Beginning July 1, Brigham Young University's Museum of Art will offer families a sense of experiencing history as they dress according to characters portrayed in "Time Travel into American Paintings."

The activity, which will take no longer than a half hour, is free.Participants are welcome to visit any time the museum is open. Those wanting a guide may schedule a specific time. Museum hours during the summer are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, with the exception of extended hours to 9 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays.

Families and groups will be greeted with a packet and costumes. After a few don the costumes, the group will try to locate the figures they represent in one of the paintings of BYU's "150 Years of American Painting" exhibition.

After finding the corresponding painting, the group will then learn about the principles of art - including balance, rhythm and movement - as directed in the packet.

Borrowing from the idea of museum volunteer Helen Thiriot, Cheryl Lindsey has spent several weeks preparing the costumes that have turned out almost exactly like the paintings.

Lindsey, a museum education assistant, was asked to put the project together by Ellen Powley, head of Public Programs and Volunteer Services. With Powley's support, Lindsey has greatly enlarged the activity.

"When I started I was supposed to put four or five costumes together," Lindsey said. "But it has expanded into more than 20 costumes.

Not only is the project fun for kids, but it is also educational for parents and children, Lindsey said.

To reserve a specific time for a guide or for more information, contact the Museum of Art at (801) 378-8200.