Once Upon a Halloween

There are only a few more days until Halloween, which means it is time to stock up on candy, put the finishing touches on costumes, and carve that pumpkin! Walking through the museum galleries today with Halloween colors on the brain, a few works of art jumped out at me.

Boy in Short Pants, 1918; Amedeo Modigliani

Boy in Short Pants, 1918; Amedeo Modigliani; Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Leland Fikes Foundation, Inc.

"Marshmallow" sofa, designed c. 1954-1955; George Nelson Associates

"Marshmallow" sofa, designed c. 1954-1955; George Nelson Associates; Dallas Museum of Art, 20th-century Design Fund

Pincushion to Serve as Fetish, 1979; Dorothea Tanning; Collection of Deedie and Rusty Rose and the Dallas Museum of Art through the General Acquisitions Fund

Pincushion to Serve as Fetish, 1979; Dorothea Tanning; Collection of Deedie and Rusty Rose and the Dallas Museum of Art through the General Acquisitions Fund

Orange, Red and Red, 1962; Mark Rothko; Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated

Orange, Red and Red, 1962; Mark Rothko; Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated

These four works of art are very different, but mix them together and you have some rich possibilities for storytelling. What if the Pincushion came to life? Or what if the little boy from the Modigliani painting jumped into a sea of orange in the Rothko painting?

This is a great exercise in the galleries or at home to spark creative thinking. When you and your child try to make metaphors (“This work of art is a whale stranded on the beach”) or imagine new possibilities (“What if this sofa came to life?”), you are thinking outside of the box! Have each family member come up with their own short story combining these four works of art. Younger children can draw their stories, while older children can write them. Here are some Halloween-inspired story starters:

  • Once upon a dark night…
  • A boy and his dog sneak into a spooky house when suddenly…
  • A girl goes trick or treating and knocks on the door of…

If you try this activity, leave us a comment and tell us what you and your children come up with!

Posted by: Leah

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Filed under 6 to 12 year olds, In the galleries, Parents, PreK

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