at Disneyland–and Studio Ghibli films as well (they are stunningly beautiful!) There are many relatable ways for kids to appreciate art in pop culture.

    After being followed around a museum in San Diego by a security guard while pushing my toddler daughter around in a stroller, I decided to wait a few more years for the bigger museums 🙂

    Love that picture of the 9 year-old in the modern art section–her face says it all!

  27. What wonderful stories! First thank you to Jason for taking your children, and taking their photographs as they reacted. Then thank you to all of you sharing your fascinating individual histories of your art ‘education’. I didn’t send my children to school and part of our lives was to visit museums and art galleries, which they loved. One of my daughters delights in regularly visiting The Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham, where there is a permanent collection and a visiting collection. The permanent one is free to visit and contains some lovely pieces in a beautiful building, built in the 1930s.
    The paintings on the walls as I grew up were by talented family members, and only now after reading comments above have I realised how this influenced me. Thank you all!

  28. My grandparents would take me to the Museum of Fine Arts and Gardner Museum in Boston. I was always awestruck by the bigger than life Egyptian, Greek and Roman statues and sculpture.

  29. I grew up in the Netherlands, but I don’t think I set foot in any art museum as a kid. When I went back a few years ago to visit the family I wanted to go to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. There were a lot of “I want to go too’s” from my family and we ended up going with 14 kids and 7 adults. Surprisingly everyone found something to love at the museum, and we all had a great time. Kids need to be exposed to art in a fun and engaging way in order to appreciate it. Sounds like you’re doing just that.

  30. My dad is a fan of almost any kind of art. He took the family to the St. Louis Art Museum and local art fairs on a regular basis. There was no “dragging” me to the museum…I couldn’t wait to go! I fell in love with the impressionists early because of seeing Monet’s waterlilies. The St. Louis Art museum has one of the panels of the large triptych. Never knew until I was an adult how spoiled I was being able to see it whenever I want for free. I am forever grateful to my dad for exposing me to great works of art as a young child, and for being one of my greatest supporter of my art career.

  31. I think I got it through osmosis, or a gene. My dad was a really good writer and political cartoonist for some Michigan newspapers. Unfortunately he died when I was only 9 so I didn’t benefit long from his talent. But I was forever and still into all aspects of the art world, as well as music. He never played an instrument, but I can still picture him sitting right in front of a record player with his 78’s of early jazz from the 20’s and 30’s… eyes closed, head bobbing.

  32. My dad, Charles F. Keck, was a California plein air watercolor painter. We spent every Sunday “sketching,” which really meant driving out into the farmland that surrounded post-war Los Angeles and (for me) sitting in the back seat of his painting partner’s Chevrolet or wandering down rural roads watching horses and picking up pretty stones while the two artists chased golden light to do three or four pieces. Then there were the evenings of watching knees at gallery openings and Saturdays at LA’s art museums. I always wished I were an artist so I could be part of that wonderful world. Dad told me once that when I could hardly talk, I pointed to “Bird in Flight” and said “birdie.” Maybe, on some level, it has always been true.

  33. I started drawing at a young age but didn’t start painting until I was an adult. My parents were not into art or going to museums so it wasn’t until I was an adult before I saw my first one. I saw the Getty Museum and fell in love of the paintings, dragging my husband to look at them all well at least most of them. A few years later I was able to talk him into taking me to the new Getty Museum and it was great also. Unfortunately our children didn’t get there until they were adults.

  34. As an elementary school teacher, amongst my other degrees, I studied art education with considerable studio work in ceramics, textiles, print making, drawing and painting. While I had always drawn, I hadn’t explored the other media much so the classes and studio time gave me growing confidence to take art to the classroom, where I taught the principles and elements of design and art history to fourth through to seventh grade students, all embedded within a variety of classes. The children gained a vast amount of knowledge, learned to critique and determine the strength of their pieces and the work of others based on this criteria. I would ask the students to “red dot” the three strongest pieces for, for example, value of line. They could speak with considerable knowledge about their choices, transferring the awareness to their own work and to visits to galleries. Art education enriches a person’s life throughout all their years and should never be underestimated for its transferred application. A parent came to me and said, “Why don’t you just let them paint freely, without these ‘lessons’?” I asked her if she would apply the same question to mathematics. There is room for free exploration, I believe that. But a passionate art teacher in an elementary school can open up new worlds to children.

  35. When I was thirteen I accused my mother of “stuffing culture down my throat” because most of our outings consisted of going to a gallery or a museum in our big city. I actually adored these adventures, but I was a budding ‘teen and starting to resist anything and everything adults wanted me to do. (Little did I know that this rebellion was the true start of my life as an artist. I have never done anything but cutting-edge art. I never wanted to be like anyone else, even those glorious artists whose works on the walls of galleries and museums secretly thrilled and inspired me). Luckily, I had parents who preferred that their children grow up to be artists as opposed to doctors or lawyers. And luckily for me, I was an artist, so the exposure to art throughout my childhood was a perfect match. I any case, I champion the cause of all people, everywhere, to look at art, to study it, to make it a part of their lives on a regular basis. David Bowie said “I only buy art now. Art changes my mood every day.” Children need to see this, know it, make it a habit, as adults, to seek out art wherever they go and pass the joy on to their kids. When I was in my early twenties I traveled throughout Europe, and my mother, who sadly passed away the year before I went to Madrid, was surely smiling down at me as I said this little prayer: “Please let the Guardia overlook me and lock me in for the night in the Goya room.”

  36. I like that you mentioned that taking the children to museums will help build a love for art as they grow just like what happened to you. I guess I would have to do that to my children, too. Honestly, I have never had the chance to appreciate art ever since I was a kid because I was never exposed to them. So I wanted my children to have that appreciation at a young age because I, personally, might have low creativity due to that.

  37. Art was always a big part of my life. My father painted, but he was a jack of all trades. I specialized in drawing and painting while growing up. My grade 5 home room teacher encouraged my art which really inspired me since she was an artist in her own right. I new art would be my ultimate destiny since I made my grade 6 teacher cry because of an image I had created using coloured pencil.
    My appreciation for art grew over the years and one of the things I presently do is teach kids in the 8-10 year age range.

  38. We did the same with our children, now ages 20 and 22, and they often say it made them appreciate art. My oldest said he thoroughly enjoyed his Art History course abd did quite well! Your visit to the Cleveland Art Museum and endorsement makes me want to visit!

  39. Myrtle Jones was a Master Artist. She and her husband lived across the lane from me in historic Savannah, Georgia before it became so commercialized. I saw her paintings of Savannah and could not quiet understand why she was a Master. One afternoon I was walking up the street called Factors Walk in historic Savannah and the view up the street became one of Myrtles paintings. Shazam, she had captured the real and emotional Savannah landscapes. Since then I have been able to peruse works of are more closely and allow them to penetrate my consciousness. All paintings my Masters are not particularly master pieces but all are super competent and worth the search for the ones that really POP for you.

  40. So many good stories – my mom was an artist and we would go to the DeYoung in San Francisco almost every weekend. An older time… it was free to get in, and so it didn’t need to be a big expensive organized deal, the way it would be today. She would set up her easel and paint copies and my brother and I would wander the halls. Neither one of those things would be allowed today, either! There was never a problem. We were able to encounter what we liked on our own, and engage with it in our own way. Our self-taught non-lessons in art have stayed with us all our lives. (It helped to have a mom that would say “Look, look! Just seeing isn’t enough!”)

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