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Re: Art Scene Investigators


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Mar 15 2003 - 08:49:08 PST

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526

>From: "Sears, Ellen" <>
> I am working with a group of science teachers using artwork/prints for
> observation skills - using clues the artist has given in a scene and
> deductive reasoning ("there is leaf litter in the water - it must be fall",
> "she is wringing her hands and their are a pair of men's pants hanging by
> the door - two men in suits are leaving - I think something bad happened and
> there was a mining accident - the artist made her hands really big and they
> are really white so they stand out - " and so on - > Ellen

Hi, Ellen. I can't give you the exact information you are looking for but
your discussion reminded me of a news article that Carolyn Roberts
discovered and posted to the listserv which was quite interesting and may
apply to what you are doing. Toodles....Bunki

"There's an interesting article in the USA Weekend that is included in our
newspaper today (Dec 28-30) entitled "Physicians probe paintings before

It says...
    First-year medical students are making trips to the art museum before
making rounds. Why? So they can become better diagnosticians, according to
professor Irwin Braverman of Yale, where an art-in-medicine course is now

    Sleuthing skills are a must in determining what is wrong with a patient
(even Sherlock Holmes relied on Dr. Watson) but generally are acquired on
after years of seasoning, says the professor, who wanted to see if studying
art could help build deductive skills early in doctors' training.

    To test his theory, he took a group of students to the Yale Center for
British Art, "We wanted them to explore several possibilities in paintings,"
Braverman says. For example: In Henry Wallis' "The Death of Chatteron"
(image is shown in the paper), "It wasn't enough to say, "The man looks
dead.' They had to say, 'It's because of his abnormal posture, or his skin
looks (blue, from a lack of oxygen).' We wanted concrete visual evidence."
Students looked for clues...smoke rising from a candle, a clenched fist, an
empty vial on the floor, the time of day.

    Students who took the first class scored 56% higher than students who
did not. Competing medical schools have taken note: Cornell has added a
similar course, and other universities, including Brown, have expressed

    Says Braverman: "We want our students to learn this before they learn
bad habits. There are no short cuts. We want them to get in the habit of
seeing what they're look at."