Forget about that little boat race on the river. More than 100 kids, parents, and friends spent last Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Sackler Museum, sketching, versifying, learning, and, most of all, looking. It was another “Sackler Saturday,” and this time the theme was “Faces in Ancient Art.” From images of serene Buddhas to paintings of lively Kabuki actors to stern, silent Roman portrait busts, the children and adults immersed themselves in contemplation of the human face as the ancients saw it. Volunteers stood by some of the artworks and brought the pieces to life with the narratives behind the images, like the story of the historical Buddha’s life. The volunteers also helped kids sketch what they saw or write poems inspired by the art – or both.
Kenechukwu Abajue, 8, is relaxed yet concentrated, a good balance for sketching. Above her is a relief of a woman, from Palmyra, 2nd century C.E. Catherine Tutter concentrates along with her daughter Nadia, 6, who is drawing sketches of the Buddha.
In the Sackler lobby, children made Kabuki masks and worked on other face-making projects, including collage and pencil sketching. The day’s highlight was the appearance of not-so-ancient artist Vincent Crotty who painted an oil portrait of a life model as the children watched, a process most adults never get a chance to witness. And the younger children didn’t have an opportunity to get bored: They were having their own faces painted by artist Ciara Crotty.
The next “Sackler Saturday” will be Nov. 17, “Animals in Art.” Call (617) 495-4402 for more information.