Discover Impressionism with Children

An eventful and exciting afternoon at Museum Langmatt

On this family afternoon, grandparents and grandchildren discover art in a fun and playful way.

The former Brown family villa is now home to a beautiful Impressionism collection, which is also suitable for children.

"What do you hear?" asks Granny. The seven-year-old Juri replies: "Music. Ah no." And suddenly a smile awakens around his mouth. "Now a story begins." Juri and his big sister Neva both have white headphones in their ears. Granny studies the assignments that come with the story box, Grandpa meanwhile looks at a painting by Alfred Sisley: The Church at Moret.

Grandparents and grandchildren are at Museum Langmatt in Baden. To make their visit to the museum a little more exciting, they have borrowed the brand-new story box. No standing around for hours in front of the paintings, no old stories, no once-upon-a-time-it-was-like this or that… With the story box the children are encouraged to actively participate: they paint, listen to stories, make paper boats, or make up their own stories. It doesn’t take long and grandparents and kids are sitting on the floor, reading and talking. A nice family moment in the time-honored home of the industrialist family.

Markus Stegmann, the director of the museum, has written stories for children that go with the paintings: A forest full of monkeys - Impressionism for children. The story box comprises three smaller boxes and each of them relate to one specific painting in the collection. Each of the latter comes with a small MP3 player with a story the children can listen to. There is also an object and an assignment that invites the children to join in and actively engage with art. And they are happy to do so.

Story Box
Assignment solved!

Discover Impressionism through the eyes of a child

Juri turns the tiny playing organ, first slowly, then quickly, forwards, then backwards. Grandpa says, "perhaps it would be good if we looked for the painting that is described in the box first." The first assignment is to draw a picture. Neva starts right away and creates beautiful magic flowers. After a short hesitation, Juri also picks up the pencils and starts with his very own interpretation of "poopsy flowers".

The museum attendant gives grandpa a folding chair, he sits down and delightfully flicks through the book. Meanwhile, Granny is kneeling on the floor next to Neva, and Juri runs back and forth excitedly. Because now, he wants to invent a story, but as he can’t write yet, Grandpa holds out the smartphone to him. Juri narrates his story about the clowns Pizarro, Renoiro and Sisli into the microphone. Neva writes a story about the tulip seed that is laughed at before a storm sweeps the big tulips away. Now the previously protected small seed grows into a colorful magic flower. "Is the story related to your earlier drawing?” Grosi asks. "Yes," says Neva proudly. "The picture and the story are for you."

Time flies and they are already on the third box. But where is the painting? Neva finds it. It gets really quiet as the children listen to the story while Grandpa admires the impressive collection. The painting shows a wooden boat and a young woman. Inspired, Neva is folding paper boats, while Juri tries out his clown story once again. For this he is constantly going in circles and testing new sentences. Even Grandpa who was sitting comfortably on the folding chair a moment ago, kneels on the floor and folds boats. Soon Neva calls out: "I did that all by myself! Are we finished now?"

After all the assignments have been completed, stories heard, pictures drawn and ships made, the journey continues into the colorful world of contemporary art.



Association game in the colorful world of contemporary art

the second part of the museum opens up the colorful world of contemporary artist Renée Levi (*1960). Yellow, orange, blue… the colors shine bright, the room is radiant and friendly. The modern and large-scale paintings exude liveliness, freshness and happiness. The four of them sit down on the old, widely spaced armchairs and start a play on words throughout the room. Almost in the same way as the pictures seem to throw colors at each other, they shout associations at each other. Grandchildren and grandparents laugh. Being together is easy. Jury shouts "yellow", "sun," comes Neva’s answer. Granny thinks: "hot!" and Grandpa replies "holiday." After 10 minutes, Juri announces the game finished. "Hungry," he says. "Yes," the others answer. "Pizza."

Was it fun? Yes, a lot. Both the kids and the grandparents think so. "Did you look at the paintings?" Grandpa asks. "Not really," Neva says honestly.


Museum Langmatt

Art museums with children


March 2020

An article by:
The elementary school teacher and author lives with his family in Baden. As a freelance writer for the magazine "Grosseltern" he gives excursion tips and other ideas for adventures.
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