I know how hard it is to get young kids out of the house to go somewhere - even quick outings require you to pack enough snacks, diapers, and toys to make you think you’ll be gone for a week. And who wants to wrestle kids in and out of carseats just to find out that your destination isn’t kid-friendly? That’s why I’ve decided to visit Triangle area sites to see if they’re worth your trip. I won’t use a rating system but I’ll try to describe what you’ll see well enough for you to decide if your kids would find it interesting. I’ll also give you the heads up on bathrooms, stroller accessibility and any other SNAFUs I encounter.


North Carolina Central University Art Museum - Durham

rear of Museum

       The NC Central campus is easy to find - on the left side of Fayetteville Street - and the parking was even easier. We pulled up to the booth at the entrance gate and the guard pointed out a parallel spot on the main driveway. I got the stroller out and we headed for the Museum which was maybe 500 ft. from where we parked. We did have to go around to the front of the building, by the campus cafeteria, to gain entrance to the Museum. If you go this way you will pass the outdoor abstract sculpture that my preschooler described as looking like a big lump of chicken. I'll let you judge its poultry resemblance for yourself.

       The Museum itself is small - one room and only big enough for one exhibit at a time. But I was very excited to see the current exhibit of Richmond Barthe (there is an accent mark over the 'e' in Barthe that blogger won't let me insert) sculptures. These sculptures will be on display until April 8. The works are all of the human figure and cover a wide range of material from Jesus Christ to Paul Robeson as Othello. There are photos of Barthe's large scale sculpture of Toussaint L'Ouverture that currently stands in Port au Prince, Haiti. Barthe's work is even featured in the relief sculpture of an eagle on the Social Security Building in Washington, DC. I liked how the sculptures in this exhibit were arranged - in straight rows down the center of the room - because it made it easy to get a 360 view of each one and it emphasized the numerical magnitude of Barthe's work.

      My toddler looked around from his vantage point in the stroller, but mostly howled the whole time we were in the Museum. I suppose this was not quite his aesthetic. But my preschooler seemed to enjoy the sculptures. She picked out a favorite - Lovers - of a man and woman embracing. When I called her attention to a sculpture of a nude man dancing (I thought since she is taking dance that a dancing sculpture might peak her interest) she said that she thought it looked like the man was just showing his butt.

     The Museum also has some of its permanent collection on view on one of the walls. The permanent collection includes a Jacob Lawrence print and a Romare Bearden print.

      It took about 45 minutes for us to view the entire Museum. The Museum opens early at 9am but is not open on Mondays and Saturdays. It's a really nice, small venue for appreciating art. If you wanted to maximize your trip, you could also stop at the Hayti Heritage Center and St. Joseph's AME Church which you pass as you go down Fayetteville St. towards NC Central campus.

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