Saturday October 13th we celebrated our Fall Family Day with an Amazing Animal Adventure honoring the Four Friends of Himalayan folklore. Families explored the galleries for animals in the art works and created hanging sculptures of the four friends, stopping on each floor to craft one of the friends.
(Above families emboss paper to make decorative blankets for elephants and below kids sculpt monkeys out of pipe cleaners.)In the Education center families strung their four friends creations together with beads and a bell. In the studio everyone added elements to a collaborative sculpture of the four friends. The story follows a conversation that four dear friends had in the forest one day sitting under their favorite shade tree at first the elephant demanded that he should be most respected because of his size, but the monkey remembered a time when the very tree they were sitting under was as tall as he was, so he knew he was older, but the rabbit remembered a time when he could hop over the same tree, then the bird remembered a time when there was no tree at all and he had dropped seeds from another tree in that place. So the four knew that the bird was indeed the oldest and they decided that the bird deserved the most respect. Their image is often depicted in Himalayan artworks reminding viewers that size and strength are not the only ways to determine one’s place in the world.
There was a search for animals throughout the galleries as well as family story tours. Below some young visitors speak with museum guide Irene O’Hare about what they see in an Arhat painting. This year we invited our friends from Channel 13 Kids Club to join in the festivities and we had a special visit from Leona the Lion from PBS’s Between the Lions. It was also the weekend of Comic-con in the city so we were honored to have a visit from Batman and Poison Woman as well 🙂In the theater we had an incredible dance and music performance led by classical Indian dancer and museum educator Mesma Belsare with bansuri flute played by Sundar Das and tabla drum played by Bala Skandan. We hope our family visitors always feel welcomed and appreciated at the Rubin, but it’s truly a pleasure to plan a special day just for them. I’m already looking forward to our next family day!