This month, though, we got a special chance to have Flannery's family friend, David — who is an MIA docent — take us on a special tour. Apparently, the Institute does adult book clubs, where they read a book and then tour the art. David wanted to pilot a kids version, based on "Charlotte's Web."
We met under the Chihuly sculpture, which Beatrix thought looked a lot like an egg sac:
The girls walking up the stairs with David:
The first thing David showed us was a newish pop-art sculpture of a dog. He started with this because, at the beginning of the book, Wilbur is very small and the world seems very large to him.
We then saw a picture of a spider — but not just any picture. The Chinese artist painted this and several other pictures with his fingers, rather than the traditional brushes. He grew one fingernail to a point so he could do thin lines.
We then looked at a Chinese study which had been imported in whole, including its garden. We used this moment to discuss the power of words, such as what Charlotte wrote in her web.
Charlotte was a true friend to Wilbur, and the girls are good friends to each other. This is an Osage friendship blanket:
Here's Flannery displaying a Van Gogh that she is particularly fond of:
Our last stop was at a Picasso sculpture of a baboon, depicting motherhood. It's made of found parts, with clay added and cast in bronze.
But everyone's favorite was the dollhouse, brought over from the Burbank Livingston Griggs House:
It was a great trip to the Institute, and we look forward to going back!
Oh, and also, to celebrate their 100th anniversary, the MIA is making all memberships FREE right now! artsmia.org for more information.