My 2-year-old daughter placed her head on my shoulder while I investigated every face in Picasso’s Le Moulin de la Galette.
I explained to her that this painting was an earlier work by Picasso, before he began to create his own unique style. We stood while I chatted away about Moulin being Picasso’s first painting in Paris and the epicurean body languages of the painted figures over to Kandinsky’s Composition 8. I bent down and pointed at the geometric war taking place while circles provide warmth and calmness. With a quiet voice, I spoke about the circles within the painting and how they bring attention to the other shapes while providing a sense of tranquility.
And then I asked her to count the circles.
Moving from one painting and sculpture inside the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to the next, I quietly explained the art pieces the best I could. I am not an artist nor do I have a deep understanding of art, but I appreciate the craft and the pieces. There were times my daughter decided she had enough and walked away. And there were moments when it seemed like she would let me talk for hours. I held her hand, cradled her in my arms, or ran after in her to keep her from touching the artwork. At the end of our Guggenheim experience, we split a brownie and a croissant in the museum’s café.
Chances are, my daughter will not remember our day together. Sure, there is the possibility that a memory is stored and will appear at a particular time. However, I will always remember the first time I took my daughter to the Guggenheim.
Fatherhood isn’t a one-off experience where I do something fun and great occasionally and hope it carries my children through their life. It is one day built upon the next. Like Picasso’s artwork, my fatherhood style has evolved over the years. At first, I was a carbon copy of all the dads I studied in parenting books. As time moved along, I developed my own kind of parenting. And like Kandinsky, there are moments of chaos, but within the chaos, I try (TRY!) to provide peace and bring everyone together.
- Adults: $25
- Students and Seniors (65+) $18.
- Under 12: Free
- Membership: $75 per year for individual or $160 for family
- To skip the line and purchase online, click here.
- On Saturdays between 5 and 8 p.m., tickets are “pay what you wish” donation based.
- Monday-Wednesday, Friday, Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Thursday: Closed
- Saturday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Activities for Kids:
The Guggenheim offers regular programming for children, including art classes and art appreciation, as well as tours geared for young kids and family activities. For details, see its website’s For Families section.