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16 youngsters mold clay, take tour at Dallin Art Museum

The Cyrus Dallin Art Museum treated 16 local children, ages 4 to 11, to a museum tour and clay sculpture workshop Feb. 15.

MFA senior associates outside the Dallin Art Museum

Museum Director and Curator Heather Leavell welcomed the young visitors and their accompanying adults to the museum.

“Cyrus Dallin lived in Utah until he was 18 years old. He then moved to Boston to study sculpture and later settled in Arlington with his wife Vittoria where they lived for more than 40 years,” said Leavell.

After the brief introduction, Leavell and museum founder James McGough gave tours of the museum, which the children enjoyed.

Amelia Bearfield, 4, liked Dallin’s sculpture of the mythological river of the Greek Underworld, Lethe, which she described as a “sleeping, naked person.”

Mason Williams, 6, liked the cat statue. When McGough asked the kids how they thought Dallin got the cat to stay still so he could sculpt him, Williams suggested, “Maybe he was looking at a dead mouse.”

Sculpture workshop

After the tour, the children had the opportunity to make clay figures, in a workshop held downstairs and led by museum trustees Mike Borgasano and Chuck Luca.

Models and pictures of various animals were provided to give the kids possible sculpture ideas, such as a rabbit, cat, bear, coyote, horse, goat, eagle and polar bear.

To create their sculptures, the children first took pieces of clay and rubbed them into round balls to soften up the clay. Next, they scrunched tin foil into balls to use for the parts of an animal (such as the head and body), and used pins to attach the balls together. They then wrapped the softened clay over the tin-foil balls and proceeded to sculpt their creations.

The children made a variety of creatures. For instance, Andres Jay, 11, made a cat.

Tucker Bearsfield, 7, who made an eagle, said, “I like sculpting, it’s fun to play with the clay.”

Get involved with the museum

The Dallin Museum is open for visits on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. Larger group tours can be arranged by calling 781-641-0747 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Become a volunteer! Volunteers are crucial to the museum’s daily operations and help on a weekly, monthly or on an as-needed basis.

The museum seeks a new treasurer for the board of directors, as well as docents and associate trustees with experience in development, event planning, marketing, education, graphic/web design, or exhibit fabrication.

For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 781-641-0747.

This news announcement was published Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.

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