We played with Artwork of the Week today to tie into the idea of looking and listening with new eyes and ears. We started with this image from the Renwick Gallery in DC.
Ghost Clock 1985 Wendell Castle Born: Emporia, Kansas 1932 bleached Honduras mahogany 86 1/4 x 24 1/2 x 15 in. (219.0 x 62.2 x 38.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program © 1985, Wendell Castle 1989.68 Renwick GalleryHere are some of the comments the students made:
- Wooden base with a cloth thrown over something: they've speculated it was a coffin, table upside down, oblisk, light, grandfather clock and a statue of a man.
- They've noticed that both the cloth and the wood have been manipulated by man and are highly finished rather than raw pieces of wood and cloth. There is a high amount of detail of the linen and the wood.
- They've wondered if the cloth is more important that the piece its concealing, that their is something highly symbolic under the cloth and that it is fragile enough to need to be protected.
- They've wondered why it is covered when other pieces in the room are not. (see my photo below for their reference).
- They've wondered why the front was covered but they've allowed the back to be more exposed.
- They speculated that the piece is unfinished and covered out of respect to the late artist.
- They suggested that the cloth gives it almost a feminine shape, like the dress on the Statue of Liberty.
BTW-I am wearing the same shirt today-didn't realize it until the kids pointed it out. :)
I won't give away the piece's secret but I have to say once I showed the students, their OMG's and wows and laughs were fun to experience.
We've moved the discussion to why an artist might deceive us. We also explored the pieces we've looked at through the year. Two came to mind and are listed below: