Sunday, 2 March 2008

Visiting the Joan Miró Foundation with the Children

One thing which we really like about schools here is how the teachers let famous Catalan personalities inspire the children. Already as a three-year-old, did our oldest son start to explore the works of Joan Miró, among others the huge sculpture Dona i Ocell (Woman and Bird) and it must have made quite an impression on him. Last Friday, he brought home a clay version of it from school and he had made it on his own initiative. We are, of course, as proud as only parents can be.

To feed his imagination, last weekend we brought both our children to the Fundació Joan Miró on the Montjuic. Due to bad planning, we had to start with a lunch there, which I do not recommend. My wife and I enjoyed the unexpectedly elaborate dishes, but our children did not. Nor is the restaurant layout particularly child friendly.

When it was finally time to visit the collection, we had already made plans to take turns with the children, but did not have any problems to enjoy it together. The two-year-old liked the wide corridors and was particularly exited with the small outdoor area. His older brother topped that by showing a bit of interest in the art as well, above all for the big and colourful pieces.

At the reception, visitors with children can ask for the leaflet ‘Miró en família’. It is in Catalan (we never checked whether it was available in other languages) and, among other things, gives a list of details for your children to identify in the paintings and sculptures – the typical three hairs, two different kinds of stars, the moon and, yes, even the vulva, of which Miró’s art admittedly offers a generous amount.

The visit made our oldest one feel just as inspired as we had hoped for. As soon as we came back home he asked for his scissors, his felt pens, and glue and paper and then concentrated on work. About half an hour later he proudly presented the result: an AVE train. Well, at least it was painted in many colours.

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