When we think of love, usually romantic love comes to mind first. Head over heels, doe eyes, out-of-control heart thumping. When we give it a little more thought, other kinds of love come up. There’s love of family, food, colors, and friendship. In fact, in Latin America, Valentine’s Day is called Día de Amor y Amistad, Day of Love and Friendship, where friendship is celebrated equally. Here at LACMA, we fall in love with art. We (Julia and Alicia) went on a quest with heart-shaped glasses, looking at art with a new love lens. Inevitably, we would turn the corner and go crazy for a work that we’ve seen hundreds of times. This is what we found, for you, families.
Primal Palm Garden: Love of Nature
You may have noticed all the palm trees on the west side of campus. This installation of palms is an artwork by Robert Irwin. Irwin puts us in his art without us even knowing it! He points out that we don’t see the world through frames, we experience with our five senses: we hear, see, smell, taste, and touch. On our quest, we wandered around campus, checking out the different kinds of palms. Long and tall trees, short and squat trees. Some trunks like dragon scales. Together as a family, explore the palms. Use your sight sense by looking from farther away and then getting really close to a palm. If there is a breeze, can you hear the fronds make a sound?
Dutch Still Life Paintings: Love of Food
Yum yum! Have you ever seen a painting so real that you wanted to eat it? Gallery 321 in the Ahmanson Building, Level 3, is the perfect stop right before lunch. We fell in love with the beauty of the simple arrangement of cheeses, artichoke, and cherries. Now look at another still life painting in this gallery. What other foods do you see? Turn to a member of your family and share your favorite food. Are you planning your family’s dream banquet?
Paris: Love for Your City
French artist Raoul Dufy was clearly enchanted with his home city, Paris (the city of loooove). In his painting Paris, on Level 2 of the Ahmanson Building, notice all the vibrant colors bouncing off city landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower. Besides being a painter and illustrator, he also decorated public buildings. That’s a lot of love! Notice all the parks, town squares, and warm colors—it’s as if the artist is welcoming you to his city. A fun way to get to know a place is to play the game “I spy.” Sit down in front of the painting and play it now!
Before you leave today, visit the Boone Children’s Gallery and paint your love of nature, food, and city. We hope every time you visit the museum, you find a new work of art to fall in love with.