Visiting tips | Through the eyes of children
At Mart, we believe playing with art is great fun. We do this with workshops and spaces dedicated to children, with visits led by our mediators, and with child-friendly audio-guides. If you are thinking of coming to visit us with your children or grandchildren, here are some suggestions for exploring Mart in an active and engaging way.
The museum is a place that stimulates observation. It starts in the courtyard, where the static elements such as the walls, windows and floor interact with more dynamic ones, such as the water flowing in the fountain (the urge to play with water, especially in summer, is irresistible!), or the shadows cast by the dome, which moves a little like a giant sundial.
Once inside the foyer of the Mart, climb the stairs to go "hunting" for words in the women's gallery that surrounds the courtyard. On the walls and windows, British artist Douglas Gordon has scattered phrases that he read, heard, and remembered, giving voice to thoughts that resonate with all of us. Children can choose their favourite phrase, go in search of the one engraved on the wall, act out another...
Among the paintings on display in the Collections, we recommend one in particular: "La carrozzella" (The Carriage) by Carlo Carrà, a painting from 1916 that is somewhat reminiscent of children's drawings. The stylised house and the horse look like small toys and everything seems to float against the light background. How will the carriage move, since it is not tied to the horse?
Carrà is definitely not the only 20th-century artist who seems to want to rediscover the candour of childhood and the simplicity of folk art. Pablo Picasso said: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
Carlo Carrà, "La Carrozzella", 1916, olio su tela, Mart, Collezione VAF-Stiftung
Carlo Carrà, [The Carriage], 1916, oli on canvas, Mart, VAF-Stiftung collection
Once out of the museum, stretch your legs in the Sculpture Garden: the ideal place to run on the grass, play hide and seek behind the monumental concrete sculpture by Giuseppe Uncini, and try to find the exact angle from where the curve of Fausto Melotti's "La grande clavicola" [The great collarbone] overlaps exactly with the profile of the mountains. Or, how about a little treasure hunt? Ask the children to find the sculptures that we have renamed according to their most striking feature: "La curva sospesa" [Suspended Curve], "Muro contro muro" [Wall against wall], "Alfabeto rotolante" [Rolling alphabet], "Frulla-cielo" [Sky Spinner].
No prize for the winners? No problem: the Mart Shop has a wide selection of children's books and fun trinkets.