Thursday, May 21, 2015

Morning at the Museum

With time ticking away for our chance to see a special free art exhibition in our area with a small chunk of Impressionists on display, I decided today was the day to go. Hubby was super-depressed his work schedule was too consuming to join us, but he was happy the kids would be able to go.

We have studied Renoir in the past and this term are enjoying the works of Monet. I use the Simply Charlotte Mason Picture Study Portfolios because I just love the added benefit of having the artist's life story in a wonderful narrative already included.

Upon arrival to the museum, I reminded the children I wanted them to see if they could spy a Renoir or a Monet without getting so close as to read the descriptive. I also reminded them to be on the hunt for their favorite painting to tell me about.

children should learn reading, not books, but pictures themselves.
A Philosophy of Education, Vol 6: p 214

I was just about overcome with emotion when Royal said, "Mama, that looks like Renoir's son. You know, the one that was upset he had to dress up in a clown costume?" (See this post about our Renoir study.)


Renoir's Claude Renoir, a portrait of his grandson


And then further along Alice started squealing because she saw this painting that reminded her of another painting of a train station she had seen of Monet's. And lo-and-behold, it was a Monet! I was just about to cry with joy!!!

Monet's Saint-Lazare Station

(I would have taken another photo with her eyes open, but then I was told I couldn't take pictures). Sniff-sniff.


We took our drawing books with us to sketch before leaving the museum.

Despite these two exciting discoveries, both Royal and Alice chose another painting as their favorite of this exhibit (also by an Impressionist, though). It is Camille Pissarro's Close to the Pond, Kew Gardens. Of course by this time I knew I was not allowed to take photos, so there are no more to share.


Unfortunately, for the life of me I cannot find this painting online to post here for you all to see! Maybe it is quite the rarity, I don't know. But this is where we owe it to Charlotte Mason for passing along the technique of studying a piece of art until we can see it in the gallery of our mind. Even now, I can just close my eyes and see it before me. It is there.

[the mother] carries about with her just such a picture-gallery;
for whenever she sees anything lovely or interesting, she looks at it until she has the picture in her "mind's eye"; 
and then she carries it away with her, her own for ever, a picture "on view" just when she wants it.
Home Education, Vol 1: pp 49-50

Royal's sketch of Pissarro's Close to the Pond, Kew Gardens

All in all, this morning at the museum was a phenomenally successful one!

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