Talking Trees
The Trouble with Chickens

Picture Books in a Museum


Amid the Kandinskys and Picassos and Brancusis, NYC's Guggenheim Museum contains a small reading library, with many art and architecture books for adults to peruse. A couple of shelves of art-themed picture books are available for the youngest museum-goers, too. On a recent visit, I noted, among other titles, The Pencil, by Allan Ahlberg, with illustrations by Bruce Ingman (Candlewick, 2008), and Willie Was Different, by Norman Rockwell (Berkshire House, 1994). (My friend Elaine Clayton's book Ella's Trip to the Museum, Crown, 1996, would fit in well here.) The Guggenheim's online shop sells I'd Like the Goo-Gen-Heim, written and illustrated by A.C. Hollingsworth. First published in 1970, it was reissued in 2009.

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guggenheim does not have a traditional floor plan; its spiral structure features a continuous ramp running from the top floor to the first. Although not the least interested in the paintings on the walls, my 11 year old thought the building itself was awesome and hoped for a skateboard to ride the spiral walkway down. He settled for taking pictures, like the one above (taken from the first floor, looking up).

He bought a Lego kit of the museum in the gift shop, and quickly put it together when we got home. The mini version of the NYC landmark sits on our mantle, and for some reason, one of our cats often knocks it onto the floor. Oh, gosh, there goes the Guggenheim again—but it's repaired in a timely manner.


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My cat likes to knock puzzle pieces off the puzzle table. Cats are just like that. Kind of rotten.

"Oh, gosh, there goes the Guggenheim again" -- love it!

Kind of rotten--so true! Our one big orange tabby always goes for the negative attention, too--hence, the temptation of batting the Guggenheim. We often have a jigsaw puzzle out, and I can't tell you how many times the pieces have gone flying when the cats are chasing each other and leaping on top of everything.

Nice shot, 11 year-old! (how did THAT happen so fast?!?!)

Eleven! I know! It's hard for me to believe, Mary Lee.

Susan, thank you so much for mentioning ELLA'S TRIP TO THE MUSEUM. I have this fascination with museums and I heard for a long time, one of the elder Fricks still lived upstairs at the Frick, secretly (!).

Really? Now that's a story! I love the Frick. I could picture someone living there secretly.

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