I recently received an email from a great cheerleader for art: “My four-year-old granddaughter is very proud of her colorful, free-spirited artwork. As a result she was devastated when her five-year-old friend told her that her work is just a bunch of scribbles and brush strokes. I would greatly appreciate your recommendation for two to three specific modern art paintings I can show her that will demonstrate the appeal of modern art. She will be visiting us and I want our visit to the Milwaukee Art Museum to be one she will really enjoy.”
My response: “I am so glad you would like to encourage your granddaughter’s love of art! I would love to help! We have an artwork in our permanent collection that sounds just right for her. It is East is the Place by Milton Resnick. It truly expresses the joy of colors living together on canvas and resonates with high energy. It is a very large painting, and I think she’ll love it.
I hope that while you are here, you can visit during our Kohl’s Art Generation Open Studio hours. Throughout the year we host Open Studio every Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Family members of all ages can come create, and it’s free with admission. Also, during the holidays, we often extend open studio hours to weekdays.
A couple of books that you may like to read with her are The Dot and Ish by Peter H. Reynolds. The characters in the books are young artists that find happiness in their love of drawing and painting (despite what anyone else says!) and they’re very cute.
I hope she knows that many artists became very famous and historically important for their ability to express themselves as purely and openly as she can with paper and paint. Picasso and Paul Klee (both in our collection) both strove to imitate that skill which children innately possess, and she has!”