"What do you notice about this painting?" asks
"It has a real step on it," says one child.
"The people look almost life-size," adds another.
"There's a lot of shadows," says a third.
The use of light and shadow, a step protruding from the bottom and realistically painted figures create a trompe l'oeil effect, Smith tells the children. She explains that the painting technique creates the optical illusion that the objects are three-dimensional.
"They tell a story that
The tour was part of Art Splash, a summer family program that has returned to the museum for its second year. The tour is one of two offered twice daily, one for ages 6 to 10 and the other for ages 3 to 5.
In 2013 the program was held in the museum's
"They didn't realize it would be such a hit," Smith says, "and already had an exhibition scheduled for the Perelman for this summer. So they decided to bring it to the main building."
This year's Art Splash is focused around 10 masterpieces -- including Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" and
"Art Splash 2014: Meet the Masterpieces" is the brain child of
Art Splash offers gallery explorations, hands-on studio art making and performances.
Children 3 to 5 years old hear readings of gallery-related picture books and can participate in art projects on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The museum also holds Baby Bird Playdate, a program for babies and toddlers that includes circle time and art walks on Tuesday and Friday mornings. The tot area offers miniature chairs and tables, brightly colored pillows and stacks of picture books and blocks.
Around the museum, exploring each masterpiece is like a mini-adventure.
At the 13th century cloister brought to the museum from the Monastery of Saint-Remi in
At the ceremonial tea house, brought from
"The tea house and cloister are spaces that are almost like play spaces," Smith says. "Children really enjoy exploring them."
At Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" and
At the end of their visit, children are encouraged to leave notes about what sparked their imagination on a "share wall." Finished artwork is displayed in a video slide-show.
Art Splash: Meet the Masterpieces
-- How much:
-- Info: philamuseum.org/artsplash, 215-763-8100
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