I had a lovely lunch/book discussion with a friend today in which , as I pointed out that my kids basically watch tons of tv after school, she pointed out that our weekends always seem to be filled with stuff. That does make me feel better. There’s room for culture, but also room for tv (which is pop culture, so..) Anyway, this was a good weekend of stuff. On Saturday we went to the Princeton Art Museum, which is located right on the campus. We’ve been there a couple of times before but this time was definitely the best, and as Clark said “the most fun I’ve ever had an art museum. This was great!” It was Family Day, which meant not only was it free, but also there were great activities. We began our visit with the first one, which was a scavenger hunt on the lower level of the museum, which houses the ancient Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and Mayan antiquities. Each of the kids received a deck of 15 cards which had pictures on them. As you visited the galleries you looked for the pictured object and once found received a matching card. By the end of you have a beautiful set of Memory matching cards (one of Tabby’s favorite games) in a nice case. I mean, look how nice this is:
Whenever I look at these antiquities I can’t help but to continuously exclaim things like ‘Look! this is from the FIFTH century!” My mind is just blown thinking about the age of some of these objects, and my imagination goes wild thinking about the person who created it and the place the lived in when they did.
When we finished the lower galleries we headed up to the main floor where there was an activity to tie in to an exhibit about cities. using colored paper, scissors, and a long white background, kids created a cityscape of their real or imagined neighborhood. One of the best things about these activities (in addition to the super nice and engaged volunteers and museum staff who really seem to care about connecting kids with art) is that you are doing them right next to masterpieces of valuable art. You’re not off in a separate room somewhere.
After that we availed ourselves of the complimentary refreshments (finger sandwiches! cheese and crackers!) and I about went nuts over the fact that it was like a grand picnic with families and groups of people all sitting on the floor of this gallery (the food and drink were confined to the one room) with great works of art right next to us. I liked to imagine that’s what it would be like to be a millionaire in the olden days. Oh this? It’s just my Childe Hassam in the parlor where we have afternoon tea. (See: above my head slightly to the right is Childe Hassam’s Rainy Day 5th Avenue.)
After that we visited the rest of the galleries (Picasso! Hieronymous Bosch! Kandinsky! Monet!) and the kids made puzzles out of cut up postcards and popsicle sticks. To finish there was cookie decorating. Art on cookies + a snack, all in one. It was truly a delightful afternoon.
Meanwhile, at home, I’ve been busy getting into the garden and enjoying not only the openness of the front porch and the additional light in the family room from the absence of the tree, but also watching our roadwork continue. The peonies are all in bud, the poor rhododendron has just one branch blooming.
I really don’t know what to think about the rest of it. A total goner?
I’ve been busy getting annuals in the containers, and they are looking bright and cheerful.
Yesterday I attacked the pond area and dug up a humongous lily that was just too overpowering. The various delicate iris around the pond are about to bloom and the few giant ruffled ones in the front of the house have just opened up.
It really is a beautiful time of year and we’re just getting into the “end of year” activities: field trips, concerts, Memorial Day parade, and so on. The sounds of the outdoors are a true pleasure right now, too. We’ve got a couple different nest of baby birds near the house, and we especially enjoy watching the tireless mother bird fetch food for her very noisy offspring in the owl box (baby squirrels, baby birds, no owls.)
And here’s a dose of Gordon!