Tyler Museum of Art offering free Family Day this weekend

As part of the Tyler Museum of Art's celebration of the holiday season, the Museum is inviting visitors of all ages to experience its new exhibition,

The Elegant House: Paintings & Decorative Art from the Graham Williford Collection,

with a free Family Day on tap from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14.

The program, open to the public at no cost, will include a self-guided tour of the exhibition showcasing an array of 19th-century decorative arts and paintings from the collection of the late Graham Devoe Williford, the pioneering American art connoisseur and scholar from Fairfield, Texas.

Adults are encouraged to join the younger visitors as they search for familiar images among the artwork (a turkey, an alligator, and a cat named Sardine among them) during a family gallery search, and take part as kids try their hands at creating their own decorative objects with art activities in the TMA classroom. Light snacks will be provided.

"We host these special days four times a year, and they're a popular way of bringing families together for a memorable day at the Museum," TMA Head of Education Katie Powell said. "This exhibition is especially fun for a Family Day program, with its beautiful collection of objects that could be found in a 19th-century home - and great conversation starters such as Victor Brenner's original bronze design for the Lincoln head penny."

Space for Family Day is limited, so participants are encouraged to sign up early by calling (903) 595-1001 on or before Friday, Dec. 12.

Support for The Elegant House is provided by the Graham Williford Foundation for American Art. Additional support for the exhibition is provided by TMA Collectors' Circle members Sheryl Rogers Palmer, Bill Pirtle, and the A.W. Riter Jr. Family Foundation. The exhibition continues through Feb. 8, 2009 in the TMA's Bell Gallery.