At any given time, New York City abounds with an extraordinary selection of exciting art on view for all ages. Of course some exhibitions might be too esoteric or too mature for younger audiences. It’s sometimes overwhelming to navigate through the myriad of possibilities New York art world presents each season. As fall rolls around, I always get to work trying to figure out the what, where and how of the best museum exhibits for parents to enjoy, with or without kids. Here is a selection of a few wonderful new art shows for families to take their kids to this fall and winter.
Ken Price: a Retrospective, , Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through September 22, 2013
Ken Price (1945-2012) was a ceramicist and an artist of ceramics. Ceramics became his medium for creativity and exploration. Kids will love his form of expression to be sure. Bright colors, extraordinary forms, playful concepts, and recognizable shapes. There is so much whimsy here, so much imagination, so many forms to play with. And the show is just the right size for kids, not too big or overwhelming. Great for learning about shapes too. Ages 3 and up.
Soundings: A contemporary Score, MoMA
Through November 3, 2013
What if all you get to see is what you hear? For the first time, ever MoMA has set up an exhibit that presents works by 16 contemporary artists who work with sound as much as they work with imagery. Whether you are sitting on a bench, walking into a room installation, or looking at a wall, you will be presented with, surrounded by, and immersed in the exploration of sounds as they reflect and affect our understanding of the world. This is definitely a multi-sensory approach to art appreciation. Ages 8 and up.
Chagall:Love, War and Exile, Jewish Museum
Through February 2, 2014
This is the first time an exhibition will focus on Marc Chagall’s years in exile first in Paris and then in New York from the 1930s to 1948. Chagall is considered to be one of the most unique modernist artists of the 20th century whose vivid colors and imagery, often stemming from memories of childhood spent in Russia, will easily entice children as much as adults. Ages 5 and up.
Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary 1926-1938, MoMa
September 28, 2013 – January 12, 2014
Renee Magritte (1898-1967) was one of the most important Surrealist artists whose paintings play with the mind and the eye of the beholder through object displacement, dream-like imagery, and transformation. This exhibition will focus on the early years of his artistic output from 1926-1938. Ages 5 and up.
Chris Burden: Extreme Measures, the New Museum
October 2, 2013 – January 12, 2014
This promises to be an exhibit not to be missed. The New Museum is presenting the work of Chris Burden (b. 1946) on all five floors of the building as well as the outside. Chris Burden has used performance art, his own body, and materials as diverse as parts from childhood toys–think erector sets and toy model airplanes–to express his views on the world and political issues. This is the first time in 25 years that such an expansive exhibit will take place in the US. Not everything here will appeal or be understood by younger children, but there will certainly be enough to get them talking and wondering. Ages 10 and up.
Natasha Schlesinger is an NYC mother of three. She is the founder of Artmuse, which offers interactive art tours to both kids and adults, and the co-founder of ArtXplorers, a multimedia arts website for kids.