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Lesson Plans

Re: MEANING--Public Spirit

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
carla schiller (
Sun, 28 Feb 1999 13:37:44 -0800 (PST)

I enjoyed reading Ellen's lesson plan regarding public art. I myself was
looking at the Philosophers' Walk and particularly noticed this comment by
"When Russian writer Leo Tolstoy described the nature of art at the end of
the nineteenth century, he insisted that artists aim to express the spirit
of their age. By doing so, the art they created would generate a sense of
community, he thought."
I got me thinking about prehistoric cave art. My AP Art History class
is just starting that unit now, because I did thinks a bit out of order
this year. I started with the Renaissance and went forward in time for
the fall semester through and including post-modern (i.e. now) art
(clearly, we went a little over time, since we're now three weeks into the
spring semester!). Now we're starting with cave art and going forward
through and including the Middle Ages. Has some pros and cons over the
traditional purely chronological curriculum... but back to public art.
I find it fascinating that some of the art was hidden away in very
hard-to-get places and was probably only seen by the artist. We infer a
magical connotation in large part because of this inaccessibility to the
"general public". I wonder if some of our public works have a "magical
quality" to them, and if that ties in with the size. Perhaps some of the
large memorials are offerings in some sense to the universe or a higher
power or the spirits of those being memorialized, not just works for the
appreciation of living humans. Does this make any sense to anyone else,
or do I sound totally off the wall?

Carla Schiller, Esq.
Teacher, Highly Gifted Magnet
North Hollywood High School, CA
webpage index:
"One never sufficiently appreciates the absence of pain."
---Robinton, from "The Dragons of Pern" by Anne MacCaffrey