Friday, April 23, 2010

Dinotopia at the Delaware Art Museum

We were looking for something fun to do with the kids last weekend and in my Googling around for events for kids, found that there was an exhibit at the Delaware Art Museum of original artwork from the book series Dinotopia.  My mom had actually given me a clipping about the exhibit a few months ago, but I had forgotten about it.

Anyway, we set out for our drive down to Wilmington via scenic Route 52 through West Chester, hoping all the way not to set off a bout of carsickness in Tater.  The boy is not so good on scenic roads.

Luckily he was OK (whew) and we made our way to a lovely lunch at the Cosi in Greenville and then into Rockford Park to the museum.

The kids and I had been to the Delaware Art Museum last summer (I think) to see a sculpture collection, which was very cool.  This time we skipped the other stuff and just went in to the Dinotopia exhibit.

We had a lovely tour guide who told us all about how James Gurney originally started doing paintings of this imagined world where dinosaurs and humans lived peacefully together and then started to develop them into stories.  The level of detail in his works is completely amazing, as is the amount of imagination that went into building this entire world.

The exhibit included original oil paintings, sketches, and models that were built so that Gurney could study how light and shadow would play off of his imagined creations.  The kids especially liked the stories about how Gurney would have his friends and family act out some of his ideas to see how they worked.

The "viewing of artwork" got a little tedious for the kids after a while, but they were troopers about the whole thing and really enjoyed seeing the world of Dinotopia.  Apparently there are a few books and also some movies about this imaginary world.  We are going to have to work on getting some of them so we can see what it is all about!

The Dinotopia exhibit is on display at the Delaware Art Museum until May 16th, so if you get a chance, you should definitely go check it out.

While we were there, we also stopped in to take a look at some photographs by Harold Edgerton, which capture things that the eye can't even see,  The kids loved these amazing photos, possibly even more than the dinosaurs!

Unfortunately, this exhibit is only there through April 25th, but if you get there before then, make sure to take a look!

Finally, we walked out through the Copeland Sculpture Garden, We think this guy belongs in our yard.  He's only about 40 feet tall. I think the neighbors would love that!

The Delaware Art Museum is a fun day trip and offers quite a few interesting collections and exhibits.  It makes for a less overwhelming introduction to art for little kids than a huge museum like the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  You should go.

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