My First Museum
By Mieke VanderBorght,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Engaging, close up look at masterpieces; lacks diversity.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can become familiar with and learn to recognize some of the most well known masterpieces in European art history. They can explore each painting to learn tidbits and fun facts about the artist, what the painting represents, symbolism, the cultural context surrounding the painting, and more.
Ease of Play
It's easy to browse the main menu and choose a painting to learn about. But for each painting, there are lots of different options and menu items which ends up feeling busy.
Violence & Scariness
One audio story mentions suicide. Some paintings depict violence scenes such as a battlefield or a slain dragon.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
At least one painting shows a bare-breasted woman.
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Parents Need to Know
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My First Museum
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What’s It About?
From the main menu of MY FIRST MUSEUM, swipe through to choose paintings or visit one of the three featured museums: Louvre, The National Gallery, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. If kids choose a museum, they can then browse through paintings from that museum, such as the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. For each painting, kids listen to a narrator talk about the artist, the painting, and other related fun facts. Tap the corner of the paining to turn the painting around from a slightly animated look to a more realistic graphic representation. Once there, tap parts of the painting for a deeper dive or choose to fill the screen with the painting for a better look while listening to the narration. Kids can listen or turn on the transcript to read the script.
Is It Any Good?
Kids get an in depth look at some of the most iconic works of Western European art, but more diversity would add value. The stories and tidbits in My First Museum nicely cover the painting as well as history and context around the painting and its artist. It helps kids build familiarity with major cultural icons, but, the app's collection could benefit from including more diverse works to represent more than just male European artists. My First Museum has great information and nice high-resolution visuals, but there are lots of menu options for each painting. It may not be immediately clear to some kids how to navigate through it. Also, there are a few aspects that don't work well, such as the tab that seems to be an option to change languages, and some odd pronunciations from the narrator. And, though the background information is generally kid-appropriate, there are sometimes difficult words or concepts such as mentioning that van Gogh "took his own life." Parents may want to consider using My First Museum with their kids as a way to spark curiosity, exploration, and discussion -- particularly if kids are on the younger side.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the paintings kids learn about with My First Museum. Which ones do they like the best? Why? What art styles do they find most compelling? If possible, visit museums in person and talk about what it's like to see artwork in person versus on a screen.
Help kids learn more about the featured artists and paintings. Explore the historical context, the country the artists are from, or the materials they used.
What kinds of artwork are included in this app? What kinds of artwork make it into a museum? Why?
Encourage your kids to create their own artwork. Do any of the paintings or art styles inspire them?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Social Studies: historical figures
- Pricing structure: Free to try (unlock full content with $4.99 in-app purchase)
- Release date: June 5, 2021
- Category: Education
- Publisher: WMS, Inc
- Version: 1.1.4
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 12.0 or later
- Last updated: June 14, 2021
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
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