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[teacherartexchange] Colonial Silhouettes - extending to lesson on Kara Walker (African-American)


From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Feb 17 2006 - 14:31:46 PST

Dear Art Educators,

I thought I would post info on Kara Walker again (for Black History Month).
I was reminded of her when I received my Dover Sampler this week.

Silhouettes - Dover has some FREE samples:
Sign up to receive Dover Sampler:

Tie in some history.....

Who invented silhouette portraits?
"A French bureaucrat by the name of Etienne de Silhouette created this
form of portraiture in Paris, France in the mid- 1700's. Etienne was
the French Minister of Finance, and was just as well-known for cutting
"shades" of people as he was for cutting the budget to the bone."
(copied from a web site).

Here is some history:

Colonial America
American Silhouettes - some background info

"Colonial Silhouette Art: Another form of paper art was the making of
portrait silhouettes. The person to be captured in the art form was
seated behind white paper. A candle was lit and placed behind the
sitter who's profile was then cast onto the white paper. A machine was
used which marked and reduced the shadow. The reduced silhouettes was
cut from black paper, mounted and framed."

This all leads into a lesson on Kara Walker:
Select images appropriate for student viewing - depending on the grade
level you are teaching.

Students can make their own cut paper silhouettes representing their culture.
I thought this was appropriate since some teachers were asking for
figure drawing lesson ideas. If anyone does a Kara Walker lesson -
send me a sample of student work and a brief "this is what we
did....". I would like to put it on Incredible Art Department.


Judy Decker
Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources

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