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NC Museum of Art: Marks of Genius

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Included with your ticket to the Childe Hassam exhibit, currently at the North Carolina Museum of Art, is Marks of a Genius:  100 extraordinary drawings from the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Admittedly, we were not prepared with any background for this exhibit, so I had to wing it with my kids.  The exhibit is described on the website as:

The selection of drawings, watercolors, gouaches, and pastels dating from the Middle Ages to the present includes stellar examples by such masters as Guercino, Annibale Carracci, George Romney, François Boucher, Thomas Gainsborough, Edgar Degas, Käthe Kollwitz, Egon Schiele, Emil Nolde, Amedeo Modigliani, Henri Matisse, Alfredo Ramos Martínez, Roy Lichtenstein, and Ed Ruscha.

This eye-opening exhibition illuminates the historical and ongoing role of drawing as a means of study, observation, and problem solving, as an outpouring of the artist’s imagination, and as a method of realizing a finished work of art.

The sketches by master artists available for viewing were astonishing to me.  Really?  I can just walk on into this exhibit and snap a photo of a Picasso?


Or a Matisse?


How about Lichtenstein?

Yep.  With the flash off, you are allowed to snap photos but you can not sell them.

This is the sort of exhibit that allows you to see a variety of  drawings by many master artists through history.  We walked through the rooms and discussed drawings that caught our eye.  Occasionally I threw out questions to engage the kids in the artwork.

Is there a drawing here that depicts anger?  love? joy?

Where do you see texture?  What do you think they feel like?

Which sketch is your favorite in this room?  What do you like about it?

Overall, we had already spent about 15 minutes in the Hasaam display so the kids were able to engage this display for about 15 minutes more.  Six year old children, at least in my experience, have a tolerance of  about 20 minutes or less.  My 13 year old feels the same way.  I believe I got away with 30-35 minutes because the two exhibits were so different.

Of course, if you have an child who is interested in art, you might be able to meander for a longer period of time.  My 11 year old now appears to be one such child so I will have to work out extended visits for her somehow.

It is well worth the trip to the North Carolina Musuem of Art for this exhibit.  Be sure to stop by before the last day on June 19.


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