Kathy: Your comment about untouched-up art reminded me of a favorite
book that I bought at the Smithsonian, "Wabi-Sabi, for Artists, Designers, Poets
& Philosophers," by Leonard Koren. Perhaps you are familiar with the
Japanese philosophy. The introduction defines "Wabi-sabi is a beauty of
things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of
things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional."
I realize you are referring to the presentation of historical art
works in their "natural" state, but there is much to expand upon
in your idea and opening student's eyes to the interactions of time
on art, time in art and perfection in general. An entire semester's
curriculum could explore these ideas. Then of course there is in-
stallation art which changes over time, etc. A Wabi-sabi semester
intrigues me, as does this computer's idea of how to write sentences!
Curious to know if anyone has any Wabi-sabi lesson plans.
Linda and Kathy:
I just bought a copy of Leonard Koren's book to use (hopefully)
in developing teaching materials for art educators in relation
to Japanese art and culture. If anyone is interested, I would be
glad to share them once they are complete.
Nancy Walkup, Project Coordinator
North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts
PO Box 5098, University of North Texas 76203
817/565-3986 FAX 817/565-4867