Now that we are living much closer to San Francisco, I've been trying to get Munch into the city more often. We recently visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The ticket booth was not yet open, so we stopped into Peet's for a latte and a cup of hot chocolate, as it was a typical gray, rainy San Francisco summer morning-
It was fun sitting at a cafe table on the corner and watching, hearing, and feeling all the busy-ness around us.
Once inside the museum (kids 12 years and under are free when accompanied by an adult!), we enjoyed the twinkling lights that hung over the entry. As we ascended the stairs, we could see that the lights actually formed a sort of video screen. One gallery had a lounge area with an interactive presentation where Munch could explore artists and styles, create her own artwork, and even email it so someone. The presentation, based on artist Roy de Forest's Country Dog Gentlemen, is also on the museum's website-
To prepare Munch for our visit, we had talked briefly during the drive over about modern art, the variety of media she would see, and I had her bring a notepad. Munch paused in several galleries to make little sketches of things she saw, but this portrait of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera inspired her to stop and draw for a long time-
The museum actually has a great education center, which we didn't come to until after exploring most of the second floor. However, I'd recommend that families stop in there first to pick up a few Family Guides or a MOMA treasure hunt, which contain fun activities to help keep kids focused and thinking about the artwork during their visit. There are even activities to keep adults entertained during their museum visit, many which have been designed by other guests (such as photograph the strangest item to be checked in to the coat check). Munch also chose to try an art hunt in which she donned a mask and adopted the persona of another character to try to find artwork in the galleries that might appeal to that imaginary character.
Before leaving, we sat and enjoyed this beauty, probably our favorite of the day, Collection by Robert Rauschenberg-