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Lesson Plans

Re: Museums

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
KPRS (kprs)
Tue, 03 Sep 1996 15:07:10 -0700

dabssw wrote:
> I recently visited the Smithsonian's collection of art museums/galleries and
> having a little time left ventured into the air and space museum. I stood in
> amazement - why is it that the air and space is a haven of excitment and
> activity from all those, both young and old from counteries all over the globe,
> who continue to be enthralled by all they see within it? and how sad I felt -
> why did people trudge heavy footed through the art galleries, those galleries so
> clinical so - "do not touch"?
> IT IS TIME TO ACT - ART IS EXCITING IS INTERACTIVE so lets throw out those old
> museums and replace them with opportunities to touch to feel to do.

That is precisely why I take my students to SoHo in New York City 4 times
a year. There are hundreds of galleries, with a variety of art, some
good, some not so good, all exciting. No one tells my students that by
virtue of the fact that the work is hanging in the gallery that it is
"good" or "important" or "famous" or any other expectations. My students
get to make up their own minds, and have frequently even had dialogues
with the artists who happen to be there. Not only do I take 45 of my
nearest and dearest in the yellow limonsine, I volunteer other discilined
teachers (i.e. English, Math, History) to be chaparones, and then they
enter into dialogues with the students about the art. You probably have
read my definition of art, I sent it through the imagine
if you will when you walk into an art gallery, and see finely crafted,
hand made, furniture, like credenzas, hutches, and highboys, and you are
encouraged to open drawers, and doors, only to find nicely arranged piles
of dog poop in them. Of course, (you don't know me yet, but trust me) I
roar with laughter, and the kids have to scrape me up off the floor. NOW
how can you not have a conversation about what art is??????

My students are encouraged to go to the Met, Whitney, and Gugenheim, as
well as the Museum of Modern Art. They know in their heart of hearts,
through, that someone else has made the aesthetic and historic and
cultural decision that these pieces gracing the walls are important. In
that context they try to dialogue about why, but in the context of SoHo
they dialogue about why not.

San D