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A trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

December 10, 2007

by Jenni Sebora

My family and I, including our three children, Caleb who is 10, Callie who is 7 and Delaney who is 3, recently took a little trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for a day of fun, adventure and learning.

The wonderful arts museum is one of the top comprehensive fine-art museums in the country. It is dedicated to bringing art to life for everyone. And that it does.

It is home to nearly 100,000 works of art, representing more than 5,000 years of world history.

The museum is located at 2400 Third Ave. S., in the same building that houses the Children’s Theater Company, where our family saw the wonderful production of High School Musical.

General admission into the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is free everyday, so the price was definitely right, but the experience is priceless.

We spent approximately two hours touring the three floors. My children and I enjoyed the expansiveness, as well as the architecture of the building itself – the marble floors, wide staircases, massive pillars, water fountain.

On each floor, there are interactive learning stations that are user-friendly and allow you to go behind-the-scenes of the art pieces and explore in greater depth.

Free, guided tours allow you to learn about masterpieces in greater depth as well. And for rent at the visitors’ desk, one can follow an audio tour to get more out of your museum experience.

Now, with young children we did not access any of these services; I would, though, if I were just with other adults. We stuck to the “go your own pace with children aboard” tour, which was fun also. Each of my children had different favorites in the museum.

Our oldest, Caleb, enjoyed the third floor European collections. It was fun for him to find work from artists that he had heard or read about, such as Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Monet.

Now our middle child, Callie, enjoyed the varied artifacts, such as jewelry, beadwork, baskets, sculptures, masks, terracotta figures, etc. from all over the world.

And our youngest, Delaney, enjoyed walking the massive staircases, observing the large fountain and was bewildered by all of the large statues, sculptures, and of course the jewelry that was far “too big for her to wear,” as she said.

All three of them enjoyed the family center that contained some computer programs which allowed them to create their own artwork, including piecing together quilt patterns of their choosing. Now that’s the way to design a quilt.

The third floor included a collection of about 10,000 photographs from 1860 to the present. Photographs from such American photographers as Berenice Abbot, Ansel Adams, and Robert Frank were among the collection. This gallery collection was my husband’s favorite.

As for myself, I enjoy and greatly appreciate the portraits, which included many that focused on Biblical stories. Of course, every portrait and piece of art tells a story. Art is a form of expression, and I am always intrigued by these stories and the history that each piece of art conveys.

Collections in the museum include galleries on Africa, Americas, Asia, Ancient Art, Modern and Contemporary, Pacific Islands, Textiles, Europe, and Photographs. Thus, one could spend hours and hours learning about history and appreciating the extensive number of works of art as well as the time, talent, energy, and thought that went into each piece of art work.

The museum lives up to its goal of “bringing art to life for everyone.”

After our learning rendezvous at the museum, we took a pit stop at Chuck E. Cheese’s for dinner and of course, games.

Christmas trivia

Silent Night is the most popular Christmas carol around the world, but it is also the song that halted a war for a night.

On Christmas Eve during World War I, German soldiers in the trenches held up Christmas trees lit with candles, and a few of the solders began singing Silent Night, “Stille nacht, heilige nacht.”

Shortly after, others along the German line joined in, and then British soldiers, recognizing the melody, also joined them in singing this most beloved song.

Soldiers proceeded to leave the trenches and met in the middle and some of them even exchanged gifts. With an undeclared truce, there was no more fighting for the rest of the night.

Thus, there was “Silent Night” and “Peace on Earth” for that one night in history.

– story taken from http://members.aol.com

May we continue to remember our troops who are serving our country in all parts of the world, and our wish for them and everyone is “Peace on Earth.”