The schoolchildren step into the art gallery, their eyes filled with fascination. Hands reach to touch African sculptures, noses press close to Thomas Moran paintings, fingers pull Chinese porcelain from the walls.
The artworks are replicas, the gallery is a school classroom, but the eagerness is real. All are key ingredients in a program sponsored by the Philbrook Museum of Art to bring fine art and children together through a traveling museum road show."Typically we take this out to rural schools where they don't get a chance to see Philbrook," said Rosie May, assistant coordinator of the museum's year-old program, Art-on-the-Move.
The museum packs up replicas and photo reproductions of its collection in a donated van that travels to schools within a 100-mile radius, May said.
Besides giving children a taste of art, getting their hands on the art replicas also gets them involved, May said. They wouldn't get to handle the real thing in the museum.