Every child loves art. Whether it’s the whimsical illustrations of their favorite picture books, the animated charm of beloved film characters, or taking paint to canvas to create their own masterpieces, art speaks to the heart and mind as soon as a child is able to process the visual world. Even infants cannot help but be attracted to color, contrast, and motion.
The Huntsville Museum of Art is the perfect entry-level art museum for children of all ages. While the museum boasts a permanent collection of over 3,000 objects as well as hosting several traveling exhibitions a year, it is relatively small as far as art museums go. A visit can be completed in as little as an hour by patrons who choose not to linger; perfect for younger art aficionados who may lack the attention span to fully appreciate the expansive museums of larger cities.
Though small, the museum packs a lot of into its thirteen galleries. Among the permanent collections, the silver animal collection almost never fails to enchant a young visitor, and works by regional artists afford a unique opportunity to view how art reflects life and times in the American southeast.
Visiting collections are no less impressive, affording local adults and children alike the opportunity to view the original work of accomplished artists past and present right here in Huntsville. Artists such as Rembrandt, Grandma Moses, Rubens, John James Audubon, and more will have had their art displayed at the museum in 2015 alone.
Just for Kids
While of course children (and sometimes adults) must be reminded never to touch works of fine art in a museum, young visitors can get hands-on with two fantastic permanent educational art exhibits at the Stender Family Interactive Education Galleries. ART LAB demonstrates the fundamental principles of art and design with interactive exhibits, and “A Walk Through Time” helps orient students to the historical progression of (primarily western) art with prints and replicas of famous pieces of art.
Among the permanent collections, the silver animal collection almost never fails to enchant a young visitor…
With a location right in the heart of Huntsville, family visits are often wrapped up with a walk in Big Spring Park and/or a meal or dessert at Pane Vino, a fantastic restaurant housed on-site of the museum’s lower level. A trip to the restaurant’s restroom will treat visitors to yet more art; pieces created by local area schoolchildren.
Address: 300 Church Street, Huntsville (map)
Phone: (256) 535-4350
Hours: The museum is open Sunday from 12-5pm, and 11am – 5pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Thursdays offer extended hours, 11am – 8pm, with reduced admission ($5) after 5 pm.
Admission:Regular admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, military, educators, and students, and $5 for children ages 6-11. Children under 6 are free. Admission may be increased for certain special exhibitions. Of course, annual memberships are also available for frequent visitors.
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