Two innovative tools the Museum’s docents have developed to enhance tours given to the thousands of school children who visit each year are the Art Carts. These portable “classrooms on wheels” contain an array of didactic items that demonstrate the materials and techniques used by painters in two distinct historical eras, geographic regions, and artistic media: European Renaissance panel painting and Indian miniature illuminations. The carts can be rolled in to the appropriate galleries and used to augment the tour experiences of students from grades 1 through 12, giving the children an opportunity to see and touch implements and supplies and simulated works of art that bring to life the practices of artists who created some of the actual works on display in the Museum.
Renaissance Art Cart
The Renaissance Art Cart contains a series of panels showing the various stages used in creating a tempera painting on panel in the 15th century, from the preparation of the ground to the under drawing, the application of color, and the final gilding and punch work. The cart contains samples of the main pigments used by the artists, gesso, gold foil, and tools similar to those used in the 1400s.
Indian Art Cart
The Indian Art Cart houses sample miniature paintings at various stages of completion as well as specimens of the raw materials pigments were made from, as well as hand-made squirrel hair brushes and agate burnishers. Its construction was funded by a donation from docent Diane Carlos in memory of her parents and furnished partly by a grant from the ResMed Foundation.