Family Memories

Why do people take photographs? To prepare for a field trip to Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America, ask students to interview a family member about his or her favorite photograph. It might be a physical photograph or something digital. They should ask their family member why that photograph is important. As… Read on

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In-depth Discussion: François Boucher

Read between the lines: These Rococo paintings by François Boucher (1703–1770) are not as innocent as they might seem. The Rococo was a period known for its double entendres (so these works might be most appropriate for your mature high school students). Paintings were commissioned for a patron’s pleasure and to show off tongue-in-cheek cleverness.… Read on

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Place Yourself

Have your students think about the landscapes they saw in Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: Treasures from Kenwood House, London. You may need to remind your students that a landscape is a painting of an outdoor scene. Open up a short discussion to share some of the scenes that they remember. What was it like? What… Read on

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In-depth Discussion: Edwin Landseer

Edwin Landseer (1802–1873) was a popular portrait painter—of animals! This piece, The Hon. E. S. Russell and His Brother (1834), incorporates Landseer’s strengths as a pet portrait painter. Lord Iveagh loved portraits of children, even when they were not his own. The Russells, whose sons are pictured here, had unexpectedly inherited a barony (an English… Read on

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Talk to Me

If works of art could talk, what would they say? Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: Treasures from Kenwood House, London features many portraits—all, of course, with their own personality. As your students walk through the exhibition, have them choose two works of art and figure out what they would say to each other. Their works of… Read on

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Self-Taught Art: What’s in a Name?

This activity can also be done in the galleries on a self-guided tour. Work by self-taught artists has been called by many names. This can invite a rich discussion with your students about the effect of a name. Why is giving something a name important? What influence can a name have on the thing named?… Read on

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Pattern and Repetition in Art

Have a group discussion with your students about what kinds of things they saw on their Museum visit to Accidental Genius. Generate a list of people, places, objects, colors, shapes, and words that stood out to them in the artworks they saw. (You may want to use the Image Gallery on the exhibition’s minisite http://mam.org/accidental-genius/gallery.php… Read on

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The Meaning of Home

Artists such as Carter Todd and James Dixon created artwork inspired by where they lived, but they combined different views of the place in one image—a bird’s-eye view of a street, for example, appears alongside a head-on view of a house. In art, this is called multiple perspectives. In this two-part activity, students will experiment… Read on

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Répondez S’il Vous Plaît

The Impressionists were friends with many creative people in Paris in the 1800s, including writers. Charles Baudelaire was one of the most famous writers of all, and Impressionist paintings and works on paper inspired many of his writings. Here is an excerpt of his writing about Boudin’s seascapes: In the end, all these clouds, with… Read on

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Create Your Own Eye-Spy

Have students make their own “eye-spy” activity for a work of art to encourage close looking. They should use their most precise vocabulary to help the person playing the game find the objects in the work of art–or to make it trickier! Students should exchange their eye-spy with a classmate. You could also have your… Read on

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