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#16 Stephen Drew

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 11:48 PM

Ellie's post got me thinking back to how I develpoed my lessons on art for the History curriculum.

I first did some lessons on World War I at my old school. Before I did this I sat down for many conversations with the Head of Art (we played football together so that helped). I discussed with him what students should already be able to do and how I could structure my questioning. This gave me a really good idea of what expectations to have of students at Key Stage 3 in terms of their understanding of the history of art and how to interpret images.

I have continued this at Passmores where I have worked with the Head of Art on a number of ideas. He has come to me quite a lot as well to find out what historical contextual knowledge students should have before they do lessons involving historical pictures in Art. This makes for a really interesting collaborative working process. What I really like is the fact that he is able to point things out to me that I just would not spot, or to give me little bits of information about the artists that I would not otherwise get from the relativelty cursory scan of the biography that as an historian not an art teacher I take.

This extra information was particularly valuable when I did my preparation work for the artists of World War I. The Art Department were able to explain so many of the different styles and schools of artists that the 28 different artists fell into. This really allowed me to show contextual understanding of the artistic styles involved when teaching. I still floundered on that kind of stuff if we got anywhere off my prepared ideas, but it was definitely better than it would have been!
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

#17 UlrikeSchuhFricke



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Posted 15 January 2004 - 11:43 AM

Art - mostly paintings and/or phtos - help us in yet another way: in our bilingual classes (some subjects are taught in English) we start using English when we begin talking about the Middle Ages. Due to the extremely high percentage of people who illiterate most aspects of life in the Middle Ages were often not written down but painted. So we have a huge amount of sources we can use. The students who are in their third year of learning English have already learnt enough words etc. to describe the pictures. So the change from their mothertongue to English is not so difficult for them. Furthermore they learn the specific terms they need to describe medieval society and lifestyles while describing and analysing the pictures. We have created a kind of grid which helps the students to understand and interpret paintings/pictures/photos etc.:
Working Procedure:

Describe the figures and objects.
Say what the picture is about.
Walk through the picture: from left to right; from the foreground to the background; from the centre to the outside.
Read labels, headings etc. if there are any.

Explain what is going on in the picture.
Say something about how the figures and objects are presented: colours, style etc.
Are any of the objects symbols?
Intelligent guessing: Why are they doing what they are doing.

Imagine what is going out outside the frame; what might have happened before.
Imagine what you might hear, smell etc.
What may people talk about.
Are the figures and objects presented in a positive or negative light.
Are the figures or objects exaggerated in any way. Why?
What is the message of the picture.

Edited by UlrikeSchuhFricke, 15 January 2004 - 02:57 PM.

#18 D Letouzey

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 07:01 PM

Hi - I'm a visiting Art teacher, intrigued by this thread and delighted to see such an enthusiastic, well-resourced use of my subject to support another.

Thank you for this professional view.
In French lycees, some pupils may choose art, music or theatre in their curriculum. The lycee where I work offers only theatre. So history or litterature are, for the majority, the only access to art and art history.

the Art Curriculum in the UK should always employ an understanding of historical context in order to understand Art works

This link between History and Art have been fulled studied by modern historians and by art historians (type Pierre Francastel or André Chastel in google.co.uk).
It is necessary for us, but it is not sufficient.

Florence is a perfect example of how we can teach art history and teach the way artists lived and worked in a Renaissance italian city.
This 1471-1482 view of Florence is a way to link everyday life, "town planning",
and artists such as Brunelleschi, Verrochio, Ucello...

Studying another period, this interactive page suggests the links between painters (Monet, Bazille, Renoir) and novellists (Zola) : http://www.wetcanvas...sis_studio.html

Art - mostly paintings and/or photos - help us in yet another way

- Sorry to disturb this seminar.
Of course, we teach how to "describe", "explain", and "conclude" a painting.
But teaching art or art history is not only studying images.
Using images to teach could be the subject of another "technical" seminar.

Art is more than an image.
When I see Monet 's works, I learn more about the painter 's vision or technique than about Westminster... http://www.bc.edu/bc...art/monet2.html
Art is mainly about human creation, about aesthetics, about emotion, about culture, and about social heritage ....

In fact, in your classes, how many pupils have visited an art museum, by themselves or with their family ?
This is another dimension pupils may discover at school...

Edited by D Letouzey, 16 January 2004 - 08:07 PM.

#19 Stephen Drew

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 08:28 PM

To move the topic of the seminar into a realted area of artistic evidence, I am going to write about a lesson that we do at Passmores using a phtograph.

Many of the same skills and techniques used to analyse paintings can be used with photographs. The same high level thinking and results can be achieved from photographs. The lesson I am going to write about regularly has students thinking and speaking at the highest possible National Curriculum levels. For instance part of the Level 6 descriptor says:

Using their knowledge and understanding, they identify and evaluate sources of information, which they use critically to reach and support conclusions.

Level 7 says:

Pupils show some independence in following lines of enquiry, using their knowledge and understanding to identify, evaluate and use sources of information critically. They sometimes reach substantiated conclusions independently.

Having already studied the Agricultural Revolution in some depth, students are able to analyse and evaluate the photos in the lesson to produce thinking and explanations that reach these high levels during the lesson. This will often come from students who at the time of the lesson (Summer Term Year 8) are in reality working at farbelow these levels.

The lesson uses a photograph of a group of farm workers gathered for a collective photo. You can look at the photograph on this page of the Passmores History site.

We use a set of structured questions in three groups that take the students through the process of analysing the photograph and interpreting the images. Students are able to use their pre-existing knowledge to produce highly developed analyses of the photograph. The three stages are:

Taking your first look at the photograph

1.What is the first thing that strikes you about the photograph?

2.Who are the people in the photograph?

3.What is happening in the photograph?

4.What objects, animals or buildings catch your eye?

5.What details of the photograph most catch your eye?

6.What might have been just outside of the frame of the photograph?

Looking more closely at the photograph

7.What do you think was the original purpose of the photograph?

8.Who would have seen this photograph originally?

9.What can you tell about the feelings of any of the people in the photograph?

10.What clues can you see to when the photograph was taken? (season, century etc.)

11.For what occasion do you think the photograph was taken?

12.Why did the photographer choose this particular set-up? (pose, view, lighting, angle etc.)

Going further with your thinking about the photograph

13.What does the photograph suggest?

14.What important information is not given by the photograph?

15.What questions do you have about the photograph?

16.What do you think was happening fifteen minutes before and fifteen minutes after the photograph was taken?

17.If you cropped (cut a bit off) the photograph, what different story could you make it tell?

Each of the questions appears on an individual colour coded card. Each pair of students has a laminated A4 laser printed version of the picture (as well as it being on the board using either an OHT or a PowerPoint slide). Students work through each of the questions, and different pairs share their ideas in answer to the questions with the class as we go along. Students respond well to the ideas of others, and either challenge or develop the ideas of other students in a strong way.

As you can see from the 17 different questions, students are required to start off by simply saying what they can see, before they move on to actually trying to decide the meaning or significance of each of the different parts of the image. There are questions about the original purpose of the image as well as questions which require them to take into account the use of photography in the 19th century. They bring in ideas about rural life in the period, as well as the structure of farm management and villages.

We have always found the lesson to be highly interactive, incredibly stimulating for the students, and it is regularly referred to by both staff and students as one of the best lessons of our Key Stage 3 course.

The homework task for the lesson gives students another picture of 19th century farm life to analyse, using the same pictures as they have used in the lesson. When we then go on to look at images in later lessons, students are able to be much more analytical and developed in their thinking. The photo lesson seems to give them a greater "toolkit" with which to interpret images.

The pages for the lesson can be found on the Passmores site here:

Year 8 Unit 10 Lesson #2 (Passmores School History Department)

Year 8 Unit 10 Teaching Resources (Passmores School History Department)
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

#20 D Letouzey

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 08:52 PM

Just two simple question, in between art and history :

- What were the relations between (colored) painting and (black and white or sepia) photography after 1850 ?
Baudelaire by Carjat : http://classes.bnf.f...grande/pho7.htm
Portrait of the Postman Joseph Roulin, 1888 by Van Gogh :

- How would you teach german modern art, what the nazis called "degenerate art - Entartete kunst" ?

Edited by D Letouzey, 18 January 2004 - 10:00 AM.

#21 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 12:18 AM

Artwork of the First World War contains a variety of paintings, cartoons and illustrations from WW1. These are complimented by a collection of propaganda and recruitment posters, also from WW1.

A number of portraits of people related to the tudor Dynasty can be downloaded from this image gallery.

This image gallery contains artwork related to medicine and its advancement in the medieval and renaissance eras.

One of the most commonly used pieces of artwork in the history clasroom is the Bayeaux tapestry. This gallery includes many sections of the tapestry and related artwork that could be used in the classroom.

Medieval artwork features in a gallery that Carole has added to my site.

#22 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 12:26 AM

How would you teach german modern art, what the nazis called "degenerate art - Entartete kunst" ?

I've uploaded a few examples of pieces of art that were considered to be degenerate art to this part of my site. These images will be removed from the public domain in a week or so as they are subject to copyright, collated to enable a 'quick grab'.

#23 donald cumming

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Posted 20 January 2004 - 10:39 AM

Just a quickie but this site has the best selection of images by John Heartfield, and has been invaluable whilst teaching Nazi Germany this year. Art & Politics make for much more fun lessons than politics on its own!


#24 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 24 January 2004 - 03:01 AM

I don't think anyone has yet mentioned that a thread on the Forum some while ago discussed Using Paintings at KS3.

Several of the ideas and artists and pictures mentioned in this Seminar are referred to there, but there are also other references which people would find useful, I think.

#25 D Letouzey

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Posted 24 January 2004 - 08:56 AM


Thank you for this thread.

a French radio broadcasts again Daniel Arasse 's comment on the Joconde.
(D Arasse died last december).
Il souligne le contraste entre la grâce de Mona Lisa et le chaos du paysage
in contrast with G Benci 's intentional sadness and a more conventional landscape:


There are 24 others "rediffusions" "à venir".

This is also a typical french paradox : an art historian can comment a painting on the radio, which works as a TV without images, whereas some TV shows are just "de la radio filmée" :-)


#26 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 01:06 AM

I went to the National Portrait Gallery at the weekend.

They currently have a small exhibition of some of Gerald Scarfe's caricatures drawn for a collaboration with the NPG and a book 'Heroes and Villains'. Several of them are of historical characters. If you are up in London over half term do go and see it, and if you can afford the book (£20) it would be a wonderful addition to your library. Unfortunately they are only selling a couple of postcards.

See this page for more details

I also wondered if Forum members knew that the NPG run videoconferencing sessions for schools includiing ones for KS 3 History

Key Stage 3 History

Tudors: The focus is on using 3 or 4 portraits as historical evidence. The session can be tailored towards early Tudor or Elizabethan portraiture or on the changing image of Queen Elizabeth I. Please specify when booking.

Stuarts: Using 3 or 4 portraits, this session focuses on the Civil War, looking at both sides, and the decades preceding it. The emphasis is on questioning the reliability of these images as historical sources.

Victorians: This session looks at how 2 or 3 key images were constructed to give powerful propaganda messages both about Britain itself and its relationship with the wider world.

See this page for more details

#27 D Letouzey

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 06:08 AM

Le regard de l'escargot / The snail 's view

Why Francesco del Cossa did paint a snail
on the edge of his "Annunciation" (1470) - Gemäldegalerie of Dresde - ?


elements of answer, in French :

Edited by D Letouzey, 12 April 2004 - 08:14 AM.

#28 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 08:08 AM

I'm currently trying to incorporate artwork from local museums into our KS3 Schemes of Work.

In Bradford we have a Colour Museum which has a variety of workshops linking artwork, textiles and industrialisation together. These seem to offer scope to make use of a variety different forms of artwork and also benefit students who prefer a more creative form of learning. Some of the workshops (though by no means all) are listed on this page.

The National Museum of Flim and Photography also offers me a range of opportunities to make use of artwork (I guess this depends on your definition of 'Art' though). There are a number of galleries available that I'm hoping to use on a yearly basis along with use of exhibitions such as the current one displaying the photography of Luc Delahaye.

In Year 9 I've started using, and hope to fully develop, use of resources from the Peace Museum. They offer visiting exhibitions that make a lot of use of artwork, one example of these is Visions Shared.

One that I've not explored yet is utilising Manor House Art Gallery and Museum. This has permanent galleries of artwork relating to the Roman era, and is set in the remians of the Roman fort of Olicana. Possibly an interesting method of using artwork alongside a site visit.

#29 D Letouzey

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 02:25 PM

Having worked on the Renaissance, some remarks :

- Russell 's page on Holbein 's Amabassadors in very interesting :

There is also a good analysis on the Web Gallery of Art :

- I should like to continue on this : Historians may be deligted to find so many details about the Renaissance issues : social facts, science and knowledge, religious aspects... Too many for some of our students... ;) . And they may miss one essential part : artistic creation.

- One way to approach this artistic history should be comparative studies, either on a single period, or on several periods.
Let us quote some examples :

For instance, for the "High Renaissance", we may compare Leonard, Michelangelo, Raphael's styles :
Rapahel :
Madonna della Seggiola (Sedia) 1514 - Florence

Michelangelo :
The Holy Family with the infant St. John the Baptist (the Doni tondo) - c. 1506 - Florence

Leonard de Vinci :
The Virgin and Child with St Anne c. 1510 - Louvre

- Another solution may be to study Michelangelo, as a painter, as a sculptor :
David 1504 [/I]- Marble, height 434 cm - Florence

Creation of Adam (detail) 1510 Fresco - Vatican

- Giorgione, The tempest, 1505, Venice, may be use to show a different manner : http://gallery.eurow...est/tempest.jpg

- Holbein' portraits may be compared to Raphael's Castiglione , for instance :

- Nude and mythology should be another example, for instance with
Tizian, The Venus of Urbino.

All this can be done with the help of the teachers of Art...

Edited by D Letouzey, 18 April 2004 - 02:48 PM.

#30 D Letouzey

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Posted 18 July 2005 - 10:16 AM

I have updated a selection on Art history :

(see Florence and the Renaissance, Romanticism, Painting 1850-1914...)

ArtHist, a mailing list on H-Net
(The July archive, partly in German)


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