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Lesson Plans

art lecture ideas for adults

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Wed, 24 Feb 1999 12:02:27 EST

Dear Susan:
I taught Art History at the community college level for four years, and we had
the most fun with topics that were somewhat controversial. Gets people
talking! Here are some ideas:
1. The Elgin Marbles: The removal of marble sculptures from the Parthenon by
Lord Elgin in the 18th century for their "protection" against mistreatment at
the time. Now they are in the British Museum and are some of the museum's most
prized pieces. The Greek government has been asking for their return for some
time now, but the British Museum claims it has the right to keep them.
"Cultural repatriation" is a big issue for museums around the world, and the
outcome of this case could set a precedent for all museums to return materials
to their home countries.

2. Images of women in Renaissance art. A great discussion about the role of
women during this time can be started by looking at the art of Artemisia
Gentileschi, especially her two paintings of the story of Holofernes and
Judith. Compare to the painting on the same subject by her contemporary,
Caravaggio. Gentileschi's paintings show women as powerful protagonists, and
other artists of the time show women as meek or only in terms of sexuality.

3. The reaction of the art world and French society to the Impressionists.
Discuss how they created their own Salon and how unpopular they were in their
own time. Review the contemporary style they were reacting to, and how ironic
that many of them are so famous now. Great way to introduce concepts of style
and the changing tastes of art connoisseurs (and who decides what is
acceptable or not). Same discussion format could be used to introduce Realism
(Thomas Eakins for example).

This is just a short list of ideas. There are many more! Please reply if you
need more details. Good luck!

Amy Metcalfe

Susan wrote: I wondering if any of you can give me some ideas? I am in a grad
level human relations class for my masters degree and I need to do a 60 minute
presentation on a controversy in art for the class that includes activities
and av use. I am trying to choose a topic, I thought about doing the value of
art but I can't come up with an activity to save my life for the adults.