The Chrysler Museum of Art Opens its First Interactive Gallery for Families
NORFOLK, Va. (July 18, 2018) – Children and families can explore, play and create in the Chrysler Museum’s Wonder Studio, a free asset for the community. Located adjacent to Huber Court, the Museum’s primary gathering area, the family-friendly interactive space is a new step for the Museum in imagining how to engage visitors through unique and immersive experiences. “The combination of digital technology with the works from the Chrysler collection places us at the forefront of museums. Museum guests will have the opportunity to experience our collection in a way that will help them discover their own creativity. We are grateful for the gift from a generous anonymous donor that made this innovative space possible,” said Museum Director Erik H. Neil.
The Wonder Studio is creative, fun and experimental. Visitors are encouraged to linger with comfortable seating, to explore with a curious eye and to be creative, becoming part of the experience. “For many years, children’s and science museums, zoos and aquaria have been on the leading edge of providing interesting and active experiences for families with young children, but many parents feel uncomfortable taking their children to art museums,” said Anne Corso, the Chrysler’s Director of Education. “With much participation from family focus groups, we believe that we have developed an experience that will balance play, experimentation and art, all while giving parents a relaxing and comfortable space for their families. The Wonder Studio will help the Chrysler cultivate the next generation of museum-goers.”
Changing periodically, the Wonder Studio presents different themes related to the Museum’s extensive collection. In The Human Figure, activities blend analog and digital interactions, encouraging visitors to consider how artists see the human body and think about how they can create new kinds of art.
- The Colorscape allows visitors to use the human body to dance and move with color, projecting their artistic experiments on the floor.
- The Studio takes a whimsical view of the Museum’s collection. Using a digital version of an artist’s easel, visitors can select various works of art from the Chrysler’s collection and create a masterpiece of their own using a combination of elements from each piece. The interactive and intuitive game was developed and customized for the space by Bruce Wyman of USD Design|MACH Consulting and kid-tested during the development phase.
- In the center of the Wonder Studio, The Artquarium immerses visitors in a visual explosion of artworks like a multi-faceted jewel while giving visitors clever tools to find little points of discovery and delight. Visitors young and old can get up close with masterpieces from the Museum’s collection, encased in plexiglass. Periscopes and ear horns allow visitors to zoom in on details and hear kid-friendly tidbits about the works on display.
The Chrysler Museum of Art worked with Bruce Wyman of USD Design|MACH Consulting; design firms Upswell and Plus & Greater Than, both of Portland, Ore.; Museum Evaluation Consultant Kate Haley Goldman of Silver Spring, Md. to create the Wonder Studio.
Our Wonder Studio was also recently featured on 13 News Now:
ABOUT THE CHRYSLER MUSEUM OF ART
The Chrysler Museum of Art is one of America’s most distinguished mid-sized art museums, with a nationally recognized collection of more than 30,000 objects, including one of the great glass collections in America. The core of the Chrysler’s collection comes from Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., an avid art collector who donated thousands of objects from his private collection to the Museum. The Museum, expanded in 2014 to add additional gallery spaces and amenities for visitors, now has growing collections in many areas and mounts an ambitious schedule of visiting exhibitions and educational programs each season. The Chrysler has also been recognized nationally for its unique commitment to hospitality with its innovative gallery host program.
The Perry Glass Studio is a state-of-art facility on the Museum’s campus. The studio offers programming for aspiring and master artists alike in a variety of processes including glassblowing, fusing, flameworking, coldworking and neon. The studio has also cultivated a reputation for its cutting-edge performance evenings, and was the host venue of the 2017 Glass Arts Society Conference.
In addition, the Chrysler Museum of Art administers two historic houses in downtown Norfolk: the Moses Myers House and the Willoughby-Baylor House, as well as the Jean Outland Chrysler Library on the campus of Old Dominion University. General admission is free at all venues. For more information on the Chrysler Museum of Art, visit chrysler.org.