Posted on 01/12/2010 at 09:35 AM by Global Reach

The January 2010 issue of Arts and Activities contains an article by Barbara Herberholt titled "…when we Wonder Why! Herberholt addresses the question of why ancient peoples and contemporary artists make and collect art. She suggests that in order to being a discussion with your students about why an artwork was created, it is important to display reproductions, art books, and/or any other resources of art works. Then begin the discussion:

1. Art serves society by telling us about events in history, religion, myths, and literature

    a. Washington Crosses the Delaware

    b. Guernica by Picasso

    c. Pieta by Michelangelo

    d. Dorothea Lange's black-and-white photographs

2. An artwork can serve as a memorial or a tribute to honor a person, place, idea or event.

    a. Statue of Liberty

    b. Mount Rushmore

    c. WWII sculpture (hoisting the American flag)

3. Artworks are also used in religious ceremonies, as well as sometimes being utilized to celebrate, honor and/or control natural forces by asking for protection.

    a. Cave paintings

    b. Masks, headpieces, and costumes

    c. Rain sticks

    d. Easter eggs

    e. Henri Matisse's robes and banners for a chapel in France

4. Artworks record images--realistically or abstractly--showing viewers how people, places, and objects have looked.

    a. Don Manuel Osorio by Francisco de Goya

    b. Femme au Chapeau by Roy Lichtenstein

    c. Head of a Man by Paul Klee

5. Art sometimes evokes strong emotions--the way an artist feels about people, nature, cities, the sea, etc.

    a. Breezing Up by Winslow Homor

    b. Whale Fishery by Currier and Ives

    c. Van Gogh's paintings

    d. The Scream by Edvard Munch

6. Some artists have explored the world of fantasy and imagination and the subconscious.

    a. Chagall

    b. Joan Miro

    c. Magritte

    d. Dali

    e. de Chirico

7. Some artworks, called nonobjective, have been created to reveal the visual impact of the organization of colors, shapes, lines, and textures.

    a. Piet Mondrian

    b. Kandinsky

8. Art can also provide a delightful sensory experience when it embellishes and decorates objects in the environment.

    a. ceramics

    b. fabrics

    c. tiles

    d. everyday products

9. Some artists devote their careers to exploring new ways to create, using different approaches, new subject matter, compositions, media, and formats.

    a. Giotto (Italian Renaissance)

    b. Jackson Pollock (action paintings)

10. Art serves our basic functional needs

    a. automotive

    b. architectural and landscape design

    c. city planning

    d. furnishings of all sorts

11. The graphic arts are a vital part of the art world.

    a. advertising

    b. logo designs

    c. book and magazine layouts

    d. posters

    e. typography

    f. packaging

    g. film art

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