// Click on image below left to view all the artwork.
Nasher Sculpture Center
Joan Miró, Moonbird (1944–46)
This unearthly but approachable creature is a longtime favorite with families visiting the Nasher. For Joan Miró, birds often represented the flight of the imagination. For children, Moonbird is an invitation to conjure up questions and ideas. What is it? Where does it live? What does it sound like? Kids will also be delighted to discover that the sculpture is made up almost entirely of crescent moon shapes.
George Segal, Rush Hour (1983; cast 1985–86)
George Segal made life casts of his friends and family using the type of plaster strips that doctors use to set a broken bone. This sculpture, a monument to ordinary people on a busy city street, captures many lifelike details. Children can look closely to find buttons, buckles, eyelashes and even a wedding ring.
Richard Serra, My Curves Are Not Mad (1987)
Richard Serra’s sculptures are meant to be experienced in person, and this one is a great fit for children who love to explore. As you walk between the tilted, curving walls, the outside world seems to disappear. Kids also love to learn that this sculpture is made from the same kind of weathering steel as a ship and weighs about as much as ten elephants!
Pablo Picasso, Head of a Woman (Tête de femme) (1958)
This sculpture, made from the same kind of concrete you might find in a city sidewalk, is a great way to help kids understand that Pablo Picasso is more than just an artist who puts facial features in unexpected places. Because it’s three dimensional, you can walk around it to see how Picasso shows the same face from several viewpoints at once.
—Anna Smith, Curator of Education
Mark Di Suvero, Ad Astra (2005)
Children love peering up, and down, at Mark Di Suvero’s 48-foot-tall, 12-ton Ad Astra, which sits prominently in two stories of NorthPark Center’s NorthCourt. The massive-scale sculpture is constructed primarily from industrial I-beams that are welded and bolted together. “Ad astra” means “to the stars,” and the sculpture reaches high to the ceiling only inches from the top.
Jonathan Borofsky, Five Hammering Men (1982)
Jonathan Borofsky’s Five Hammering Men are mesmerizing as they work tirelessly swinging their hammers back and forth. The sculptures symbolize the worker in all of us and the ability of us to use our minds and hands to create the world.
Joel Shapiro, 20 Elements (2004)
Children are drawn to this playful wooden sculpture by Joel Shapiro that resembles large colorful building blocks. It’s a bold piece in red, green, yellow, blue and black with varying sizes of blocks joined together.
—Kristen Gibbins, NorthPark Center
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Richard Serra, Vortex (2002)
Vortex by Richard Serra announces that you’re here, at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth! The way the scupture is built makes it an echo chamber and therefore somewhat unique because it can be experienced through sound as well as sight. All of this of course makes Vortex a favorite of kids visiting the Modern. As Serra’s contemporary, artist Carl Andre commented when seeing kids clapping, stomping and singing in Vortex, “they are playing the Serra.”
Roxy Paine, Conjoined (2007)
Conjoined is made of stainless steel and sits across the pond from the Modern’s entrance, so it is one of the first things you see when you enter the museum. The stories that kids find in these two shiny trees whose branches are reaching out to embrace or perhaps battle each other stay with them, making their encounter with Conjoined one of those childhood memories we all appreciate looking back on.
Cy Twombly, Untitled (Rome) (1997)
Untitled (Rome) is an unassuming sculpture that sits in the Modern’s lobby near coat check. It is made of bronze but with close inspection it is clear that what is now bronze was once something else. The artist invites kids in close to explore with their eyes and discover what seems like a special secret. Untitled (Rome) reminds me of one of those things you see out of the corner of your eye in nature or on a crowded city street. The way it is discovered adds to its meaning and to a child’s personal experience with the piece.
Henry Moore, Two-Piece Reclining Figure No. 2 (1960)
Henry Moore was very interested in the human figure and spaces between. “Spaces between” is an aspect of the sculpture that is best understood when you see the bronze figure made of two parts in person and realize both the relief and the tension the artist creates with that gap between the parts. Being an outdoor sculpture allows kids to gently touch the bronze and closely peer through that “space between,” offering a different relationship from the works in the galleries that are to be explored with their eyes alone.
—Terri Thornton, Curator of Education
Kimbell Art Museum
Michelangelo Buonarroti, The Torment of Saint Anthony (1487–88)
Children are always amazed to learn that this picture was painted by one of the world’s most famous artists — when he was only 12 or 13 years old. Michelangelo’s flying demon monsters and Saint Anthony’s predicament tend to inspire a lot of curiosity. Family conversations may include questions like “What is the Saint Anthony’s reaction?” or “What different animal parts did the artist use for those monsters?”
Frederic Leighton, May Satoris (1860)
This painting is a favorite for children who are learning about how artists use colors, lines and shapes to direct attention in a composition. The subject of dressing up for portraits is also part of Miss May’s allure, thanks to that striking red scarf, gorgeous plumed hat and the long riding skirt. Adults may also invite children to consider questions like "What clues tell us the season?" and "What costume or outfit would YOU choose for your portrait?"
Kneeling Statue of Senenmut, Chief Steward of Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18 (c. 1473–1458, B.C.)
One of three notable ancient Egyptian sculptures in the Kimbell's permanent collection, this portrait depicts a man who was an architect, royal tutor, treasurer, and close advisor to the female pharaoh Hatshepsut! Older children are excited to recognize hieroglyph writing, as well as the typical ancient Egyptian braided wig, kohl eyeliner and beard. All ages enjoy investigating its many visual clues (and a few mysteries).
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, The Cardsharps (c. 1595)
Adults get a lot of mileage by simply asking, “What is going on in this picture?” And children love following Caravaggio’s storytelling clues — the eyes and hand movements in particular — to suggest character roles, plots and subplots. This suspenseful painting also lends itself to a family discussion about “good” and “bad” choices, as the artist invites us to the table to contemplate how we may act in a similar situation.
Figurine of a Standing Dignitary, Wari culture, Peru, (600–1000)
This colorful figure is small but has a big presence that draws children in for a close-up look. Families can make a game of counting all the different materials used to create this object, and imagining the powerful Wari ruler who once wore it as a pendant. Be sure to check out the bold patterns in his square tunic — are they llamas, or large cat heads with open mouths?
—Connie Hatchette Barganier, Education Manager
Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Grant Wood, Parson Weems’ Fable (1939)
Grant Wood’s painting Parson Weems’ Fable puts a humorous twist on the oft-repeated tale of George Washington chopping down a cherry tree. Children love sharing their ideas about why boy Washington has an old man’s head, who the man is holding the curtain, and why Wood (of American Gothic fame) focused on this patriotic subject.
Georgia O’Keeffe, Red Cannas (1927)
You can see six paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe at the Amon Carter, and Red Cannas highlights her ability to help us recognize the beauty in objects we encounter every day, but seldom notice closely. When viewed in such high magnification, children notice the unique shape of each petal and the different shades of red, while reflecting on the beauty in their daily lives.
Frederic S. Remington, The Broncho Buster (1895)
Frederic Remington’s bronze sculpture The Broncho Buster transports children to the American West where cowboys worked the range. Remington’s artistic choices cause children to feel the energy of this action-packed moment and consider whether the cowboy will remain in the saddle.
Thomas Cole, The Hunter’s Return (1845)
The American landscape has inspired artists for centuries, and Thomas Cole was no exception. The Hunter’s Return celebrates the five elements that he felt were essential for all landscape paintings — water, mountains, sky, forests and wildness. Children are surprised to learn that this rustic, rugged scene in New England was considered the frontier at the time it was created.
—Stacy Fuller, Director of Education
// Visit the Amon Carter’s Information Desk in Ocotober to check out a special interactive activity bag about this painting and three more they picked specifically for DFWChild families.
Meadows Museum at SMU
Jaume Plensa, Sho (2007)
The monumental sculpture at the main entrance of the Museum is a portrait of a young Chinese girl, Sho, whom the artist met in Barcelona where his studio is located. At night, Sho is lit from underneath, so that the work radiates with the same “energy” that the artist feels is emitted from people. Kids of all ages enjoy looking at the plaza surroundings through the wire mesh head to speculate about what Sho might be thinking.
Joan Miró, The Circus (1937)
This colorful, playful work evokes a feeling of innocence and simpler times. Children enjoy identifying objects, colors and numbers which have no particular significance; the artist simply drew the numbers because he enjoyed their shape. A fun question that might arise: What do you doodle and why?
Diego María Rivera, Portrait of Ilya Ehrenburg (1915)
The artist used different materials to build up the texture of this abstract portrait of a Russian ex-pat the artist met while living in Paris. It is fun to talk about this period in history, when artists (such as Picasso and Gris), writers and great thinkers from around the world moved to Paris and shared new ideas that would re-shape history.
Anthonis Mor, Portrait of Alessandro Farnese (1561)
This work was created 453 years ago and depicts a young, 16-year-old boy who had incredible responsibilities and through his court appointment became a hero in the history of Spain.
—Carmen Smith, Ph.D., Director of Education
Crow Collection of Asian Art
Upper Floors of the Façade of a “Haveli” or Private Palace, North India, Rajasthan, Mughal period (1526–1756)
Look! You won’t believe your eyes when you visit the collection’s Grand Gallery and see the massive upper floors of the façade of an Indian haveli. Wonder at how this sandstone architectural beauty got into the museum and take a closer look to see geometric and nature-themed details hand-carved by hundreds of craftsmen over four hundred years ago.
Deified Laozi, China, late Ming dynasty (1368–1644), 17th century
Touch! While you won’t be able to touch the Deified Laozi bronze sculpture located in the fountain near the entrance to the museum, you can touch the water that it so elegantly occupies. Notice the subject’s clothing, pose, and facial expression that offer many clues to the identity and cultural significance of this beautiful sculpture.
Bell, Japan, Edo period (1615–1868), cast with commemorative inscription dated 1863
Hear! Located in the museum’s sculpture garden, Bell from the Edo period (1603–1868) in Japan is a working cast bronze large bell. Before you take your turn striking the bell with the suspended wood beam, try and find the dragons, lotus flowers and text located on the bell surface. Can you believe bells like this one were typically rung 108 times at the start of the New Year?
Head of a Buddha, China, Northern Qi dynasty (A.D. 549–577) or Sui dynasty (A.D. 581–618)
Discover! While Head of a Buddha is a fairly new addition to the Crow Collection, this carved marble sculpture is over 14 centuries old! It is unknown how the body of this sculpture was positioned; however, we can see the care that was taken by the artist(s) on the detail of the snail-like swirls that depict the hair, elongated earlobes, half-smile, and the half-closed eyes that convey a meditative peace.
—Jill VanGorden, Director of Education
Dallas Museum of Art
Jackson Pollock, Cathedral (1947)
Jackson Pollock’s Cathedral is a great painting to use when engaging children because it is all about exploration, personal expression and creativity. Pollock pushed artistic boundaries by placing his canvases on the ground when painting, and would deliberately fling, drip and splatter paint in a way that expressed the energy, power and ambition of the growing American art scene and post-World War II culture of the 1940s and ’50s.
Robert Delaunay, Eiffel Tower (1924)
Eiffel Tower, painted by Robert Delaunay in 1924, is an excellent example of European modern art. The vivid colors and simple shapes will catch the eye of children of all ages, while the bird’s-eye-view of the Eiffel Tower is a great jumping-off point for exploring concepts such as perspective, technology, mapping, geometric and organic shapes, as well as the cultural significance of this historic landmark.
Spouted Vessel with Tubular Handle: Macaw Effigy, Moche, Peru, South America, Early Intermediate Period (A.D. 100–300)
The Dallas Museum of Art’s family mascot, Arturo, is based on the Spouted Vessel with Tubular Handle: Macaw Effigy in our Pre-Columbian gallery. Shaped like a bird, this vessel makes for an interesting brainstorm about how the vessel may have been used, as well as a discussion surrounding the concept of form versus function. The recognizable bird form of this object makes for a fun ‘eye-spy’ game as children hunt for the object on which Arturo is based.
Vishnu as Varaha, Madhya Pradesh, India (10th century)
It’s a boar, it’s a man, it’s Vishnu! This tenth-century sculpture shows the Hindu god Vishnu rescuing the earth goddess Prithvi from being drowned by a demon. The figure’s energetic stance and superhero qualities naturally lend themselves to lively discussions about what it means to be heroic and inspire children to pose like the statue and imagine why the artist chose to capture our hero in this particular moment.
—Amanda Blake, Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences