What your Mom wants for Mother’s Day

Benjamin West, American, Portrait of Mrs. Benjamin West and Her Son, Raphael, circa 1770, oil painting, Purchased with funds from the Marriner S. Eccles Foundation for the Marriner S. Eccles Collection of Masterworks

Hey, your mom called and she told us what she wants for Mother’s Day: she wants to spend time with you. She also wants to visit the UMFA, and wouldn’t you know it, we happen to be open this Sunday from 11am to 5pm. So, don’t buy her that slow cooker and instead bring mom to the UMFA this Mother’s Day. (Full disclosure: I am giving my mom a slow cooker, but we already spend time together at the Museum and she said her slow cooker is broken).

As an extra special treat, you and mom could do this mother-themed treasure hunt together as you visit the galleries.

1. Find the portrait of Mrs. Benjamin West and Her Son, in the American Galleries. This portrait is of the artist’s wife and son. What is the son’s name?

2. Find the Portrait of Mrs. James Thomas Birch in the American Galleries. Did you know each of the flowers represent one of her children and the closed flower bud is a symbol of the child she was expecting when this portrait was painted. How many children does she have?

3. Find The Virgin Nursing the Christ Child by the Studio of Peter Paul Rubens in the European Galleries. This painting shows more than just an ineffective breastfeeding technique. It combines a Christian subject (the Virgin Mary and Christ), with a mythological story (how the milky way was formed). What nationality was Peter Paul Rubens?

4. Fine the Recumbent Lioness with her Cubs in the European Galleries. How many cubs does she have?

5. Find the sculpture Shiva with Parvati (Uma-Mahesvara) in the Asian Gallery. Can you find Shiva and Parvati’s son Ganesha? Hint: he has a human body and an elephant’s head. What is this sculpture carved from?

6. Find Dors, Mon Amour in the Georges Rouault: Circus of the Shooting Star Exhibition.  What do you think this mother’s profession is?

Now go buy mom a cup of coffee in the cafe and have a nice conversation about all the artwork you have seen today.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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