The Children’s Art Carnival, one of The Museum of Modern Art’s many innovative educational programs, was developed by Victor d’Amico, an arts educator and founder of the Museum’s Department of Education. The Carnival was first presented at the Museum in 1942. It consisted of a gallery of toys and art supplies and was designed to teach children the elements of art: line, color, form, rhythm. The gallery accommodated forty children and five art teachers. For one hour at a time, the children would use the materials and learn about art while the teachers would share innovative techniques about art education with other educators and parents. The International Council presented the Museum’s Children’s Art Carnival to the National Children’s Museum in New Delhi. The gift was announced by Mrs. John F. Kennedy on behalf of the International Council during her trip to India in October 1962, and accepted by Mrs. Indira Ghandi on behalf of her country.
The gift of the Children’s Art Carnival typifies the Museum’s mission. The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art, in existence since 1953, sponsors the work of the International Program, which aims to promote modern art around the world. In addition, the Museum has a longstanding and ongoing commitment to education; the Museum was originally chartered as an educational institution in 1929 for “encouraging and developing the study of modern arts and the application of such arts to manufacture and practical life, and furnishing popular instruction.”