A few weeks ago I received the most unexpected, marvelous invitation to the Brooklyn Museum to find out more about their program Brooklyn Families. Coming from Westchester, I knew the museum would be a bit of a hike very early on a Saturday morning, but my curiosity was peaked about what the museum is doing to engage families. I am always looking for ways to engage my own children in art. They pull me away from museums; I want to pull them in.
Another big draw: a personal tour of David Bowie is, an exhibit about who was perhaps my favorite artist ever. The tour would be hosted by Matthew Yokobosky, Senior Curator of Fashion and Material Culture, and Trixie Madell, a 4th Grade Bowie Super Fan. The museum would open up early just for our group and offer Bowie-themed art-making activities, too, before the tour would start. I had been wanting to check out the exhibit, so I was very excited.
Our 9-Year-Old Tour Guide
My husband, son, and some friends and their five year-old daughter, who dressed up just like Ziggy Stardust, joined us on the tour. Organized with unprecedented access to David Bowie’s personal archive, the exhibit delves into his life and career. It’s all things personal, professional, and very inspiring. It’s been touring globally for the past ﬁve years and is taking its last bow at the Brooklyn Museum. As a longtime fan of Bowie, I’m so thankful to have witnessed it. Trixie was able to capture the kid’s interest (even mine!) with stories about Bowie’s life that kids could relate to. There wasn’t one cry out of boredom on the whole tour, and Trixi’s sequined pants and silver Doc Martens only added to her participation in the tour as very Bowie-esque, and very pertinent. I enjoyed watching her mom glow with pride as she belted out real stories that occurred throughout Bowie’s life and career. I didn’t blame her one bit for being a proud #museummom, which is a lot better than being a #soccermom, in my opinion.
David Bowie Highlights Tour
Our tour guides prepared an excellent highlights tour, perfect for kids of all ages, most of whom don’t really know his music, but you have to wonder if they don’t really know it with such cool, young, hipster parents in tow. There was so much to see in the exhibit – around 400 objects in the exhibit, song sheets with Bowie’s notes scribbled, original album art, photos, and videos, all of which paints a picture of his life, from his younger years in England to NYC where he lived in his later years until the end of his life. His death was one of the worst days of my own life, so I would rather celebrate his life, rather than mourn him, and this exhibit certainly honors his existence as a man and as an artist. There are his performance costumes, audio, TV clips, clips from his films, and animation, audio mix tapes, all of which truly brings his being to life in 2018. I was mesmerized by much of the paraphernalia, which includes handwritten lyrics of “Fame,” a song which he wrote with John Lennon and was one which kicked off his music career in America. He was the master of music videos, too, which MTV used to play over and over, as they were truly innovative and ground-breaking.
The tour was abbreviated, to keep kid’s attention (particularly mine!), so I plan to go back again to peruse the Bowie exhibit as it was so freaking amazing. However, it was an excellent introduction to the exhibit and a profoundly good way of engaging kids in art. For a parent that lives in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Families is a no-brainer to join. It gives you and your kids incredible access to arts education events that are unique and rare opportunities. The program supports the Museum’s ground-breaking education programs, which provide vital opportunities for over 50,000 students and their families, caregivers, and educators each year, year-round. You can find out more about the program here.
Disclosure: I was invited to experience the tour by the museum and was provided with complimentary tickets but all opinions are my own and this post is not sponsored.