We were among the first visitors at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. It was actually still under construction, but it was a wonderful field trip.
We approached the museum along a half mile Art Trail which has sculptures along it like this one, “Shore Lunch” by Dan Ostermiller. Alice Walton, whose idea the museum was, said, “We hope children will crawl all over him” in an interview with the New Yorker, and we saw lots of children doing just that.
In fact, Crystal Bridges is one of the most kid-friendly art museums we’ve ever visited. Check out their educational programs if you’re in the vicinity, or use their very nice online connection for a virtual field trip when you study American art.
The museum is a series of structures on water. They’re very open, with lots of glass, so they look like bridges of crystal on the water.
Inside the museum are galleries of paintings and sculptures from the earliest Colonial times to the present day, all by American artists.
We enjoyed seeing rare books and artifacts from the time periods of each gallery, as well.
We liked being able to come up close and really look at the exhibits, too.
A visit to an art museum is an essential part of learning about art (and remember, the earth without art is just “eh”), and many kids only have the opportunity to visit art museums through their schools. We hope you’ll encourage your school to plan a field trip to an art museum.
Here are some other resources for virtual art field trips: