One of the most important and pleasing consequences of the increased number of museums in Malaga during the past decade and a half is that two generations of children from the province have had the chance to increase their learning, thanks to these institutions' educational departments.
Many of the museums have been organising workshops for children over the years, and for hundreds of families these have become a regular and enjoyable way of spending some leisure time and learning something new as well.
The Covid-19 virus may have confined us all to our homes at present, but that has not deterred some of the museums in their quest to educate youngsters in the world of art; they have put a variety of activities online, and these can be accessed free of charge.
Museo Picasso Malaga
Work books to stimulate creativity
Those who visit the Picasso Museum website will find plenty of information about its principal collection, several of its exhibitions and a variety of creative activities for families to enjoy.
"We may be in lockdown but the museum, and more specifically art, still has the ability to attract and interest visitors, even if it is online rather than in person. That in itself is a strength, and one that we need to preserve and enhance when we return to the physical space. We are creating a situation of wellbeing, and that is something we all need more than ever right now," says María José Valverde, the head of the museum's Education and Cultural Activities department.
"The contents which are shared on social media and the website are easy to download or they can even be viewed on a mobile phone or computer screen without having to be printed off. The idea is to make access as easy as possible. And although these contents have been adapted to the situation in which we find ourselves at present, they still follow the same educational methodology we use in all the activities for children at the museum. That consists of three elements: to observe (and thereby stimulate visual perception), reflect (develop critical thought), and create (providing original solutions to the challenge which is presented)," says María José.
Museo Carmen Thyssen
Virtual tours and ideas for ages 4 to 18
The Museo Carmen Thyssen Malaga has a wider range of online activities than any other museum in Malaga city. It believes education to be important aspect of what it has to offer, and there are now various options for young visitors aged between four and 18, says the museum's educator, Elisabeth Aparicio.
"We start with an informative tour of the collection, and then there are three educational resources under the title #FamiliaEnCasa, designed for different age groups. They encourage children to experiment on a theme via two of the works of art in the collection: '¡No hay color!' (for ages 4 to 8), 'En movimiento' (ages 7 to 12) and 'Recibido-no leído' (13 to 18)," she explains .
"These activities are designed to be done as a family. The adult will take on the role of the museum's educators through the questions we pose in the material. That way, it is accessible to everyone interested in the methodology used by the museum's Education Department," says Elisabeth.
Centre Pompidou, Museo Ruso and Casa Natal de Picasso
Activities and a special series for children
Social media has a greater weight than their respective websites in terms of educational activities at the three museums which are run by a municipal agency, the Centre Pompidou Malaga, The Russian Museum Collection and the Picasso-Museo Casa Natal Foundation. They each offer different activities for families. At the Casa Natal, which is the house in which Picasso was born, there are activities every Saturday to mark important dates such as World Poetry Day, World Theatre Day and the International Day of Monuments and Historical Sites.
The Russian Museum has also joined the #yomequedoencasa campaign and has activities based on some of the works in its new exhibitions (which are yet to be inaugurated because of the state of alarm). It associates these with life under lockdown, inviting young users to recreate them at home through selfies and other actions. At the Malaga branch of the Pompidou Centre children can enjoy episodes of the series Mon Oeil', which was designed specifically by the headquarters of the museum in Paris.
Museum Jorge Rando
Educational guides and the chance to do some colouring
Children can download educational material from the Museum Jorge Rando website which is organised in the same way as Primary Education. There are guides to different subjects, all related to expressionism and the work of this artist from Malaga who set up this museum in El Molinillo district. There are several templates which can be coloured in, from a frame to a puzzle, and a format by which every young online visitor can create their own comic.
Templates to recreate works which have been on display
On the website of the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Malaga, in the educational section, there is an activity called 'Colorea', with different templates of works of art which have been exhibited at the centre for youngsters to colour in. Peter Halley, Graciela Hasper, Sylvie Fleury, Miguel Gómez Losada, Santiago Ydáñez, Roman Lokati and Manuel León are the artists whose works have been selected. Sources at the CAC Malaga say the catalogue is updated with a new work of art every week.