The Art Museum

Museums are always a source of wonder and inspiration for me.  I introduce art in a big way to my preschool class, so when I’m inspired, they are, too.  This week I visited the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire.  A hidden gem.

Now, imagine one of the best art museums, such as the MFA (Museum of Fine Art) in Boston.  What if that museum were a little smaller (less overwhelming), yet had it all- from Matisse to Hopper to O’Keefe to Picasso to Sargeant… and more.  Oh, and of course if they also had beautiful glasswork, furniture, silver, and the best of modern art as well as 15th century art.

That is the Currier Museum of Art.

Their current exhibit is Monet, four pieces that depict his art from one of his earliest works of Impressionism to one of his later pieces.

There’s nothing better than ‘the real deal’, seeing it live.  Words escaped me, and I resorted to behaving like a child who was thunderstruck at meeting Santa Claus, and in a candy store, all at the same time.

It was that good.

In progression of Monet’s Art:

He painted this piece when he was 24 years old.  It is beautiful, yet at first glance you might not classify it as Impression.  This painting launched his career.


This was the Monet I knew, the one I had seen in so many books. This was the art piece I have shown to my preschoolers.  I stared at it in wonder, because I was seeing it live.  I got up close to look at the brush strokes.  Imagine that, looking at Monet’s brush strokes.


Monet had mastered Impressionism.  His comment on this painting was, “This will perhaps make the enemies of blue and pink scream a little because it is just this brilliant, this fantastic light that I’m trying to get.”  -Claude Monet- (1884)


This piece was done in 1900, Monet’s later and seasoned years of Impressionism painting.  He had achieved what he was looking to accomplish with light.  Four paintings over forty years, together by themselves in one space; it is a living biography.

I will need to return to the Currier Museum of Art again and again.  I can’t wait to share my enthusiasm with my students when the new school year begins.

“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.” -E.B. White-


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in art, Imagination, Inspiration, museums, Teaching young children, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

79 Responses to The Art Museum

  1. Karen Papineau says:

    Sorry I missed you! – but glad you enjoyed the exhibition. Toulouse-Lautrec in the fall !

    • Jennie says:

      I did, Karen. It was awesome! I’ll be eagerly awaiting Toulouse-Lautrec. Hope to see you soon. I’ll visit again this summer. I have to see the Zimmerman house.

  2. Already planning next year’s curriculum/lesson plans?!!

  3. Meg says:

    Absolutely stunning. Monet’s quest to capture is inspiring. And your photos and posts follow that same track, Jennie.
    I walked in his garden a couple of years ago. Time I went back to my local museum gallery! M

  4. Meg says:

    Sorry . Missed out ‘the light’ in my comment about Monet’s quest. M

  5. Dan Antion says:

    Your students are very lucky to witness your enthusiasm.

  6. Vesna Zuvic says:

    I love your energy and enthusiasm! As a teacher myself, I know how contagious it can be. Your students are lucky.

  7. How I wish you and I lived closer to me! French impressionism is my favorite. In the art world and whether it’s Debussy- with Clair de Lune or Renoir or Monet- who by the way is the featured picture and my French Impressionism calendar right now. The one featured for July 2017 is Monet’s “Meadow with Poplars” it was an oil on canvas about 1875 really, pretty gorgeous. It shows a field of wildflowers with a little girl with a straw hat. You make me want to go visit that gorgeous Museum. I love the piece that launched his career at 24 that you highlighted. I’m using vocal recognition software that I trained really well on my Galaxy Note 4 phablet

  8. I just featured your story here on you’re such a wonderful and talented lady and great writer.

    Your Las Vegas friend

    Paulette Motzko

  9. beetleypete says:

    Always a delight to share your enthusiasm, Jennie. Monet’s views of London are some of the best ever painted of my home city.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  10. A brilliant painter. I think painting can be learned, but there seems to be an innate talent in the eye and imagination that makes the great artists great. Thanks for sharing, Jennie. 🙂

  11. srbottch says:

    Beautiful paintings, Jen. Do you notice how the frames are always gold in these magnificent paintings? You your students are so lucky to have you. You even teach me. 😄

  12. Darlene says:

    I felt this way when I visited the Prado in Madrid and saw original works of Goya. I was so “gobsmacked” as the British would say. I also love the EB White quote. Wonder is all around us if we look for it. Great material for the next season of teaching.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Darlene. The only museum outside the U.S. I have seen is the Uffizi in Florence. Words pale to describe the experience. So glad you know what I mean and have been “gobsmacked”– what a great word! The E.B. White quote is one of my favorites. Best to you. 🙂

  13. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    This post is an excellent post on Monet’s early paintings and on the importance of art for children.

  14. Thank you, Jennie for this beautiful post (literally) and you are so right, seeing the real paintings are so wondrous. K D 🙂

  15. speakingwins says:

    You’re right. Seeing “the real deal” is the best. That’s what I discovered in a European museum when I first saw four van Gogh paintings. They are so much more than reproductions can ever show. I just stood and stared.

  16. Art museums are such wonderful places. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the best in the US (it was rated the 2nd best in the country last year). It was an absolute joy to be able to see so many original paintings and other works of art: many of them from several centuries ago! It’s great that you’re allowing children to experience the wonders at your local art museum.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Josh. I’m glad you have had an art museum experience, too. They are certainly wonderful places. My preschoolers love art, and if I can make it exciting through my museum experiences, all the better.

  17. Once you see a Rubens or Degas or Dali in real life, the internet and its pictures will never be the same…

  18. A. L. Kaplan says:

    One of my favorite artists. I got to visit Giverny this spring. Inspiring.

  19. Nice! After your explanation of how Monet’s work changed over the years, I’m going to have to get myself over to the Currier and see for myself. Those first works are so different than his later ones, but I like them!

  20. Pingback: The Art Museum – SEO

  21. Tina Frisco says:

    This is a beautiful post, Jennie. I scrolled up and down several times, enjoying the stroke of wonder again and again. Monet is a favorite of mine, and museums make the best outings 💕

  22. Beautiful post, Jennie

  23. Kristen Moreno says:

    I really enjoyed this post. Seeing Monet’s progression displayed and explained was thoroughly enjoyable. And if I ever find myself in New Hampshire, I’ll definitely check this museum out.

  24. It sounds like a wonderful museum, Jennie! And I couldn’t agree more: seeing the paintings life is the best! I was equally entranced standing before an enormous painting by Monet at the National Gallery in London 😄 I could have looked at it for hours, following each stroke with my eyes – if it were not for all the other beautiful paintings gathered there! 😂

  25. I love Monet. I envy you the day you had, but you don’t need to pity me too much. I’ve seen lots of his work, too. And on the wall of my living room hangs my Monet master study, of Starry Night. 🙂

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Cathleen. I’m glad you have had the experience of seeing Monet’s art. So, tell me about the work that hangs on your wall. Is it a Monet rendition of Van Gogh’s Starry Night? Sounds wonderful.

  26. zeebrart says:

    really cool work! please check out my blogs I have just started thanks!

  27. Pingback: The Art Museum — A Teacher’s Reflections –

  28. cayenne154 says:

    What I like about Monet’s paintings is that they have unique affects and clearly express what mood the painter was in.

  29. godtisx says:

    Nice post. Thank-you for sharing the works…

  30. Pingback: “The Art Museum” By A Teacher’s Reflections – Gardenlovepoet

  31. gumersindo says:


  32. Thanks for the great post, we have also run a few articles on Monet & Impressionism, please check them out ❤

  33. thank you so much, I also would be more than happy to hear your comments and suggestions. 🙂

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