<<WHEN Paul Klee laboriously copied a mountain landscape by his
12-year-old son, Felix, into his own 1920 painting "Untitled (Tent City
in the Mountains)," he paid tribute to the vitality and inventiveness
of childhood, a source of creativity celebrated at least since
Rousseau. His homage put him squarely in a modernist tradition that
sought refuge from academic constraints in the somewhat mythical
paradise of an untrained eye that sees the world afresh, a childlike
hand still unshackled by habit and skill.
Decades earlier, when Klee had just finished his art studies, he
discovered a cache of his own childhood drawings. He described them, in
a 1902 letter to his fiancée, as "the most significant" ones he had yet
made. Three of those drawings are included in "When We Were Young: New
Perspectives on the Art of the Child," an exhibition opening this
weekend at the Phillips Collection in Washington.>>
This exhibit was put together by the author of a beautiful and
compelling book that should be on every art teacher's reading list:
THE INNOCENT EYE Children's Art and the Modern Artist, by Jonathan
Feinberg (Princeton University Press)
I wish I could go see it; it will be at the Phillips in Washington DC
until September 10.
The free, _unschooled_ drawings of children are a rich source of
inspiration to many artists, including me.
in steamy, summery Massachusetts, heading for the hammock
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