A gentle reminder ...

The goal of this blog initially was for Mr. Mc to show his students and friends what he doing while in Pennsylvania and DC in 2011. Now it's being used as a place for him, travelling colleagues and former students to discuss edumacation and history related "stuff" as well as ... well, anything which pops into his head. Mr. Mc would never knowingly embarrass either the school he loves or the family he is devoted to. By joining in the discussion, he expects the same of you.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

When what you see isn't always ...

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 Gallery

Here 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:

Paul Revere
The Bloody Massacre
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01868
Author/Creator: Revere, Paul (1735-1818)
Place Written: Boston, Massachusetts
Type: Engraving
Date: 1770
Pagination: 1 p. ; 29.3 x 24 cm.
 
Alexander Gardner (1821-1882) 
The Home of a Rebel Shaprshooter, Gettyburg
Gardner's Photogrpahic Sketchbook of the Civil War
Albumen silver print, 1863
Prints and Photogrpahic Division
 
Here are the final two sessions of the Let Freedom Swing series from Jazz at Lincoln Center. We talked today about the need to participate in our democracy.


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