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Memorable moments at the Michener: A grandfather shares his story

February 2, 2016

We just love it when visitors share with us their experiences at the Michener. This recent note is among our favorites– this is exactly the kind of engaging experience we strive to create for our visitors, no matter what ages they are! Our heartfelt thanks to Byron, who wrote to us to tell us about his recent visit to the Michener with his very young granddaughter:

“Yesterday my 2½ year old granddaughter spent the day with me. We went to the Michener and had a wonderful time! About three hours at the museum. On the way into the building, she loved, and I think was in awe, of the outdoor sculptures.

We spent almost an hour in the area where fabric is woven into the grid on the wall – she was not as much into weaving as to hanging fabric ends, but that was ok. Then we drew a quilt mimicking the green/blue one on the wall and she was so proud to have her artwork hung on the wall and wanted to pose for photos of her with her art. She also liked seeing and feeling the demonstrated three layers of material used to create the quilt … although that did create some necessary admonishment and disappointment that she could not touch the beautiful quilts on exhibition.

We spent over a half hour or more in the area with the pieces of fabric in the plastic boxes that could be hung on the fabric on the walls just outside the quilt exhibition. She really enjoyed going through the boxes and selecting patches of fabric.I was very impressed that she took the boxes off the shelf, selected pieces, and then on her own put the boxes back. I think she must learn that from daycare, but I was pretty impressed that as a two-year-old she had that discipline. We also tried drawing and writing on the handout, but she liked the hands-on activities better.

We spent time at the activity center with quilt jigsaw puzzles, several books, the fun hats – she made me take a photo of myself with a crazy hat! She loved the beautiful staircase and insisted we go downstairs – although there is no longer gallery space there she liked the staircase and the artwork hanging there.

In thinking how to spend the day together I was considering the zoo, PMA, the PAFA, the Academy of Natural Science, the Crayola Factory, and several other places. Michener was the best choice!

She really loved the hanging, dangling colorful group of design “tubes” [A Forest of Glass by Alan Goldstein]. When we went into the area we saw some older women walking through and among them, so I really could not tell her not to do that, but I told her not to touch them, and being little she really did not interact with them but I know she wanted to make them move like wind chimes!

We went into the Paul Grand exhibit and she really liked laying down on the bench. I asked if she was ready for a nap and she just laughed a devilish laugh. Seeing how she liked that, we went to the Nakashima room, which we had passed previously and I had to pull her out to go to the other exhibits. Nakashima has a special place in my heart because my parents took us to meet him and see his studio when we were very, very young, so I am glad she likes the woodwork.

Last, we went into the Impressionist artwork area and for me that was so good because she jumped into the area in center of the seats and just looked around. We spent quite a while there as she looked to find things in the paintings like snow, a sailboat, a young girl in what she said was in a white dress and who she thought looked like her mother (I told her the girl in the painting she was looking at was young and pointed out a women who was a bit older, more like her mother). That area was so nice since I like the paintings and we had fun looking at objects and talking about the paintings.

I wanted to detail our day because it was truly wonderful – for both of us – and I compliment you highly for the displays and the activities you have developed. They are great!

In thinking how to spend the day together I was considering the zoo, PMA, the PAFA, the Academy of Natural Science, the Crayola Factory, and several other places. Michener was the best choice! My granddaughter is somewhat flighty in that she often flits from one activity to another and does not usually concentrate on any one thing for periods of time. But the activities you have created enthralled and enticed her. For that wonderful day, thank you. It’s too bad she lives in New York, otherwise we could spend more visits at the museum and maybe some pre-kindergarten art classes.

…I am so glad we were able to have such a wonderful time together yesterday and look forward to more visits when her family is in the area.”

We look forward to those next visits, too! We invite you to share your own experiences with us, whatever they might be, through any of our social media channels or at ctriantos@michenerartmuseum.org.

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