Kid-appropriate art documentary modern art
January 29, 2019 6:14 AM   Subscribe

Looking for documentaries I can watch with my 4 year old daughter.

I recently watched the Bbc documentary Forest Field and Sky with my nearly 5 year old daughter. She liked it despite how slow and boring it was but she LOVED the part where a contemporary woman artist built a firepit in the ocean. She is amazed that art can be that, and that regular people make it today and that women make it.

I’d love to show her more movies of this kind on youtube netflix or amazon.
It can be explicitly kid friendly but it really doesn’t need to be— the elegiac pace of the bbc film was right up her alley. It just cant be filled with talk or art about drugs or sex or naked people or death or mental illness so thats like 99% of 20th century out right there.

Any kind of visual art would be interesting to her, especially made by women. Ideally it would include a living artist making art but a traditional bio-doc would work too. No fiction though.

Thanks !
posted by Potomac Avenue to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Its not really modern art but there is Don't Eat the Pictures: Sesame Street at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
posted by Ashwagandha at 6:24 AM on January 29, 2019 [5 favorites]

I haven't seen it yet, so you may want to check it out first for adult themes, but the new Kusama documentary might fit the bill.
posted by prewar lemonade at 6:28 AM on January 29, 2019

Best answer: Leaning into Wind- Andy Goldsworthy is beautiful and slow moving and his creations are amazing. I think it is a little talky, but there's plenty to look at during the talking. And it is available on Amazon
posted by Pineapplicious at 6:36 AM on January 29, 2019 [3 favorites]

I really enjoyed the BBC's Private Life of Plants. Lots of cool stuff like time-lapse filming of plants growing, without the usual nature documentary things like death and dismemberment of cute animals (just the occasional ant and beetle getting eaten). Example clips: carnivorous plants, time-lapse of fungi growing, photosynthesis.

Also, if your kid likes "slow" TV, there's nothing slower than The Sleigh Ride (2 hours of real-time sleigh ride footage through the Norweigan wilderness), and The Canal Trip (2 hours of real-time canal travel through rural England). Maybe good for having on in the background.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:40 AM on January 29, 2019

Best answer: KCET's Artbound has really good stuff. It's PBS, so I think it passes the adult themes test throughout.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 7:05 AM on January 29, 2019

My daughter really loved the Netflix series The World's Most Extraordinary Homes. One of the things she really loves doing is drawing elaborate layouts for her dream home and it was interesting to see little pieces of the homes work their way into her designs.

We've also been watching Big Dreams, Small Spaces on Netflix. It's not really a documentary, but it features lots of people (and lots of women) dreaming about their ideal outdoor spaces, working that into a plan and doing the labor to make it real. My daughter has been requesting it and we've been talking about how we want to design our garden for this spring. It's a really gentle series and I love how it features problem solving, scaling things to make them doable, and how to ask for help.
posted by Alison at 8:17 AM on January 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: My kids really enjoyed "My Kid Can Paint That", which lead them to the THINKR series on youtube , which showcases a bunch of different projects done by kids. They were especially enthralled by the Yin sisters!
posted by alathia at 8:23 AM on January 29, 2019 [3 favorites]

Rivers and Tides
posted by matildaben at 8:51 AM on January 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Minnesota's PBS (TPT) also has an award winning documentary series called MNO (MN Original). Here is their YouTube page and full episodes are also available on their website.
posted by jillithd at 8:55 AM on January 29, 2019

Also, we love the Babies documentary.
posted by jillithd at 8:57 AM on January 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

A bit left field but she might like Fake or Fortune? which focuses on the provenance of a (usually) painting and how/if they can tell it was made by a famous artist or not. She might also like A History of Art in Three Colours and The Story of Women and Art, which may however be a bit triggery.
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 6:42 AM on January 31, 2019

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