Art Mystery, Part 2 - The Museum

Art Mystery, Part 2 - The Museum
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.74

     challenging words:    revolutionary, spite, concrete, mystery, lower, courtyard, mermaid, artists, rough, greasy, masterpiece, exactly, packed, kinds, hallway, painting
     content words:    Aunt Rune, Jackson Pollock, Even Brian, Be Continued

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Art Mystery, Part 2 - The Museum
By Colleen Messina

1     Shelly and Brian followed Ms. Brush down a carpeted hallway into another room in the museum. The first room they had visited was full of paintings done in the style called pointillism. Dots and more dots! The painting they had discovered in Aunt Rune's attic was not full of dots! So, they continued on in their search to figure out who painted Aunt Rune's mystery painting!
2     "I'm hungry!" said Brian.
3     Shelly rolled her eyes. She was so embarrassed by her brother sometimes! It was only eleven o'clock. Here they had this great puzzle to figure out, and her brother got hungry in the middle of it. They had packed tuna fish sandwiches the night before. They had also packed chips, juice boxes, granola bars, and apples. She wanted to go through one more room before stopping. Shelly couldn't stand to wait one more minute to solve the mystery!
4     "I guess we could take a break for lunch," said Ms. Brush. "Come by my office when you are done, and we will finish our tour."
5     "Thanks for your understanding of a hungry boy!" said Aunt Rune. She led the children into a courtyard with concrete benches and paved paths. Flowers everywhere. Shelly grumbled all the way. She was never hungry. Brian was always hungry!
6     "Hey, here is a neat fountain!" said Brian. The oval pool had a statue of a mermaid in the center. Out of the mermaid's mouth came a stream of cold water that plunged into the pool. Spotted koi swam in circles through the bubbles as if they were having fun. Many shiny pennies sat in the bottom of the pool, safe from ever being spent.
7     Aunt Rune, Shelly, and Brian sat down and ate their soggy, squishy sandwiches. They talked about pointillism and how much patience it must have taken for the artists to make thousands of colored dots on their canvases to create their art. Soon, they were finished, and Brian looked relieved!
8     They met Ms. Brush at her office. She took them into the next room of the museum.
9     "Wow, what a mess!" exclaimed Brian. "Did this artist have an accident or something? Why is this in a museum?"
10     Brian was looking at an enormous canvas with ripples of paint crisscrossing it in all directions. It looked exactly as though someone had thrown paint at it!
11     "This painting was done by a modern artist named Jackson Pollock," said Ms. Brush. "He liked to show his emotions in his work!"
12     "Was he upset or something?" asked Brian.
13     "Brian!" said Shelly. She also felt a bit mystified by the enormous painting.
14     "It's OK," said Ms. Brush. "It does look like a bit of a mishmash. It is called abstract expressionism. He used all kinds of strange things to do his paintings. He used knives, trowels, 2 x 4s, and he sometimes put bits of glass or sand in his work. He was very unusual! He sometimes painted in a candlelit barn. He sometimes asked his friends what they thought of his paintings. If they didn't like it, he scraped the paint off and tried again."

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