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Great Ideas from my visit to the Princeton Art Museum

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From: Ellen Silverman (mcguffsilver_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu May 01 2003 - 15:49:47 PDT


Hi, All.
    I had such a great day today, I went on a field trip with my art
club to the Princeton Art Museum, NJ. Our tour was on their exhibit
called "Shuffling the Deck." The premise of the show was that the
museum invited four contemporary artist to explore the art in their
collection and respond to them by creating their own art work. I like
the way the Museum put the contemporary artist's works in the same room
with the work they were responding to. Ok so already it sounds like its
right up an art teacher's alley, right! and it was.
    We did not see all of the show we were only there for 45 minutes,
but what I saw really got me thinking about some cool lesson plans. The
contemporary artists in the show were Sanford Biggers, Anne Chu, Ellen
Harvey, and Zhang Hongtu. I have not processed the whole thing yet, but
I really got excited about Zhang Hongtu's work, maybe because it was the
work we saw first.
    The Museum has a wonderful collection of Chinese art, in their
bronze section, was a Zhang Hongtu's piece in response to the other
bronze pieces, it was a McDonald's Big Mac box, fries box and a plastic
knife and fork. It was all made in bronze, and overlaid with the style
of the Chinese bronze pieces in the museum collection. Another one of
his works were two porcelain pieces painted in a blue and white style of
chinese porcelain, these pieces stood out from their predecessors by
being the shapes of a Coca-Cola bottles. He copies traditional Chinese
ink paintings, in the style of famous impressionist and
postimpressionist masters, in oil.
    These pieces really got me going. For the bronze I am think about
getting Chinese takeout cartons and using some kind of clay or modeling
dough to create a work inspired by Chinese bronzes then painting it to
look like bronze. Maybe also getting the throway chopsticks and
decorating them in markers or paint to go with them. Getting Coca
bottles and gessoing them and have the students investigate various
ceramic pieces throughout the world or how about a six-pack time line of
ceramic art. Of course the field is so rich maybe it would have to be a
case. How about Impressionist paintings and other western art
masterpieces in traditional Chinese ink painting styles? As you can see
I am having so much fun with this that I wanted to share with all you
great people and maybe get you guys to throw arround some ideas too.
 Would love to get your feed back on my great ideas (I think) from
Princeton Art Museum.
    If you are any where around Princeton NJ, this show is a must see.
Ellen Silverman
k-8 New Brunswick

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