This month the Utah Museum of Fine Art has free admission on Saturdays as part of its “Art & Science” program for families. Each weekend features different art activities and science experiments based on different elementals (fire, air, water, earth). Naturally, I had to take advantage.
Here’s the big reason why: the UMFA has a “real live mummy,” as Jeffrey puts it.
He was actually kind of appalled that the mummy wasn’t in a Natural History Museum, like the mummies in Pittsburgh were. “Call President Obama!” he insisted. “The mummy should go in the natural history museum!” When I told him that the President of the U.S. wasn’t in charge of such things, he was doubly appalled. What was the point of being President when you couldn’t decide where mummies should go?
Eleanor brought along a sketchbook and her colored pencils. This African mask was the only thing she took time to draw. (I can’t find her notebook today, or else I’d have shown the drawing, too.) The exhibit label said the mask was used as part of girls’ coming-of-age ceremonies. Oh, and that big foreheads and neck folds were considered attractive by that culture.
We went on a treasure hunt to find art pieces related to the element “water,” like this ancient Indian carving of a river goddess:
Both kids insisted on getting their picture taken with the samurai armor. Jeffrey and I watched The Seven Samurai a few weeks ago, and he’s still jazzed about it.
My favorite part was the time we spent in the art room. The kids were encouraged to make watercolor paintings of cloud landscapes, and all the volunteer docents were out in full force. Therefore, even though there were lots of families there, the whole thing was organized and fun.
Eleanor spent a long time carefully crafting a cloud landscape. Jeffrey painted two landscapes in record time, and as he finished each one, he would hold it up and declare, “there it is! MY MASTERPIECE!”
There’s one more free weekend at the museum this month, so if you have the means, I highly recommend going! It was a blast.