One of the most valuable things I learned was a method of teaching children of all ages, (and adults), an appreciation of art through what is known as The Feldman's Critique. I have used this approach ever since, whether with students, when I visit a museum, or when I look through my art books at some of the Old Master's paintings.
Over the next few blog posts, I will give you the version with which we taught children (versus the university model). Really, the questions are basically the same, just a different level of language. I find the children's set of questions more direct and meaningful.
You can use this way of viewing art from a very young child to adult - and once it becomes a way of thinking, art is appreciated from a completely different point of view.
Let's take a well known painting of a major 20th century French painter, Georges Braque who worked with, and was influenced by, Pablo Picasso. I had never been a fan of cubism until I saw a representation of Georges Braque's life work at the Guggenheim Museum in Spain a couple of years ago. Standing in front of these huge pieces, and seeing the true colors of them really made a difference to my appreciation of this form of art! There were actually several I would not hesitate to hang in my home. :-)
|Violon et palette, winter 1909-1910|
Here are the questions for GETTING THE FACTS:
Write about what you see in the work of art. You are attempting to describe what you see. This might include observations about
What materials did the artist use to make the work?
What size is the art?
You can use the recorded information to read aloud, inviting several children to choose which painting they think it is from among a number of paintings.
In Georges Braque's painting, Violon et palette, there is much to describe in terms of line, shape, colors, textures, objects, isn't there, even though it seems a fairly simple painting!
Next blog post, I will share the second step in appreciating art using the Feldman Critique. I think you will agree it is a valuable tool whether you are teaching your child, or visiting a museum yourself!