Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Story Behind the Picture

The audio tour is a wondrous invention.  We walked into the National Gallery.  Ten minutes later the kids declared it boring.  I had spied an audio tour for kids when we came in and I suggested that we get it.  Big protests.  I had to promise gelato afterwards.  

I got the Director's tour, the kids got the Family Tour.  Ten minutes later I had to go back and upgrade Ev and Clem's to Director.  The nice man told us how to switch back and forth between the two tours.  Even Greta, above, listened to both.  

What I love about audio tours is that they help you see.  Would I have seen the woman in the painting above, "Ill-Matched Lovers", slipping the old guy's purse to an accomplice without the tour?  Probably not.

We listened to the stories within the paintings and the stories behind the paintings.  The portrait below, of Giuliano de Medici, for instance, was probably made from a death mask, as the subject was too dead to sit for the portrait (assassinated in the Florence Cathedral).
Portrait by Sandro Botticelli.

Later, Greta would tell a friend, "My favorite thing was the triptych that was SO old.  It had 3 parts and two fold over the other one and protect it.  Because of that (gesturing enthusiastically) it was COMPLETELY intact.  The colors were SO bold."

After two and a half hours we reluctantly gave up our listening devices.  The gelato booth had closed.  And no one cared.

Ha ha, just kidding, we had to go out on the mall and find some ice cream.  Audio tours are great, but not so great that they'll make a kid forget the promise of ice cream.


AM said...

Charming picture!

What does _Mindset_ say about motivation through ice cream?

Karen said...

The first audio tour I ever took was years ago at the Museum of Laughter in Montreal, Canada, and it totally rocked my world.
I'm glad you had such a good experience, I *might* give more thought to art museums more (with the kiddos) if I know that they offer the audio tour.
Loooove your banner, btw!