Second Saturdays for Families | The Great Outdoors

July 11, 2020 all-day

Virtual art activity

While we safely explore our surroundings, we are taking a moment to appreciate the public art found out on the museum’s front lawn. Engage with the outdoor sculpture and become inspired by the variety in scale, shape, and texture with virtual art making activities, storyime, collection connections to explore, and a digital scavenger hunt. 


Artist: William Turnbull, Scottish, 1922-2012
Title: Large Horse
Date: 1990
Media: Bronze

William Turnbull’s sculptures of horses feel both familiar and alien. Here, the mask-like form of the head narrows like a horse’s muzzle, but the eyes appear at the center of the face, rather than the sides. From a side view, the sculpture also resembles an adze—a tool similar to an axe whose blade is perpendicular rather than parallel to the handle. Look for  similarities between the horse’s head and the blade of an adze, and the arcing neck to its handle. In Turnbull’s words, when depicting horses, “what interests me…is how the part can represent the whole. I mean that when you see the horse’s head you feel the whole horsee…And when I make horses’ heads…it’s always been with the idea of having a metaphoric quality.”

For Turnbull, the adze was an everyday object that had similar qualities to a horse’s head. Take a closer look at an object in your daily life. Do you see something new in it? Watch Youth and Community Programs Manager Marisely Gonzalez transform ordinary kitchen items into a sea-turtle, boat, and more.

Artist: Alexander Calder, American, 1898–1976
Title: Stegosaurus
Date: 1972
Media: Painted steel

Since its installation in 1973, Alexander Calder’s Stegosaurus has become an iconic symbol of Downtown Hartford. When you walk under and around it on your next visit, notice how the arches intersect and the triangles create overlapping patterns. Together these abstract shapes suggest the form of a stegosaurus with its sloping, spiked back. Calder was commissioned to design the sculpture by the Ella Burr McManus Trust (established in 1923) in memory of Alfred E. Burr, Ella’s father and founder of the Hartford Times.

Create alongside teaching artist Fionnuala Ross and design your own Calder inspired sculpture. 



Artist: Alexander Calder, American, 1898–1976
Title: The Spider and the Fly
Date: c. 1938
Media: Brass, thread, and wood

Throughout his career, Calder designed sculptures that tested scale and physics. The artist’s interest in movement could be seen in his mobile sculptures which embraced kinetic energy.  Listen to Erin Monroe, curator of American Paintings and Sculpture discuss Calder’s The Spider and the Fly.



What happens when Mouse finds an enormous apple? Listen to Docent Augusta Gonzalez read about Mouse’s quest to find a space that’s big enough to fit both themselves and their apple in the Spanish book Una casa a la medida by Petr Horacek.



A series of carved faces peer at you from each side of the Morgan Memorial. Take a moment to practice some close looking and try to find all the items below. You can click on the images to zoom in on the details. Pick your favorite face, when you visit in person snap a selfie making the same expression. 

I spy with my little eye…

  • A pair of triumphant seahorses 
  • Four mischievous smiles
  • One stunned expression
  • A pair of ornate earrings
  • Five lavish crowns
  • Two fanned out bat wings




Second Saturdays for Families is funded by Aetna. Additional support is provided by the J. Walton Bissell Foundation, the Ensworth Charitable Foundation, and the George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation, Charles Nelson Robinson Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee. Program supplies are generously donated by S&S Worldwide