When looking at the building for the Mobile Museum of Art, you can’t help but think it’s a work of art itself. It’s a beautiful and large building that invites you in with its manicured grounds which are littered with various sculptures. Although there is ample parking, the parking lot itself sits on a slight curve and incline. This led to difficulty parking, we actually had to park farther away due to many cars parking wide or crooked. Due to the shape and the layout of the lot, many drivers were worried more about getting into a space than pedestrians around them, so be careful and watch your children.
The lobby is large and inviting, the large windows really take advantage of the lakefront adjacent to the museum. The museum itself is advertised to be one of the largest art museums on the Gulf Coast and it feels like it. While walking through the exhibit hall, I felt there was another gallery around every turn. The halls were endless. There is much to see in the museum, even if some halls/exhibits are closed. The length can be adjusted depending on how you feel about art. I’m not an art person, so that could be why it felt so long to me.
The works of art on display range from standard oil paintings to extravagant glass work. When I think of art museums, I picture mostly paintings. Thankfully this museum had many types of sculptures and pottery as well, which I find more interesting. Being that this is an art museum, your children’s interest can vary. Many young children may bore quickly and some exhibits may even be frightening. Some of the works of art are very intriguing, but at the same time very grotesque. Children in high school, or those that have an interest in art, will definitely be excited to explore the various halls within.
It appears as though the museum was built without strollers in mind. There are various twists and turns, especially on the second floor. Although there is an elevator to take you to the second floor, there aren’t ramps for the stairways within. From an architectural standpoint it made the interior very interesting to have different elevations but looking at it from a practical view, it was a pain and just added difficulty for parents with small kids.
As stated previously some children may not know how to handle some of the exhibits. I found a couple sculptures in the upstairs exhibit that could upset or frighten children. Also while not explicit, naturally in any art museum you will find some nude paintings. Although the Mobile Museum of Art has some, they are very abstract. Children will be able to make out the various parts of the anatomy, so take that into consideration. My son pointed at the paintings and laughed. Other children’s parents ushered them by quickly, while the kids covered their eyes.
To compensate for the lack of children’s activities we actually arrived on a special kid’s day. This was fun for the kids since there was a magic show and various other children’s activities. The kids were particularly excited when entering the lobby and seeing a couple of costumed characters there to greet them. Since this was sponsored by the Mobile Public Library to encourage reading, I was hoping to see a book character such as Arthur or Curious George rather than the Armadillo from Texas Roadhouse. However Bay B. Bear, one of the mascots from our Local Minor League Baseball team: The Mobile Baybears, was a welcome sight. The kids were also treated to a variety of goodies which many seemed to enjoy including free baseball tickets, a free kid’s meal at Texas Roadhouse, temporary tattoos, and stickers. This was a special event at the art museum, so please take note of that before you visit. Also make sure to look at the event calendar as some events offer free admission.
The Mobile Museum of Art has a lot to offer, but more towards adults and older children. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon, especially on a rainy day. If you do decide to take smaller children, be aware that some areas are not stroller friendly. Also some of the artwork may be inappropriate for them as well. This was definitely not what I expected from an art museum and the diversity of art they had in their collection was very welcome. I’d definitely make return trip, but probably when my children get older.
This review is based on a complimentary visit to the Mobile Museum of Art. I received no other
compensation and the business owner did not state any requirements that I express a particular point of