Family Friendly Art Exhibitions in Balboa Park: "Gauguin to Warhol" at The San Diego Museum of Art and "Ingenious! The World of Dr. Seuss" at San Diego History Center

Written by Danielle Susalla Deery on Friday, December 26, 2014 - Read 3391 times
Roy Lichtenstein, Head—Red and Yellow, 1962. Oil on canvas.


Paul Gauguin, Spirit of the Dead Watching, 1892. Oil on burlap mounted on canvas. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. A. Conger Goodyear Collection, 1965. Photograph by Tom Loonan.


Gauguin to Warhol at The San Diego Museum of Art

Walking through the Gauguin to Warhol exhibition at The San Diego Museum of Art resembles the Impressionist to Present art history course I teach at Fullerton College. It covers some of the most significant periods of art history from the Post Impressionist period featuring work by Paul Gauguin and George Seurat to the Pop art movement presenting important pieces by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Even those who have never taken an art history class can appreciate the iconic works on view by artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Frida Kahlo, and the mini Modern art history lesson.

What makes the show great for kids is the fantastic interactive section that allows children to draw shapes they saw in the artwork, create gestural drawings on a white board and learn about texture through crayon rubbings. My seven month old daughter and I really enjoyed the dramatic colors and movement in the monumental Jackson Pollock painting in the Abstract Expressionist section that we tried to emulate on the white board and in our drawing.



Ingenious! The World of Dr. Seuss at San Diego History Center

Down the promenade from The San Diego Museum of Art is San Diego History Center, a museum that educates the public about the history of San Diego and its artists. Many people might not know the famed Dr. Seuss, Theodor Geisel, was a La Jolla native. Dr. Seuss was an innovative author and illustrator who inspired creativity and imagination in his readers. The exhibition Ingenious! The World of Dr. Seuss is perfect for kids and adults of all ages.

There are many interactive family-friendly activity areas where you can create your own Seuss object, draw pictures, create words, write letters and read one of the many Dr. Seuss books they have available. Another great feature of the exhibition is the life-size figurative sculptures such as the ever popular Grinch, the Turtle tree, and the Lorax that kids CAN touch (my baby girl Keira especially loved touching the art;). I also appreciated the separate gallery featuring an engaging collection of original paintings and prints by Dr. Seuss. He was a phenomenal surrealist and the exhibition pays tribute to his artistic talents.


Spend the Day in Balboa Park – Where to Have Lunch with Kids

My recommendation is to see the Gauguin to Warhol exhibit, then have lunch at Panama 66 located in The San Diego Museum of Art Sculpture Court, where they provide blankets for a picnic lunch in the Sculpture Garden (perfect for kids that need to move around), then head over to the San Diego History Center for the Dr. Seuss show. Don't forget to visit the SDHC gift store, I found some great Dr. Seuss books for my little one;) Have a fun day at Balboa Park!

Contributed by Danielle Susalla Deery: Independent Curator, Adjunct Assistant Art History Professor, San Diego museum aficionado and mother. You can reach Danielle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Danielle Susalla Deery

Danielle Susalla Deery is an Independent Curator, Adjunct Art History Professor, San Diego museum aficionado, mother and former Director of Exhibits and Communications at Oceanside Museum of Art.

You can reach Danielle at