For centuries, artists have been captivated by the miracle of childhood. Woodmere Art Museum’s newest exhibition is an ode to growing up.
For centuries, artists have been captivated by the miracle of childhood. Woodmere Art Museum’s newest exhibition is an ode to growing up, complete with ways to play as well as opportunities to look and learn.
‘Kidding Around: Children in Art’, curated from Woodmere’s existing collection by Rick Ortwein, Rachel Hruszkewycz and Hildy Tow opens Saturday Feb. 18. The show is designed to delight everyone who is young at heart – no matter their actual age.
“With Kidding Around, we have the opportunity to organize a show with great works of art from renowned artists that inspires adults and children alike,” said William Valerio, museum CEO. “This exhibition allows families to enjoy a museum experience that fascinates all ages.”
The exhibit itself features numerous portraits of children, as well as depictions of children playing a wide range of activities – climbing trees, playing with toys, enjoying tea parties, petting animals, and eating cotton candy. These works will be accompanied by several specially crafted wall labels specifically written to spark the curiosity and engagement of young children – a label may feature a color drawn from somewhere in the referenced painting, for instance, and ask that children spot that color in the work of art.
Works included are pieces by Cecilia Beaux, Sam Brown, Allan Edmunds, Grace Evans, Helen Corson Hovenden, Jerome Kaplan, Alice Neel, Edith Neff, Jerry Pinkney, Jessie Willcox Smith, Zoe Strauss, and Newell Convers (N.C.) Wyeth.
But the biggest hit with little ones may well be the additional activities the museum has planned. The Little Circus, for instance, will bring their unique juggling and tightwire acts to perform astounding aerial artistry in an interactive performance. There will also be a scavenger hunt as well as artmaking classes.
Housed in a 19th-century stone mansion on six acres in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, Woodmere’s collection and programming is dedicated to the art and artists of Philadelphia.
Throughout the year, the museum offers family events, tours, gallery talks, lectures, panel discussions, studio art classes, film, and music performances. Admission is $10 and free on Sunday.
Kidding Around: Children in Art from Woodmere's Collection is on view through May 14, 2023. For more information go to woodmereartmuseum.org.