Costumes in Art

Although Halloween is over, many children enjoy the continued wear of their costumes. Embrace the idea of costume and performance by visiting the exhibition, All the World’s a Stage: Performance in the Visual Arts.  

1986_277Ballet Dancers on the Stage, Edgar Degas, 1883

The exhibition contains works from the Museum’s collection that relate to the idea of performance. Filled with masks, images of dancers, and a variety of costumes, All the World’s a Stage is bound to ignite creativity in your family. While in the exhibition, find works of art featuring a costume or outfit that your family likes. Talk about if anyone in your family has ever worn something similar. Have family members take turns portraying different characters in one or more works of art.

1999'305 Orpheus Taming Wild Animals , A.D. 194

 What is the person in the work of art doing? What might he or she be thinking or feeling? How might the figure in the work of art look different if she or he were wearing a different type of costume? Would anyone in your family like to wear a costume seen in any of the works?

sullyCinderella at the Kitchen Fire, Thomas Sully, 1843

A great way to make connections to a Museum family visit is to reflect on the artworks you saw by making some masterpieces of your own. Gather materials that you have at home and challenge members of your family to make their own costume inspired by those that they saw in All the World’s a Stage. Cardboard, tape, felt, foil, and paper bags were some of the materials that inspired visitors to create their own costumes last month when our Studio Creations program focused on All the World’s a Stage.

studio creations

Use a long sheet of fabric (canvas, muslin, etc.) to create impromptu costumes that simulate a character’s clothing, such as Orpheus’s tunic or Cinderella’s dress. Gather old grocery bags and glue them together to make a vest, crumple foil to make a tiara, staple tissue paper to a ribbon to make a colorful tutu. Ask family members which work of art at the Museum inspired their costumes. After all the costumes are assembled, work together as a family to create a short play. Invite everyone to wear their costumes as they perform, even your kitchen can be a stage!

studio creations costume

Posted by: Amanda


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Filed under 6 to 12 year olds, Art Projects, DMA Programs, In the galleries

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