For the kickoff weekend, May 15, I took my kids to the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage to visit a new exhibit, “Chagall for Children,” which runs through August 18.
The exhibit features 14 interactive stations where kids can immerse themselves in Marc Chagall’s art in a new and fun way. This goes beyond looking at art; they become a part of the pieces through video and tactile props.
Chagall was a Belarusian-French artist who is considered an early modernist and was once recognized as the preeminent Jewish artist of his age. Chagall worked in several styles and a variety of formats, from paintings, drawings, book illustrations and stained glass to stage sets, ceramics, tapestries and prints.
Now the exhibit brings Chagall to life by showcasing multi-sensory features of his well-known works, like the America Windows, which explores color, composition and light.
My children experienced the whimsy of Chagall in the “At the Circus” station, where they put on silk-screened capes and became a part of the painting via a video camera and TV monitor. I couldn’t resist becoming a part of the art myself and donned a cape to have fun on the circus stage, too.
What is particularly intriguing about Chagall’s art is the dreamlike presentation of the subjects. This came to life in The Green Violinist, where we could all become a part of the fantasy by taking a digital photo of our faces, then color them in on a touchscreen, and then become the violinist ourselves in a revised digital rendition.
If you need to take a break from all the action, there’s a corner with bean bags and a bunch of books featuring Chagall’s life and art. It provided a nice respite which my kids enjoyed, and where I learned I cannot get up from a bean bag chair as easily as I could before.
The Maltz Museum offers two permanent collections, which we explored following our time at the “Chagall for Children” exhibit.
My girls enjoyed the hands-on activities while following Samuel and Sarah’s immigrant journey in the “An American Story” exhibit, which highlights stories of hope and resilience, especially in the face of adversity and unmitigated hatred.
Moving through the exhibit is a feast for the eyes and included additional hands-on activities which my kids were all over.
We all particularly loved seeing the local connections to Superman creators and Jewish Cleveland natives Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
To accompany Chagall for Children this summer, the Maltz Museum will be hosting interesting programming for all ages. Learn more here.
Visitors can explore the “Chagall for Children” exhibition at the Maltz Museum, through timed ticketing that must be purchased in advance at maltzmuseum.org or by phone at 216-593-0575.
General admission: $12; Students & Seniors: $10; Children 5 – 11: $5; Children under 5 and Maltz Museum Members: Free.