Birdcage Press specializes in making award winning games that teach history, art, and nature – surely you will recognize them if you have perused museum gift shops or book stores as their products can be found there. For this review, I chose Art Close Up: Museum of Modern Art card game as we were hoping to visit the MOMA during our recent NYC vacation. No, we never made it to the museum, but we loved the card game, had a wonderful trip, and MOMA is now at the top of our list of things to do at our next NYC visit.
The recommended ages for play of this card game is Ages 5+ and it sells for $10.95 at the Birdcage Press website. I don’t have young children, so my feedback is from my teens and various friends/relatives ranging in age from 12-82. Art Close Up was a huge hit with grandma, and several of my homeschooling mama friends. One of the moms thought her ten year old daughter would love Art Close Up – I almost let her borrow the deck, but we hadn’t gone to NYC yet and I was crossing my fingers we could do the scavenger hunt game. My teen boys enjoyed playing the games, and were stoked when they recognized the paintings or the artist. But being senior high/college ages and RPG online gamers, one round of the card game variations was it for them.
The deck consists of 48 sturdy, glossy cards of a sampling of 24 artists and their works that are on display in the Museum of Modern Art. The full painting, artist, title, and year painted is on one card, while the matching card has a magnification (close up) of a part of the painting. Up to five different card games (Old Maid, Go Fish, Memory…) can be played to match the close up with the descriptive mate.
At first the games are challenging – the close ups can be tricky to match, and it is tempting to linger over the card as if you were standing in front of the real painting. Eyes darting from top to bottom, examining the brush strokes, the detail, mesmerized by the talent of the artist while trying to interpret the feel, meaning, and simply enjoy the magnificence of the work. Some of the artists you will see on the cards include: Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Cézanne, Klee, Dali, and my husbands all time favorite – Edward Hopper.
If you are looking for a fun way to incorporate modern art appreciation into your home schools, and involve the whole family, Art Close Up is a fantastic way. Oh, just a suggestion – when you play the game Old Maid, we chose At the Milliner’s by Degas. As you can see below, she seemed to fit the role perfectly.
A loud shout out to the Birdcage Press team!
These ladies have created a stunning array of educational games. Check out more reviews of Art Close Up and other Birdcage Press products at the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.