Monday, February 27, 2012

Breaking ground

13 Art Inventions Children Should Know by Florian Heine (702 HeT 2011) is an interesting, informative book that breaks down art history into a few key ‘inventions’.

It starts with the invention of painting around 30,000 BC, with the wall art found in caves in France and Spain. In a few pages we see some examples of the paintings and discussion of the technique, location and purpose of the art.

The timeline, at the top of each new section, places the innovations in a time frame that is easy to follow, in addition to indicating significant events (mostly in Europe) such as the 12th century outbreak of plague, Christopher Columbus’ ‘discovery’ of America, the birth of Shakespeare, the discovery of penicillin, when the Beatles released their first album, etc.

Several of the sections focus on the 1400s, during the Renaissance, establishing that this time was brimming with innovations.  Some of these include advancements in technique (central perspective), moving away from religious subjects and depicting people, places and things (including weather) more realistically.

Moving forward in time, the book features inventions that include photography, paint tubes, cartoons, abstract painting, action/drip painting (think Jackson Pollock), and aerosol spray cans (important for the development of graffiti).

The topics seem wide ranging, and a little random, but they do show a continuum of advancements and that some innovations directly affected the art that followed. Suggested short activities and a glossary deepen understanding of each innovation.

13 Art Inventions Children Should Know is one in a series that looks to break down the vastness of art history and engage kids (grades 4 to 8) with intriguing featured topics. In this one we get to see that art, which we take for granted, had to start somewhere.

 If you’re looking for a similar book for an older crowd (high school and up) look for The First Time: innovations in art also by Florian Heine (709 HeF 2007).

Today is Nonfiction Monday at blog, The Children's War.  Stop and read nonfiction childrens literature other bloggers are reviewing


GatheringBooks said...

Hi Tammy, these two books do look like they would go well together. Thank you for the recommendation.

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