Children’s Creativity with "Curious Corner," a New Interactive Web Site

The Art Institute of Chicago's Department of Museum Education has just launched Curious Corner, a vibrant children's interactive game that brings the museum's collection of art to life. Packed with lively animation and fun features, the dynamic program encourages young Web users and their families to explore more than 30 works of art from around the world through playful and creative activities.

Developed by the Art Institute in collaboration with Sandbox Studio, Inc., a design company dedicated to educational programs and technology, Curious Corner is now accessible on the Web as well as on dedicated computers inside the museum.

"Opening the new Ryan Education Center in the Modern Wing has really been a catalyst for us to bring the world of museum education into the twenty-first century," said Robert Eskridge, the Woman's Board Endowed Executive Director of the Department of Museum Education. "The education center is now fully equipped with state-of-the-art computer terminals, wireless laptops and interactive whiteboard technology, and, in the classrooms and studios, multimedia projection and display systems. With Curious Corner on the Web, we're now able to bring all the advances of the Ryan Education Center into the homes of families and visitors."

Curious Corner introduces families, children, and educators to the Art Institute's diverse collection, teaches basic visual skills, and promotes the museum in a stimulating, intuitive, and appealing way. The activities allow children to "learn by doing": children can interact with works of art through both words and pictures, experiment with visual elements and principles, and use different styles of design to create something new. The broad selection of artworks featured in the program include American and European paintings, African masks, Indian artifacts, and contemporary works-offering children of all ages ample opportunity to encounter and discover a diverse array of styles, media, and cultures.

On the homepage of Curious Corner, users can choose from three different activities: "Story Time," "Match Up," and "Play with Art." "Story Time" enables children to explore the background behind three different art objects with animated tales that allow web visitors to click on components throughout. "Match Up" teaches careful looking skills to children through the act of combining textures, shapes, and sounds with details in famous artworks. The third section, "Play with Art," encourages kids to create their own mask or Joseph Cornell box and match faces to famous portraits–all while teaching them about the art that inspired the game.

Curious Corner is one of many ongoing technology initiatives that the Art Institute's Museum Education department has developed in recent years for its audiences, both online and inside the museum. It continues the museum's award-winning tradition of innovation in education that can be found in previous interactive exhibitions such as Telling Images and Faces, Places, and Inner Spaces.

Curious Corner can be accessed through one of the computer terminals found in the Vitale Family Room of the Ryan Education Center in the Modern Wing or online at This program is one of many that support the Art Institute's goals to serve families and enhance the appreciation and enjoyment of art.