A Very Young Dancer at Family Fun Days

This is the second in a series of posts by Phillips Educator Rachel Goldberg about this year’s attendance record-breaking annual free family festival. Read the first installment here.

En route to the Degas with Sophia. Photo: James R. Brantley

En route to the Degas with Sophia. Photo: James R. Brantley

On Saturday, June 2, the first day of Jazz ‘n Families Fun Days, my two and half-year old friend (niece-by-choice) Sophia came to participate in the fun at the museum. All of a sudden and completely out of nowhere about six months ago, Sophia became fascinated with ballet. Her parents first course of action was to enroll her in classes. My first course of action was to take her to the National Gallery of Art to visit the Degas sculptures of the Little Dancer. Sophia wore her pink tutu and ballet shoes for the occasion and danced around the sculptures. She has since become obsessed (seriously, she reads it at least three times a day) with this book, so I wasn’t at all surprised when I asked her what she wanted to do at the museum and she replied, “I want to see the Degas.” Two Degas paintings are currently hanging on the second floor of the Goh Annex, and Sophia dragged me up the stairs and oooohhed and ahhhed at both of them. She even asked me to pick her up (quite unusual for this very independent child) so she could see them more closely.

Rachel Goldberg, Manager of School, Outreach, and Family Programs

Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes with Antony Gormley

Walking through the galleries this morning, I happened upon a very charming crowd of children mesmerized by Antony Gormley‘s spiky sculpture Aperture XIII (2010) and even more mesmerized by the artist himself, who engaged them in an impromptu discussion about what they saw (a tree with a sun for a head! a satellite exploding around a brain!)

  Cecilia Wichmann, Publicity and Marketing Manager

(left) Antony Gormley, Aperture XIII, 2010. Steel, 74 3/8 x 21 1/4 x 11 3/8 in. Private collection © Antony Gormley. Image courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. Photo: Stephen White, London. (right) Antony Gormley speaks with a group of children about his sculpture in the Phillips exhibition. Photo: Cecilia Wichmann

(left) Antony Gormley, Aperture XIII, 2010. Steel, 74 3/8 x 21 1/4 x 11 3/8 in. Private collection © Antony Gormley. Image courtesy Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. Photo: Stephen White, London. (right) Antony Gormley speaks with a group of children about his sculpture in the Phillips exhibition. Photo: Cecilia Wichmann

Antony Gormley and a group of children discuss his sculpture

Photo: Cecilia Wichmann

Antony Gormley talks with the kids about the brain of his sculpture Aperture XIII.

Photo: Cecilia Wichmann