All Ages (and Critics) Welcome

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9.4-urban-archeologyI chuckled when I saw Lisa Sorg’s “Urban Archaeology” column in the September 4th issue of IndyWeek. From our 2008 exhibition Circa 1958, Lisa had saved a piece of paper that she’d found in one of the galleries with notes from an elementary school student who had visited the show. Evidently, art by Robert Rauschenberg, Kenneth Noland, Bruce Conner, Ed Kienholz, and other titans of contemporary American art had left this student thoroughly unimpressed (see left image).

(But, wait. Look at #11! You can’t help wonder if the writer in question might be actually considering whether a particular piece of art might work in his or her home. A different size and we might have had a winner…)

This “excavated” list of criticisms reminded me of how much fun I have reading the comments that children leave in the comment book that we have in our lobby. Though not presented specifically for children, kids seem to have no problem expressing themselves in it.

Here are a couple of my favorites (I can’t be sure that these were written by children, of course, but these sound like kids’ sentiments, at least to me):



And then appeared, on the adjacent page, a second opinion:


To each his own.

Sometimes visitors love what they see and want more. Maybe this young visitor will one day underwrite a larger building for the Ackland’s collection!

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Parents and caregivers, please bring your small ones to the Ackland. Look at the art together. Talk about it. Try to guess what motivated the artist to make the choices that they did. And encourage your kids to leave a comment about what they liked and didn’t like during their visit. We’ll all be interested to read what they have to say. ♥


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