Yes. I let children sift through my piles of postcards to choose one for an
activity, (They don't know what the activity is.) but this way I can be
assured that they are choosing a work that they respond to positively to
begin with. I have a variety of "New works from old works" activities
Making a miniature
Making an oversize
Drawing main geometrical shapes and spaces
Cut out/collage of main shapes and spaces
Drawing/painting in contrasting colors
Reproducing a section in collage or mosaic
Xerox and include in a new work - either expansion of borders or picture
within a picture
BUT -- There are so many reproductions! Beautiful, informative, decorative,
but so flat!!! I believe that it is important to bring in as much original
art to students as possible and I share my own collections of old prints,
and maps, watercolors, oil paintings, sculptures, etc and invite others
from the community to do the same -- there just doesn't seem to be any way
of letting kids really see what old paper was like -- sometimes thick,
sometimes fragile, how deep the incisions of an etching go or how much
texture they have, how the colors on a watercolor can sparkle, flaking paint
on an oil or tempra, the pencil marks in the margin of an unframed work.
(Now, I really don't bring anything I couldn't live without.)
My students approach original art with awe, but yes I do guard it like a
hawk, never leave originals out or unattended, and have guest collections
supervised by the owners. Nothing valuable left in the space overnight.
Why tempt fate?
Have there been accidents? A few, but my kids know the difference between a
signed limited edition reproduction of a painting and an original work.
It's been worth it.