We’ve been thinking a lot about the deCordova environment, especially through the lens of COMFORT. We wonder how to strike a balance between museum rules – Walking feet, Hands off the art, Normal voices – and a comfort that allows engagement in a meaningful way that is developmentally appropriate.
After putting coats and discussing the rules, Luca identifies something he is not comfortable with: the elevator. He and Mark take the stairs, noticing this sculpture along the way: It goes tall (as is the flight of stairs that we climb!).
We gather on the third floor, looking briefly at these sculptures, noticing the “hole” in the orange one, and identifying colors in the one on the right, then move on.
Luca It’s like a chair. Kyla A TV. Luca It is a TV. Kaya Pink is the bed.
When Kyla points out photos of the sculpture on the wall, Ruthie notices a person’s hand touching the sculpture in the pictures. Kaya says: And there’s a arm. Fingers. They’re touching it.
Mark They’re touching it, you’re right. And that’s a rule – in fact it even says “Please do not touch” – so who is touching it, do you think?
Kaya proposes Mark, then: I think my dad was touching it. Or my mom… No, that says “No dads and moms touching allowed.”
Here is a picture of someone breaking one of our three rules. Does this confuse the children? Might it cause discomfort?
Now the children find something they can touch: Kyla takes a brochure from its holder, and the rest of us do, too. She points to a photo: This is the part outside, the part where mommy breastfeeds the baby.
Kaya I see the ice cream sculpture – oh! I see this ( a photo of Maximum Security, which we walked by) Luca points to it, across the room.