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NC Museum of Art: Childe Hassam

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We became members of the NC Museum of Art this year as part of our homeschooling fine arts curriculum.  We take advantage of our free member tickets to every exhibit that travels to the museum.  The current exhibit at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh features the work of Childe Hassam, an American Impressionist.

Childe Hassam spent many summers painting on the Isle of Shoals off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire.  The works being featured at this North Carolina museum were all painted while on this Isle.

Before taking kids to the art museum, I like to do a little research on the artist and become familiar with his/her work.  Becoming familiar with the artwork helps the kids engage more with the exhibit when they arrive.  The paintings feel more like friends and less like strangers.

This particular artist did not have any books at the library to introduce us to his work, but we found something better – a complete 27 minute documentary produced by UNC-TV focused on the Childe Hassam exhibit at the NC Museum of Art.

From the UNC-TV website:

Experience American impressionist Childe Hassam’s art, and gain a deeper appreciation of its significance, as we take an in-depth look at the North Carolina Museum of Art’s American Impressionist: Childe Hassam & the Isles of Shoals exhibition. The exhibit, running through June 19, features nearly three dozen of the artist’s finest oil and watercolor paintings created during summers on the Isles of Shoals.

The television program was the perfect way to educate our family on the life and works of Childe Hassam with a special focus on the works on display at the NC Museum of Art.  If you are able to see this exhibit, with or without children, I highly recommend that you watch this documentary first.

Pictures were not allowed in the exhibit, even without a flash.  Of course pictures could not adequately capture the colors and vibrancy of these paintings.  So instead, here we are afterward, having a cookie at Insomnia Cookies by the NC State Campus.


If you live local to the museum, I recommend a visit before the closing date of June 19, 2016.


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  1. “The paintings feel more like friends and less like strangers.” I love that! We’re off to make some new (artist) friends:)

  2. We have this exhibit on our list! The kids and I love visiting all the exhibits. (Did you see Escher? It really was a highlight of 2015 for me.) Thank you for the documentary link — we’ll totally watch it before we see the exhibit. I went to college in NH, so I can’t wait to soak up the paintings. (Hi! This is Nancy Walters — we recently “met” on Facebook. Looking forward to seeing you at the retreat!)

    1. Nancy – YES! I did see Escher – it was fantastic! I hope you made it to this one, or make it soon. Looking foward to seeing you, too!

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