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.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Would you help me test drive an idea...

Friends. I am playing with an idea and I NEED feedback, okay. I want to see if this project will work as an web-only project and need to test drive it. Please, may I ask you to try this. It will only last for a week and I think only about four or five blog posts. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, MAY I TWIST YOUR ARM? If you do comment, would you comment on the blog and not on Facebook! Thanks in advance for helping me. If you have friends who might like to participate, feel free to invite them to join in.

BTW-CLASS of 2016...we've done this piece so your thoughts are welcome but ... KEEP CONCLUSIONS TO YOURSELF, OKAY!??!

As I pack and prep for DC, I decided to offer an Artwork of the Week as a diversion and test something for next year. Would you help me? AotW is something we do in my class that  I developed after attending the Clarice Smith National Teacher Institute at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Using only the clues offered from the piece of art, what can we learn from the artist and the point of the piece by looking at the composition--what is going on in the piece and where as well as why. If you asked the kids, they would probably say their favorite part of the week. (shh...it was one of mine as well!)

I can only ask only three questions:
  • What's going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What else do you see?
My only other job is to make sure I paraphrase what they said correctly as well as show the links between similar or disparate ideas.

The best way to do this is real-time and with the actual piece in front of you but since the SAAM won't loan me this piece and I'm on the interweb...we'll see if this can work.

Below you will find more pictures of this piece for your examination. I am also going to attempt to videotaping it on Sunday when I get to DC and upload that as well.


  1. I will get the ball rolling with a couple observations from my class last spring:

    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.

  2. ok so there's a satin cloth over a wooden base. the shape is wider at the top, and the cloth is clinched about 2/3 of the way down, as a dress would be at the waist. this suggests to me the shape of a woman. however it is open in the back, which suggests that the cloth is not meant to be a garment, but to cover whatever rests on the front of the structure beneath it. good?

    1. Bernadette,
      Very good. What I hear you saying is that there is a wooden base with a cloth covering it. The cloth suggests a feminine shape because of the tapered shape but upon closer investigation you've decided it is not specifically a piece of clothing.

  3. Dave, I was a Pres Academy member from the first class of 2006, so I am on the group, but I have enjoyed viewing your blog of late and am excited for this venture of your art discussions. I love using art in my classes and have taken a course in Chicago for that purpose.

    I will add to the comments that I see a protrusion at the top, so perhaps a hook of some sort is under there? The one angle shows it quite well. Perhaps there is an object on top under the cloth? --Sharolyn G

    1. Sharolyn, thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you're enjoying the blog. The week in DC at the Smithsonian was one of the most helpful training I've ever attended. Sounds like the Chicago one was cool as well.

      WIHYSI (What I hear you saying is...) there seems to be something sticking up underneath the cloth, possibly a hook.

  4. I see a grandfather clock covered by a drop cloth. It reminds me of the decay of old traditions, like an empty mansion decaying as time moves forward.

    1. WIHYSI ... the cloth is covering a clock, specifically a grandfather clock. You are also suggesting that the piece evokes of a feeling of deterioration. Time has moved on and left this it.

  5. Thank you for the first three comments. Don't be afraid to challenge an observation or dovetail someone else's ideas. Questions are a good way to get into the conversation as well. My job is to facilitate-I promise I will reign us in if we get too far on a rabbit trail.

    Another comment from students this spring:
    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.