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Lesson Plans

EVIDENCE: Oldenburg

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Cindy Cronn (
7 May 1999 07:55:46 -0500

I was reading questions about beauty and conclusions we could reach about what the evidence shows us regarding the Romans' idea of beauty. In the work I have done with students, I think we seem to stop at valuing something simply because it is old and rare. We haven't really worked with ideas of beauty because we think it must be beautiful because it is old. We are likely to think "It must have been beautiful because the Romans (Egyptians, etc.) made it and seem to in many cases have attempted to keep it." Would archaeologists in the distant future be confused by the Oldenburg sculptures which are about mundane objects? They might assume that they were made because we thought as a culture that our clothespins, and mixers, and sinks, and fnas, and spoons were objects of beauty. There would be little except written art criticism which would tell them otherwise. Estes serigraphs are considered beautiful, but their subjects are extraordinary (store and restaurant fronts, etc) . The presentation of them is dramatic to us, but their presence in a "dig" might be enlightening in terms of cultural discovery and confusing as evidence of what we might have thought to be beautiful. Next year there will be exhibition of Pop Art multiples at the local museum. I will be writing some material with that exhibition at the center. I can see where the approaches suggested in Philosophers' Forum might really be useful when dealing with ideas from Pop Art. I am keeping hard copies of all the material. Any other ideas would be appreciated.