Return to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Firebird sculpture in front of Bechtler museum

Firebird sculpture by iki de Saint Phalle in front of Bechtler museum

I wrote about visiting the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in uptown Charlotte for my first post on this blog, and returned for the first time in years with my husband and daughter last weekend. We weren’t sure how a museum tour would go with an almost 4-year-old – but hoped she would be fascinated by the  new scenery (she is a big fan of uptown, or as she calls it “tall buildings”). When growing up in Worcester, Massachusetts, my parents started taking me to the Worcester Museum of Art at a very early age. I think this is why I’ve always loved museums, and hope some preschool cultural exposure will help our daughter will share the same interest.

We first snapped photos in front of the iconic Firebird sculpture – the museum’s symbol sparkling on a sunny day (the Bechtler will debut the sculpture’s 5 year anniversary exhibit on September 10)

Firebird sculpture

Firebird sculpture

On the second floor, we asked Katie to point out her favorite colors from the kaleidoscopic works by Swiss artist Max Bill. She declared a few of the sculptures “amazing!” Then we checked out sculptures on the terrace, also glimpsing views of the”tall buildings”.

Outdoor sculpture on 2nd floor of Bechtler Museum

Outdoor sculpture on 2nd floor of Bechtler Museum

I both love and am freaked out by the “open” design of the museum, from the 4th floor you can gaze down to the first floor through glass panels (which somehow makes me feel like I could actually plummet to the bottom). We visited on the final weekend of the featured Mario Botta exhibit, spotlighting buildings envisioned by the architect of the  Bechtler and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The Bechtler’s design is as impressive as its exhibits, so I enjoyed seeing photos and mini-replicas of the other Botta structures around the world. Our daughter was most fascinated by the gift shop, where she played with create-your-own art wooden beads and wind up toys.

Bechtler museum exterior

Bechtler museum exterior

I don’t think she’s going to be experimenting with Cubism on her easel anytime soon, but our first family outing to a “grown up” museum went pretty smoothly. We’ve been venturing out of our SouthPark bubble to go uptown more recently, which makes me realize I’ve missed it.


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