Treasures: How to make the National Gallery of Ireland visit more fun for kids
You want to get your kids interested in art? Start by telling your children that each of them has a piece worth EUR11 in a large collection that includes many masterpieces by world-famous artist.
The Irish people on the National Gallery of Ireland (NGI), and its collection. It is ours. The NGI has been a key component of family trips to Dublin for many years. Many of us remember being led through the galleries by our parents. We stood in front of paintings from other centuries, wondering what they were all about. Children still tug at their parents' sleeves and ask: "Why aren't we even here?" This is not going to help them connect with their cultural heritage.
Here's an alternative approach: Step 1, impress upon them their ownership. The NGI's heritage assets are valued at EUR42,932,784 (2020). The total value of NGI's heritage assets includes financial and property assets. It is worth EUR56,477,000.004. Divide this number by five million people to get individual ownership worth just above EUR11.
Step two: Take them to the library and prepare some stories. These stories should be relatable to children. Preparation is key. The NGI website's Visiting with Kids section has links to gallery tours that you can listen to on headphones and your own device. You can also learn more about art history and earn extra parenting points. Each painting can be made into a puzzle or game. Many paintings are filled with symbolism and objects that have deeper meanings than we might think. This is what kids call "secret messages" in children's language.
Joanne Drum, education officer at the NGI, says that "it's all about asking people questions."She begins with The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife (1806-1870), which was painted c.1854 by Daniel Maclise (1806-1870). It measures 31.5 m x 51.3 m and is the largest of all the paintings on display.
She says, "The first question is how did that painting get into the room? The doors aren’t big enough, and neither is the lift ..."." She then explains that the painting was removed from the frame to be restored and was then rolled up like a carpet.
Drum (native Irish, Norman invader): "Ask them what they can tell you who is on which side. Who is wearing armor?"Many native Irish people look dead, but the painting is only one drop of blood. Ask them to locate it.
The Opening of the Sixth Seal by Francis Danby (1828), at first glance, appears to be a dramatic and dark depiction of a Biblical scene in a storm. Danby wanted to communicate his secret message'.
Pay attention to the figure in the foreground holding his wrists in broken shackles. The artist was strongly against slavery, which was not abolished in 1833. His anti-slavery stance was not popular at the time, but he managed to get his message about slavery into that image.
Be comfortable with your surroundings. All children go to school. Try Jan Steen's The Village School (1626-1679), which was built in 1665."The painting depicts a Dutch school, where a teacher is about to hit a little girl with his wooden spoon. The floor is covered with a crumpled piece of paper. Ask them what's wrong." She points out the teacher's worn-out clothes and a glass that may have contained alcohol. Perhaps the teacher was drunk on the job? Stories of lost treasure are also a favorite with children.
Caravaggio's The Taking of Christ (1602), was found in 1990, hidden by layers of darkened varnish. It was discovered in a house owned by the Jesuit Fathers at Leeson Street, Dublin.
Step three: Offer your children a deal at the end of your tour. For EUR10, you'll purchase their EUR11 share in the collection. They can have the money now, but they will lose ownership of the artwork forever. If they refuse to take the cash, you have them hooked.guest