Wednesday, July 13, 2011

art education at the saint louis art museum

Original photo by Matt Kitces
The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the principal U.S. art museums, visited by up to a half million people every year. Admission is free through a subsidy from the cultural tax district for St. Louis City and County.
   Located in Forest Park in St. Louis Missouri, the museum's three-story building was constructed as the Palace of the Fine Arts for the 1904 World's Fair, also known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Architect Cass Gilbert was inspired by the Baths of Caracalla in Rome, Italy. The British architect Sir David Chipperfield was selected to design a major addition to the museum. It will add 224,000 square feet (20,800 m2), including above ground gallery space and underground parking. Construction began in 2009, with completion planned for 2012. Michel Desvigne has been selected as landscape architect.
   In addition to the featured exhibitions, the Museum offers rotating exhibitions and installations. These include the Currents series, which showcases contemporary artists, as well as regular exhibitions of textiles, new media art, and works on paper.
   The collection (virtual tour) of the Saint Louis Art Museum contains more than 30,000 art works from antiquity to the present. The collection is divided into eleven areas and the museum offers education materials for educators under the following categories: African * American * Ancient Egypt * Islamic * Asian * Contemporary * Decorative Arts and Design * Early European * Modern Europe * Oceanic * Pre-Columbian and American Indian * Sculpture * Prints, Drawings, and Photograph.
   The modern art collection includes works by the European masters Matisse, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh. The particularly good collection of 20th-century German paintings includes the world's largest Max Beckmann collection. The museum has Chuck Close's Keith (1970).
    The collections of Oceanic and Pre-Columbian works, as well as handwoven Turkish rugs, are among the finest in the world. The museum holds the Egyptian mummy Amen-Nestawy-Nakht, and two mummies on loan from Washington University. Its collection of American artists includes the largest U.S.-museum collection of paintings by George Caleb Bingham.

   Below are lesson plans that I have specifically written for those teachers who wish to utilize both the collections at the St. Louis Art Museum and the web database generated by the museum's staff.
  1. Portrait of A Survivor - is a lesson plan integrating both art history, the visual arts, and literacy. 
  2. Tialoc Mask - is a lesson combining paper mache and mosaic methods. This one is still "under construction" I'll include the teacher's sample and photos soon
  3. Drawing from Greek and Roman Pottery - is a lesson that focuses the student's attention on the elaborate design details used by ancient Greek potters.
  4. The Egyptian Scribe and His Equipment - This art lesson includes a literacy activity describing the life style and routine of an Egyptian scribe along with an art activity. 
  5. Egyptian Jewelry Design - includes instructions for making a press mold. I will include photos of this method at a later date.
  6. Ancient Effigy Pot - made with an old paper mache method.

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