Recently, we had the opportunity to review a fantastic art curriculum, AND we're starting a unit on the Renaissance immediately following Spring Break. So, since it was supposed to rain for most of break, we decided to take a stay-cation, and visited several art museums in the Tulsa area. They ran the gamut from religious to historical to modern, and the boys definitely had preferences... Here is an art museum unit study, with lots of free resources!
Art Museum Resources
If you're planning your own art museum trip, here are a few resources to create a unit study...
We visited the Philbrick Museum on St. Patrick's Day (hence the green mustache), and this was the favorite museum out of them all. Kids under 12 are free, and the admission for adults is quite reasonable. Since we were studying the Renaissance, we started in that section of the museum.
The museum also has an "art box" program. On their first visit, kids get a very nice box to hold art supplies, along with several starter supplies. Each time that they return to the museum, they will get whatever is the 'supply of the month' to add to their kit. And it's all free! Even if the museum hadn't been so great, it would have been worth the admission for the art boxes alone.
We headed upstairs to see the art from ancient history. There is only one room dedicated to Egypt, Rome, and Greece, which was kind of a bummer, but they did have some great medieval weaponry!
Can we just take a moment to appreciate the gorgeous gardens out back of this home?!? This home belonged to the Phillips family (think : Conoco Phillips) back in the 1930's, before they donated it to the museum society. Imagine having this to stroll around in the evening!
We headed down the rock path to the ponds and gazebo. There is also a river that runs around the perimeter of the property. Such a fantastic walk! There are several sculptures around this path that range from the beautiful to the bizarre...
The entryway has beautiful stained glass windows with an intriguing Star of David chandelier. There is a replica synagogue inside, and my youngest (our little preach-in-training) immediately headed up to the altar to give a sermon!
There is a large section of the museum dedicated to the Holocaust, and while we visited that area, we did not stay very long. When the boys are older, we will spend more time on this topic. Until then, I answered what few questions they had and we moved forth. It should be noted, though, that the section is great for older kids and adults.
The art in the museum ranges from traditional to fantastic. There is a beautiful cross-stitch representing many Jewish symbols, and then there are the chairs, where you can actually sit in the hand of Yahweh. (Only metaphorically, since no one is allowed to touch.)
I liked how there were areas of the museum dedicated to each of the holidays and events on the Jewish calendar. The kids recognized many of the Chanukah symbols, as they have been hooked on the dreidal game for years. (Quite the little chocolate gamblers, actually...) They were also very interested in the Passover section, since we recently finished a unit on Ancient Egypt.
Finally, we hit the mezzanine, where the current exhibit is Purim masks made by local school children. The masks were part of a contest, and each of the boys picked out their favorite. You can learn more about the history and symbolism of Purim atJewish Kids.
Our last stop was at the Philbrick Museum's downtown affiliate. This was the most disappointing of the three that we visited, mostly because it was so small. Though there are two floors to this museum, it was filled primarily with modern art. I suppose the dislike of modern and abstract art is inherited, because the kids didn't appreciate it anymore than my husband or I did. One said, "He got paid to paint a black rectangle? I could do THAT!"