One of Heather’s favourite places in the world is Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, something which suits Gem and I, because we both love it too, although for very different reasons: the paintings do it for me, Gem loves the social history exhibits, and Heather is all about the animals – especially the bees. Megan’s still a bit young to appreciate all of that, but the last time she was over she had a great time trying to run away; it really DOES have something for everyone!
Yesterday I took Heather over to see the museum’s latest exhibition, 500 Years of Italian Art. I’ve been planning to go since it opened in April, but it’s taken me until now – one week before it ends – to actually get over. I’m glad I did though, and I’m glad I risked taking Heather with me (something I thought long and hard about) because I think she enjoyed it too.
I’ll be honest, though, it was a challenge trying to engage her. Our Heather is never one to stand still at the best of times, and yesterday was no exception. Rather than looking at things, she was always wanting to move on, presumably so we could get to the bits she likes, something I’d promised her if she was a good girl.
A lot of things did hold her interest though. There was a large bowl that Heather insisted would have been used for serving porridge. She also liked the brass horse, the suits of armour, and the section showing some of the tools and other things that would have been used to produce the paintings.
As for the paintings, it was very hit and miss. What I found worked a treat was asking her questions about them. Why did she think the woman was sad? How many angels could she count? Could she see a horse in the picture? Those and many other questions caused her to pause for a moment, and the look on her wee face as she studied the paintings was as priceless as the paintings themselves. Even when she said she didn’t like a picture, we were able to have a conversation about why (eg one picture was scary because of all the shadows).
I think her favourite part of the Italian Art exhibition must have been the shop though – I think she tried on every bracelet in there, and even convinced me to try on one or two!
After that we paid a visit to Sir Roger the elephant and his friends. We learned that the baby elephant is called Kelvin, and spent some time with the bees. Heather is also a big fan of the interactive displays, which allowed her to listen to the tale of the last great auk in Scotland, and to create a home for a red squirrel. All good fun.
Our last port of call was the mini-museum, where Heather had a great time trying on different shoes and masks. Before we knew it, it was time to go home for dinner, a journey which began with a mad dash through the rain back to the car. Heather told me that was her favourite bit of the day, but all the way home she kept changing her mind. Proof, if it were needed, that a great time was had by all.