Beyond Their Years: A Look at Youth from Victorian Times to Today
Beyond Their Years: A Look at Youth from Victorian Times to Today, presents works of art spanning three centuries that explore some of the complexities of childhood and adolescence. The Fountain Elms setting for the exhibition is a radical move for the museum, since the room has been a Victorian-era bedroom setting since 1960.
Childhood is ideally a time of innocence and play. Is this a luxury reserved for a few, or are there expectations of youth that belie this conventional view, regardless of class or status? Many of the toys and outfits designed for children simply mimic the activities and clothes of adults. A child-sized Windsor chair and a miniature wood stove with pots, both from the Museums collection, illustrate the idea of play being an opportunity for children to make believe they are adults; cooking and dressing like a grown-up. Hollis Siglers 1987 painting, You Enter This Place of Abandoned Desires, on the other hand, evokes a mix of coming-of-age yearning and nostalgia; juxtaposing a wrecked school bus with miscellaneous lost objects such as a high-heeled shoe, and a mans tie.
The exhibition is organized by students in the Exploring Museum Careers High School Partnership Program. The students, Charlotte Bausch, (Hamilton), Julia Cranell, Vito Valenzi (Whitesboro), Igor Dunikov, Olivia Kodsy, Casey Miller (Clinton), Julia Madore, and Savannah Sears (New Hartford), worked together with MWPAI staff on all aspects of producing the exhibition, from selecting the objects to presenting the opening gallery talk. They began by meeting with the museum curators and reviewing objects in the museums collection. In subsequent meetings the students met and worked with other staff to learn about each persons career background and role at the museum. The students completed regular assignments and participated in art research, publication design, marketing, exhibition layout and installation, object label writing; and audioguide production for the exhibition.
For more information about the program, contact Museum Education Director, April Oswald, at 797-0000 ext. 2144, or email.