Educational Initiatives at the MIG

A well designed and installed skylight that sheds mellow light, a man strolling down the dark alleys of that which we do not perceive as yet as an actual city, a short row of street lamps that are individually lit up by an approaching figure with a long stick, the sparkle of a multitude of lights switched on inside houses and on the street. These are some of the scenes we show school children who visit the museum. We propose a historical exhibition track centred on light. It is simpler for elementary school children and more complex for lower secondary classes. The UNESCO has declared 2015 the International Year of Light, an excellent reason to learn more about the topic and an unusual approach to history that starts from something we take for granted and which, instead, was certainly not common until the early ‘900s.

Despite the considerable demand, the history of light is only one of the topics we can propose (it is, however, true that the MIG collection especially includes items that were useful for lighting). Cast iron is a metal; hence, we can also discuss the theme of the discovery of metals and their processing techniques. The items displayed present a great wealth of decorations and are ideal to develop a first simple rationale on the influence exerted by art in the preceding centuries on the designers of these items for daily use. The visit can be enlivened by quizzes and questions, storytelling (the street lamp talks about itself), screening of paintings centred on the theme of the furnished city and the production of materials (drawings, postcards and other) to be taken both to school and home. And what about the tiny tots? Over the past years, we have welcomed many kindergarten classes, entertaining the children with absorbing educational activities, such as an unusual treasure hunt in the museum. The children can move freely, touch objects and discover some unusual figures, a world they knew nothing about, and which is attractive for this very reason.