In a moment of parenting idealism, I decided to take my two kids, by myself, to your Chuck Close exhibit. After all, it was a rainy Sunday and you do have a kids’ area. I thought they would be inspired. At the very least I wanted to creatively kill some time. Perhaps I should mention that my kids are 2 and 4.
Really, it’s the 4-year-old I was worried about. She’s the wild one. But recently, I’ve been able to reason with her. And the 2-year-old never wanders far. So I thought I was in the clear.
In fact, we had toured the museum, made art in the kids’ area and had gone back to compare a our work to that in the exhibit, all without incident. I’ll admit I was so confident in my parenting skills that I let the kids run 3 circles in the empty back room. You can probably watch it in your video surveillance. Note how they immediately stop when I ask them to. See how I cheerily tell them it’s time to go home.
Now here is where my 2-year-old shouts “Yay! HOME!” and bolts… right into a floor exhibit consisting of tiny bits of paper painstakingly arranged into a huge mandala pattern.
I’m not sure if I should admit this, but watching his feet fly out from under him and hearing the sickening thud of his head on the tile was less horrifying than watching all those bits of paper explode into the air in a little mushroom cloud of art. And it made me shudder to have to step on the display to pick up my sobbing toddler from the middle of the exhibit and carry him to the front desk.
Please apologize to your college art student volunteers. They seemed completely terrified by the appalled mother carrying a screaming child with a cast on his arm, pulling another one behind her. They were very nice and said that they had to fix the display quite often. But I don’t think they realized the scope of the destruction.
I would have apologized longer, but the entire museum had come to a screeching halt and a crowd was gathering, so I pretty much ran out the door.
In conclusion, I would like to offer a promise and a suggestion: I will not bring my kids to your fine museum again… at least for a few years, and please put a rope around your displays.