What We’re Reading to You: “The Museum” by Susan Verde

FWMoA’s volunteer docents usually lead tours for our visiting school, daycare, and summer camp groups; and while we’re not sure when those activities will resume in person, they’ve started working on creating programming for our youngest audiences from their homes! “What We’re Reading to You” will feature their readings of children’s books, many geared towards preschool and early elementary, along with a related activity to engage in at home. The first installment features Susan Elser, who happens to be FWMoA’s Docent of the Year for her six years of service to the museum. You can read about Susan and last year’s honoree Michael Greene in this Docent Dialogue. The fact that Susan and all of the docents were so willing (even excited!) to participate in this project speaks to their dedication, and we’re so happy to continue sharing their friendly faces with our community.

Here is Susan reading The Museum by Susan Verde with art by Peter H. Reynolds. Keep watching and see below for guidelines on making your own museum at home!

I loved Susan’s reading of The Museum and hope you did too! I hope it left you inspired to visit the museum! While you can now visit us in person again, you can also do so online through our virtual and video tours. This book, The Museum, is great because it shows us that there’s no right or wrong way to look at a work of art. Think back to all the different ways our friend in the book responded to the artworks she saw: she did so by moving her body, by sketching or writing, and just by thinking and wondering about it.

I want you to do the same! Visit the museum in person or online and choose one work of art that draws your attention. Respond first by moving your body however you feel! Then, take out your pencil (no ink or crayon in the galleries, please!) and sketch or write about what you see. Finally, think about the artwork. How does it make you feel? What do you wonder about it? Share your thoughts and have a conversation with someone around you.

Many of us also have art in our homes. Maybe you’ve created a lot during this extended period at home, or maybe there is artwork by other people hanging on the wall. We can respond in the same ways to that art, and we can also make a museum in our home!

With each artwork displayed at FWMoA, we include certain basic information: the artist’s name and birth year, their nationality, the title of the artwork, its medium or the materials used to make it, and the year it was made. Viewers can learn a lot just from this information, but sometimes we include some extra text with specific details about the artwork, why it was made, historical information, or information about the artist’s life.

Choose the artworks you’ll include in your museum, label them, then choose a few of these to write a bit more about. What do you think your viewers would want to know? What do you know that you’d like to share?

Once all the art in your museum is labeled, give your visitors (your family) a tour! Share why you chose the art you did and ask them to think and respond to it too.

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