The children and I just finished watching the 10 part BBC series The Story of Painting by Sister Wendy. We see the sweet, buck tooth nun in her traditional habit sweep through museums from Paris to New York, explaining and enlightening her viewers. She is delightful in her enthusiasm for the creativity and passion of dozens of painters, pulling in even the youngest of children to learn and desire to create their own art.
The kids were impressed by all the paintings until we got to the Modern era with cubism and surrealism, abstract expressionism, pop art, and minimalism. Charlie became bored and had to be put to bed, and the video was punctuated by, "Sorry Sister Wendy, I just don't get it." "That looks like splatter!" "I could do that!" Will summed it up by saying afterwards, "I liked all the pictures except those last ones, they were weird!"
I highly recommend this series (we found it at the library), but there are lots of nudes and mention of the technical term for bosom as well as describing the occupation of several of the models (think Elliot Spitzer's recent troubles). However, mixed in with all the unfamiliar artistic words I didn't think the kids even noticed.