4.20.2013

Wild Things at the Bowers Museum


As a preschool teacher, I read Maurice Sendak's book Where the Wild Things Are a lot. I loved how my students and I could pretend to be Wild Things and act out their different qualities. We could gnash our terrible teeth and show our terrible claws, roar our terrible roars and roll our terrible eyes. So I was excited to hear the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana had a temporary exhibit on Sendak's work.

Maurice Sendak: 50 years, 50 works, 50 reasons features a collection of (mostly) drawings and many of the pieces relate to Where the Wild Things Are. Together, these pieces showcase Sendak's imagination and mischievous nature. While I was there I realized I had forgotten all about two of Sendak's other characters I loved as a child, Pierre and Rosie. An added bonus, the museum offers docent-led tours of their exhibits, which are regularly scheduled throughout the day.  Luckily, I arrived just in time to join a tour of this exhibit.

I had been to the Bowers before. Last year I took my third graders to see the traveling Terracotta Warriors exhibit while we were learning about China. We had a fantastic docent who helped us explore the space. The exhibit has since closed, but the museum has a very nice collection of artifacts in an exhibit titled Ancient Arts of China: A 5,000 Year Legacy. For a complete list of current and upcoming exhibitions, head here.

The Bowers Museum is free to Santa Ana residents on Tuesdays and to all guests on the first Sunday of every month. I haven't been on a Target Free First Sunday, but I imagine it is BUSY. I urge you to consider going then, however, because the Bowers can be a bit pricey. Children under 12 are always free; but a general admission adult ticket can cost as much as $15 dollars on the weekends. Parking in their lot is an additional $6 and you must have cash. Also, I would not recommend taking young children to the Bowers. (Third graders are fine.) The museum is wonderful, but it feels like a space for grown-ups.

Having said that, I think Maurice Sendak: 50 years, 50 works, 50 reasons is worth a trip to the museum. The exhibit closes on April 28, so if you'd like to see it you'll need to hustle.