13 – museums

I love a good museum and now that the kids are older, it’s a good time to visit all of the museums that are age-appropriate. We recently received an offer for a discounted annual membership to the Natural History Museum in LA, so we did it. We’ll probably be going to downtown LA more often this year.

The NHM is an old-school museum – basically, it’s the kind of museum that’s typically represented in movies like “Night at the Museum”: dark and stodgy with static presentation of exhibits. I’ve been spoiled by being a Getty intern – I was able to see bright and dynamic displays that change often. At the NHM, there are some exhibits that have been there for quite a long time. The first time I visited the NHM was in 1994 when I was interning at Cal State Fullerton through the National Science Foundation’s “Young Scholars’ Program”. I remember seeing a ceolacanth in formaldehyde. It was still there in the same box.

I don’t know if the kids enjoyed the museum much. They like animals, things that move, or interactive displays. Matty did enjoy the dinosaur exhibits and Sara went crazy over the gems and minerals. We all equally disliked the food; the Aquarium of the Pacific’s cafeteria is light years ahead in terms of food quality.

Too bad it rained the whole time we were there – the NHM has a pretty large garden that would have made for a good stroll. The view to USC would have made things a bit irritating though (it would have been difficult to enjoy a good walk with both fists shaking in the air towards USC).

When the kids are older, I’d like to be able to go to art museums with them. The Getty was a start, but there’s also LACMA and a lot of smaller museums (MoLAA). I want them to appreciate visual art not just for aesthetics, but also for purpose and provenance.

Next museum visit – the La Brea Tar Pits. I’ve never been and the last time I saw it, Arnold Schwarznegger was falling inside a pit .That’s a reference to “Last Action Hero”; for those who never saw the movie, it was supposedly much maligned as one of the worst movies ever, but I actually enjoyed it.


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