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Lesson Plans

Re: What is Beauty?

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Wed, 21 Oct 1998 23:29:45 EDT

When dealing with the issue of Beauty it is alway nice to connect it with
something the students can relate to. We look at the Greek ideal and then we
ask what does our society seem to promote or uphold as beautiful. My social
studies teacher uses a film called "Killing me softly" that deals with media's
attempt to influence what we believe and think about ourselves, their products
and our consumerism. It is great for both middle schoolers and high schoolers
to question this. I like to have them search for ways that commercial art and
advertising communicate to us what is beautiful.

Take for instance the Ivan Albright painting "Into the World There Came a Soul
Called Ida", 1929-1930 from the Art Institute of Chicago. Now a discussion on
beauty vs. ugly and physical versus mental and spiritual can begin with that
work. Student reactions are published on these very issues in Philosophy and
Art one of a series (from the Getty.... I believe). I use the Ivan Albright
in teacher workshops alot. The July 1997 Art in America features an article
on Ivan Albright because of a recent retrospective at the Met. I like to pair
the discussion from history with some of the more contemporary issues. It
helps the students to see the connections. Our social studies teacher also
has the students study the "School of Athens" and choose contemporary figures
to replace each character. I am hoping he will join us on line.
Debi B-H