ROCK THAT MUSUEM, KID! | Post by Mille

Anyone who follows me on Instagram will know that art is a big part of my life. I spend a lot of time in museums and galleries and I tend to bother (spam?) my followers with photos of my daughters against the backdrop of a new exhibition or favorite work of art. Before I became a mother, I used to see a lot of art, so after I had the girls, I just started bringing them along.

Babies are wonderful, but they aren't always easy to hang out with. We were off to a somewhat rocky start in the art world, the girls and I, but at least I can laugh about it now (NOT then!). I've survived everything from diaper crisis with two small kids ­ one walking, one crawling ­ in a museum bathroom, to having old ladies stare at me disapprovingly when I came storming through the museum with a screaming baby on my arm, chasing after my two­year­old who saw something interesting on a pedestal and wanted to touch it/taste it/vandalize it. However, I kept at it, and, with time, we became much better at being cultural together and, by now, we hardly ever vandalize anything.

As a kid I was often taken to museums. Since I was very young, I felt a connection to art and I always felt at home in museums – I relax there. I feel that art enriches my life, makes it more beautiful and exciting as well as teaching me about other people and what their life might look like. For isn't art really just someone else's inner life turned inside out for the rest of us to see? At least I like to think so and if this is true, there is so much to be learned from being around art ­ for grownups and children both.

I mean, once in a while we can all be tempted to go for the standard cliché of 'I could've made that!' (yeah maybe, but you didn't!), but to me one of the most important qualities of art is to broaden our horizon and make us think about something we might have taken for granted. And that's something I would love to teach my children.

I went to Berlin a couple of weeks ago and I took Olivia (4) to see an exhibition that included a small painting by Jackson Pollock. Olivia and I have talked a lot about Pollock since we saw his work at Lousiana Museum of Modern Art and I told her that he used to throw the paint around like a crazy person. She was instantly fascinated! So, in the Berlin museum I pointed to the small painting and asked her who did that – and she looked at me and said 'Pollock, mom'. I was delighted (and so were the three old ladies behind us who overheard our conversation – they kept following us through the rest of the exhibition). 
About a month ago I started the Instagram profile @RockThatMuseumKid, which is all about art and children in museums. I think it's so important that we inspire each other to try something new, and for many parents a trip to the museum with a baby/toddler/teenager (don't even know what's scarier??!) is something unfamiliar and maybe a little dangerous. What I do with my girls when we're at the museum is to tell them stories about what's in the paintings. Not all of them, but I pick one that has something interesting for a kid and then we just talk about it. I ask questions like 'what do you think this is?' and 'doesn't that cat look weird – why do you think that is?'. Kids are actually really good at this and they think it's fun if their parents play along. Most kids just love the idea of hanging out with their parents and if they can even get their full attention (away from smartphones, iPads and Tvs) then a little art discussion is a small price to pay ;)
What @rockthatmuseumkid is all about is inspiring each other to expose our kids to some art and teach them that art can be fun, interesting and important. If you wanna help, use the hashtag #rockthatmuseumkid and you'll get the chance to be featured on the profile. Good luck to all you adventurous and art loving parents out there, and hopefully we'll be rocking the art world with our little ones soon enough!Mille follow Mille at @missmillemaria and at @rockthatmuseumkid
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