A Family-Friendly Florine: Tips for Parents When Looking at the Art of Stettheimer

Florine Stettheimer Family Day at the Jewish Museum. Matthew Carasella/SocialShutterbug.com

Portraits of families, summers on the beach, scenes of the Statue of Liberty, and dancing figures in costume — these are some of the playful images found in the exhibition Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry, on view at the Jewish Museum this summer. Artist Florine Stettheimer’s paintings share an exciting snapshot of New York in the Jazz Age with appeal for a multi-generational audience and families of all backgrounds. 
On the occasion of Stettheimer Summer Mondays, our new weekly series of studio art workshops at the Jewish Museum inspired by the brilliant paintings and theater designs of Florine Stettheimer, here are a few easy tips for parents when exploring the exhibition with your family:

Florine Stettheimer, “Procession: Orpheus…”. Orphée of the Quat-z-arts, 1912. Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Miss Ettie Stettheimer, 1947. Image provided by The Museum of Modern Art / SCALA / Art Resource, New York

1. Ask open-ended questions.

When examining a painting together, begin with open-ended questions which encourage close looking such as: “What do you notice?” or “What is happening in this scene?” These prompts will inspire a variety of responses to build a lively discussion. You may respond with, “Tell me more about that” or “Does this remind you of something you have seen before?”

2. Choose a character.

You may also ask your child to choose a person in the work of art upon which to focus their attention. You may want to encourage your child to take their pose and/or create a sketch of this character. Stettheimer’s work is filled with surprising details. Encourage your child to discover them. Ask children to notice items people are holding, interesting clothing, or unexpected surroundings. Use these observations to spark a story about a character.

3. Focus on the details.

Think about focusing on the colors and textures Stettheimer uses in her work. Embark on a hunt for favorite colors, describe different textures, and compare what you see to what you are wearing or something in the world around you.
Be spontaneous when looking together. Allow your child to lead you to a work they are excited about, and have fun exploring it together. Download our kids gallery guide of the exhibition, or pick one up at your next visit to discover the many entry points to looking at art together as a family.

— Rachel Katz Levine, Senior Manager of Family Programs

Pop-Up Scene inspired by the paintings of Florine Stettheimer.

Stettheimer Summer Mondays studio art workshops for families with kids ages 3 and up take place on Mondays, July 10, 17, 24, and 31, 1–4 pm. Explore a new project each week:

July 10: Use a variety of media and found objects to create colorful scenes.
July 17: Create playful figures using modeling clay, fabric, and more.
July 24: Paint portraits of family or imaginative figures in costume.
July 31: Illustrate stories using watercolor crayons within an accordion book.

Free with Museum Admission and RSVP at TheJewishMuseum.org/Families.