Art Museums: Refrigerators for the Young at Heart

I believe that the greatest painters convey a feeling to the viewer through their work. And certain painters can change the mood of an entire room through the colors and shapes they put on the canvas. I personally become enthralled within art museums, being drawn to the works and absorbed into the imagined worlds present only in the minds of the artists.

A time in our lives that every college student - and every person over the age of 15 - wishes they could turn back the clock to. A time when our only concerns were the ratio of PB to J and whether or not our crayons broke while coloring the kids menu. Many artists find themselves pursuing things we commonly pursued as children, such as imaginative thinking, color experimentation, creating things with found objects, and even painting subject matters that are reminiscence of childhood daydreams. Whether you have noticed it or not, art can bring out the childlike sense of wonder in all of us.

Wayne Thiebaud

Wayne Thiebaud is one of my favorite artists because of his pastel color palette and his sense of humor and pure joy that take me back to blazing summer days in the ice cream shop with my dad or baking in the kitchen with my grandma. Many of his pieces are cheerful and bright, filled with funny faces, food, and household objects. With pastels and wide brushstrokes, Thiebaud achieves a playful note throughout his artwork, and this combined with light washed colors remind me of faded coloring pages that I would so proudly give to my mom on mother’s day.


Cy Twombly

Whimsical cannot describe Cy Twombly’s work. Resembling Jackson Pollock in his unconstrained style, Cy Twombly pushes the boundaries of modern art. His monochromatic color palette pulls you in and intrigue you by the vibrancy of the piece on the page.

The splatter effect can’t help but make you smile, taking you back to a time when coloring inside the lines was not optional. An art critic might say the expressionistic style of Twombly is a reflection of the interpretive nature exhibited in natural beauty, but what I love about it is how it looks like the painting they make in Princess Diaries with the popping balloons.



Piet Mondrian

Primary colors, blocks, intersecting lines, what else could remind you more of your childhood? Whether it reminds you of train tracks or stacking blocks, coloring sheets or the carpet of your room in preschool, Piet can be reminiscence of childhood in countless ways. I have heard so many people say “oh, a kid could do that” although many have proven this is not true, Piet taps into that childlike fascination with the simplest of things in a way that is enjoyable to the viewer, making them get lost in the yellows, blues and reds.

These artists and countless more rely on their childhood wonderment to tap into ours, intentionally or not. The shift in time they create is both awe-inspiring, beautiful, and simply brings joy to those who experience it.