Or one very Flying Visit…
So recently we had a mini-break in Malaga. And, since the children had been studying Picasso’s art at school – yep, even the 6 year old, they start them off early here in Spain where we live, a quick zip around the city’s ode to its famous son, was a must.
And a quick zip was exactly what it was. In fact, I’m pretty sure we stood in the Good Friday queue outside the museum’s entrance for longer than we were actually inside the building!
Which got me thinking. Was it because we had the children in tow, and their attention spans were like that of a pair of goldfish? Or, if it was just me and my husband browsing like a pair of intellectuals (me with my scarf draped over my shoulder mimicking an expert in Cubism, him with his glasses balanced on the end of his nose as if he were a Sotheby’s expert) would we have scooted in and out in roughly the same amount of time?
Embarrassingly, I have to say, the answer is YES.
Not because it isn’t a stunningly quaint museum, housing some amazing works from six decades of Picasso’s professional life, but because, well, we’re just one of those families. Y’know, the ones who get bored in museums and art galleries. The ones who go there purely to say they’ve been there… quick peak at The Scream or Mona Lisa, and then round and round in circles we spin… until we reach the gift shop, leaving audio-toting purists tutting in our tornado.
Oh, we don’t start off like that, of course. We read all the plaques of the first couple of artefacts, nod knowingly, whisper and tut ourselves at the naughty teenagers who are using flash photography to capture snaps of the nudist statues without the beady-eyed guard noticing. But pretty soon it’s a race to see who can physically say they’ve gazed at every single exhibit quickest, whilst intermittently ensuring the youngest doesn’t bump into a statue, or the eldest smear her fingers over the glass pane of ‘The Three Graces’.
By which time, sod the gift shop. What we really need – the grown ups at least – is a Tinto in the art gallery bar. Where we sit down, look through the leaflet we picked up at the beginning and declare to each other “Aha, so that’s why he painted ‘Fruit Bowl’ in 1919… to re-captivate his collage and construction methods spanning from 1912-14.”
The joys of the museum. With or without children. I know you won’t admit it, but I suspect we are far from alone in our approach!