Klee and Disappointment

All viruses had mysteriously disappeared this morning so it was off to London to see the Paul Klee exhibition at the Tate Modern as planned.

The girls busied themselves with a Klee sticker book which allows you to recreate a painting or make your own.


The journey on the underground was nice and quiet so I read Miffy the Artist to the girls which tells a story of Miffy visiting an art gallery which inspires her to paint her own pictures.  I was hoping it would cheer D up as she wasn’t looking forward to going.  There was a bit of a walk once we got off the train and the girls were thoroughly fed up by the time we reached the gallery.

We got into the exhibition just in time and what a disappointment!  I assumed it would be child friendly but it clearly wasn’t.  The exhibition summed up everything I used to hate about galleries when I was a child: the seriousness of crowds of grown-ups peering silently at lots of pictures on the wall in a hushed room.  Makes me want to run around, shouting.  I contained myself and tried to point out pictures the girls might recognise from looking at Klee pictures at home but they were past the point of caring.  Also, the pictures were hung at grown-up height so they couldn’t really see them anyway.  God knows what wheelchair-bound people do.

I gave up after 5 minutes, feeling seriously pissed off at the un-imaginative-ness of it all.  Its been over 10 years since I went to Tate Modern and I was kind of hoping it would be another fabulous ‘Cutty-Sark’ type experience but it isn’t aimed at children at all.

So I gave up on Klee and chivvied the girls back down the stairs and into the café for hot chocolates and cookies.  They cheered up after a while and we decided to go around the main part of the gallery to see if there would be anything better to look at it.  No.  It was either more peering at pictures on walls or looking at irritating ‘art’ on the floor which consisted of (literally) a big stack of paper or a stainless steel block.  With one last-ditch attempt at interesting the girls I pointed at one splattery-type painting and said ‘look, you could do something like that!’ but they were not in the least bit interested.  The most exciting part for them was putting coins in the donation box.

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Are you getting the feeling we didn’t enjoy our visit? 😉

We left and walked across the Millenium Bridge and the girls loved looking down at the water and across the skyline at Tower Bridge.

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I was hoping we might make the most of our visit into London but we ended up walking into St Paul’s Cathedral gardens to eat our sandwiches and then sitting on the steps where the lady in Mary Poppins says ‘feed the birds, tuppence a bag’.  D’s face sums up the day really 🙂

I’m rather pissed off that I paid £16 to see that exhibition: there should be a message before you pay that says ‘Warning!  This exhibition is not intended to be seen by children due to the positioning of the paintings and the totally boring atmosphere of the museum’.  Humph.


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