Tuesday, March 3, 2015

National Gallery of Canada - Ottawa



You can take pictures outside!
So first things first.  You aren't allowed to take pictures in most of the National Gallery of Canada so for the most part you will just have to take my word for it that we were actually there (twice!).    We went after visiting The Mint which is right next door.  My kids are pretty good at museums and art galleries but I wasn't sure how long they would last at an art gallery especially after just having done a museum,  so I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Gallery is free on Thursday evenings.
The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud
Can you guess the name of this piece?  
My kids loved the Contemporary Art Gallery the best.  They had a hoot trying to guess the names of the artworks.  They would come up with what they thought was a great, descriptive name only to find that it was "untitled".  My kids even liked the things like giant strings that go across rooms etc.
Attempting to solve an art mystery
We liked the National Gallery so much we went back on the Sunday when they had a bunch of kids activities going on.  My youngest daughter liked the mystery box activity the best.  You get a box that is filled with objects and you have to find the painting with those objects.  Don't worry they do provide hints as to which gallery it is so you are not wandering around for hours. They also had a book making activity which both my daughters liked a lot.
This sculpture is probably called "untitled".
My older daughter went with my husband to look at more art while my younger daughter finished up her book.  When we found them in the International Gallery with a docent who was telling them all about a particular painting.  Apparently they pick a different painting or two each day and visiters can learn about it in depth.  This is not aimed at children though so keep that in mind.  My daughter loved it but the particular painting they were learning about was this Klimt painting which may not be everyone's idea of a suitable kid's activity.  

Things to keep in mind:

  • Kids under 12 are free and on Thursday evenings everyone gets in for free.  Full admission information can be found here.
  • They have underground parking for those of your who are driving.  
  • It is right next to The Mint, a block or two away from Byward Market in one direction and a couple of blocks from the Parliament Buildings in the other direction.  It is about 1.5 km away from Museum of History (formerly the Museum of Civilization).
  • They do have a cafeteria with the usual assortment of soups and sandwiches.  
  • They have a free coat and parcel check service.  You have to check any large bag but you can leave just about anything there so if you have been shopping you won't have to lug around your bags.
  • The name of the artwork pictured is The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud. 


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