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Dragging DS to art galleries

(18 Posts)
RichTeas Sat 10-Jan-15 19:21:22

Actually, I'm not doing much dragging yet, as the last time we went DS (10) got a bit scared at and we made an early exit. So for about a year we haven't been to a single gallery, as whenever I suggest it he is not interest. He says he finds them boring. However, I'm thinking now that I'm being too accommodating and should drag him around whether he wants to go or not. I want to go and I'm sure in the long run he will know a bit more about art and maybe appreciate the efforts retrospectively? Is it worth it or should I just accept he doesn't like it.

LindyHemming Sat 10-Jan-15 19:24:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

formerbabe Sat 10-Jan-15 19:25:05

Don't take him...not everyone is keen on art galleries. I don't like visiting galleries and art is not my thing. I like museums and the theatre I'm not a complete cretin I just don't enjoy art galleries and I can't imagine many ten year old boys would either. Why does it bother you?

RichTeas Sat 10-Jan-15 19:30:48

It doesn't depend on which galleries, but I am speaking of the major London galleries (and possibly the Courtauld). We had not trouble visiting when he was an infant and a bit "less discerning".

fuzzpig Sat 10-Jan-15 19:31:30

I think a 10yo is plenty old enough to understand you can't do exactly what YOU want all the time, and that mum wants to see these paintings etc. As long as it's not inappropriate then it's fine IMO.

My DD does love some art but often doesn't want to see everything in a gallery depending what artist etc and sometimes grumbles in museums too... that's life!

ooerrmissus Sat 10-Jan-15 19:31:56


I was once in the National Gallery of Scotland many moons ago where they had (have?) a room dedicated to Poussin. There was a father and child in there, the boy must have been five or six I suppose. The father was explaining the pictures to him in very simple terms but so cleverly, he had spotted lots of details that I went back to look at later. He clearly knew his stuff and was enjoying passing on his knowledge. The child was absolutely fascinated.

I think if you can do that, explain things really well, then kids can enjoy it. But if you don't know anything about it and are just reading the guidebook it can be very dull.

TeenAndTween Sat 10-Jan-15 19:36:26

DD2 is 10, we (very) occasionally do art galleries and museums that she is on the young side for.
My suggestions:
- don't make the visit too long
- for every room ask DC to find the picture/object he likes best and explain why
- find something interesting to explain to DS
- with DD2, DH has looked for animals and made up stories while I looked round more with DD1.
- promise a trip to café for patient behaviour

FafferTime Sat 10-Jan-15 19:40:11

Keep doing it, sooner or later they start enjoying it, even if they won't tell you. Agree with advice to keep visits relatively short, expect them to think some of it is rubbish, do visits to things they want to do as well (football stadiums springs to mind). Mine are late teens/early 20s and after lots of moaning when young, they love going to galleries/interesting buildings now.

marmaladegranny Sat 10-Jan-15 19:47:48

My totally non artistic DS loved going to galleries age 10 - 11 years, and still drags me or his GF to all sorts of exhibitions 20 years on! Not sure what it is but something about paintings or sculpture really grabs him.
As a 10 year old he did embarrass me in the National Gallery by asking very loudly what was special about one of Picasso's paintings cos 'I could do better than that and I am rubbish at art'!

Marylou2 Sat 10-Jan-15 19:51:14

Sad that you have to drag him. Maybe it's just not his thing.We've taken DD since she was tiny and it's just accepted now (7) that art is part of her life.Went to the Andy Warhol Show at Tate Liverpool last week and it was amazing.

ChickenMe Sat 10-Jan-15 19:55:15

Is he into art? If he does art at school he will get forced to go to galleries anyway a bit boring and Im into art myself If he is into art but not galleries maybe an art fair would be more appropriate? Brighton has a good arts scene and the stuff in the fairs can be quite inspirational.

ArtyBat Sat 10-Jan-15 20:11:09

Depends how long you're in the gallery for.

When my boy was that age we often went out for the day, on the premise that we took turn and turn about.

So, We'd go somewhere he wanted, then somewhere I wanted, and repeat, etc.

This worked very well, especially as he'd have a book in his pocket, and after a while of doing my 'thing' he would sometimes just go off and sit in a corner for 10/15 mins whilst I did my thing.

Even if he wasn't 'looking at' stuff, he would still be absorbing the atmosphere around him.

...and we both got to enjoy the day, and both have lots to talk about/share.

I treasure those days.

ItsAllKickingOffPru Sat 10-Jan-15 20:18:20

I'd let him look round at his own pace if you don't already do that. I can't abide looking at every single painting and I circle quickly and only stop in front of the ones that grab me.

vienna1981 Sat 10-Jan-15 20:42:15

Leave the educational art gallery carry-on to the schools for heaven's sake. Leisure time is precious, especially for youngsters, and it should be fun and entertaining, not dull and stuffy grin .

skylark2 Sat 10-Jan-15 20:58:55

How about a museum? Probably more to the taste of a 10 year old.

I think DS would be very unimpressed at the suggestion of a trip to an art gallery, but has been known to ask to go to museums (which have plenty of art in).

Bulbasaur Sat 10-Jan-15 21:10:26

If you have to suffer through his school plays and nativities for a few hours, he can put up with an art gallery once in a while. grin

It also depends on the gallery. I love contemporary and modern art, but traditional Renaissance type paintings paintings are so boring. Something about being in a room with a bunch of picture frames just makes me feel like I'm watching paint dry.

fuzzpig Sat 10-Jan-15 21:39:56

One thing I've learned from taking DCs to galleries/museums is not to feel like I have to see everything to 'make the most of it' (especially when it's free!) - it seems to go much better when we just wander round and see what grabs one/any of us, and walk past what doesn't.

Also I no longer try and explain stuff unless they ask me - I realised that actually they prefer to think themselves and my talking was just distracting.

My mum took DD to the museum of London once while I was at the hospital next to it - she told me after she was worried that DD hadn't enjoyed it as she had just stayed silent and looked a bit overwhelmed - but that evening she was talking really animatedly about what she'd seen and still remembers 2 years later - so she did get a lot out of it.

lavenderhoney Sat 10-Jan-15 21:49:33

I take mine all the timesmile they are 7 and 5. There is usually a free art trail for kids and they like doing that. Small galleries they just wander round slowly and talk about the paintings.

We have been very lucky and mostly gallery owners/ staff on small galleries are very kind ( once they realise the dc aren't wild) and in large exhibitions sometimes a fellow art lover dispenses a bit of knowledge and is very kind. Mainly because they hear me try and wing itsmile

There is a window of time though, so we see what we absolutely want to see then potter. I leave before they get twitchysmile they get very inspired by it all, and try to recreate at home, or make up stories about the paintings.

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