Following the success of the inaugural “Sackler Saturdays” series last fall, the Harvard University Art Museums (HUAM) will again sponsor the program for families with children ages 6 to 11. The program, which is free and open to the public, aims to foster the appreciation of artworks from ancient cultures and distant lands.
Activities will include gallery games and discussions, hands-on art projects, costuming, sketching, calligraphy, and storytelling, plus organized tours by specific age groups.
“We have had a remarkably enthusiastic response to the ‘Sackler Saturdays’ program,” said Lynne Stanton, coordinator of public education at HUAM. “These events are a wonderful way for families to have fun and learn more about art and history at the same time.”
Each Saturday session, to be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., will be based on a different theme. On Saturday, Feb. 2, “Dressed to Impress: What Did the Ancients Wear?” will offer children an opportunity to learn about ancient clothing and accessories. There will be costumes to try on, jewelry to make, and more. “Gods, Goddesses, and Fantastic Creatures” will be the topic on Saturday, March 9, when the museum takes a look at sphinxes, griffins, dragons, and phoenixes. Stories of gods and goddesses will be told, and their images explored. On Saturday, April 27, children can learn how to write Chinese and Japanese characters, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and make cylinder seals from examples that are 7,000 years old, when “Ancient Writing” is the order of the day.
Allen Kesten from Cambridge Public Library will participate in each “Sackler Saturday” program as a storyteller. Kesten will read from books specifically chosen from the library’s children’s collection to support that day’s theme. Other highlights include a theater workshop led by acclaimed theater artist Gretchen Berg, and the opportunity to learn Japanese calligraphy from a prominent calligrapher.
Registration is not necessary for the program, and children should be accompanied by an adult. The Sackler Museum is located at 485 Broadway, at the corner of Broadway and Quincy streets in Cambridge. For more information, contact the public education office at (617) 495-4402.