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Re: [teacherartexchange] Learning to read a work of art --- perfect!


From: M. Austin (whest177_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Aug 19 2005 - 20:04:58 PDT

It is a process that you go through to help students "see" what is going on
in a painting. First you ask them to name what they see - NOT what they
think is going on because that comes later. They list everything that is
physically in the artwork. You then go on to discuss the colors, the types
of line, and the shapes. After this careful observation the students are
then allowed to discuss what they think is going on in the painting and why
the artist chose to paint it. By going through the first steps you force the
student to really observe the painting, because their first impulse is to
tell you the story they think is behind the artwork. There is a painting at
the Wichita Art Museum where the actions of the people are not apparant at
first, but after observation students will discover that the women are
humming. They then have ownership of the artwork and feel more connected to

> What specifically do you mean by "reading a work of art"?
> Mary H.

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