Classical Conversations

Learning About Rockwell

As part of our Classical Conversations Fine Arts program, we are studying 6 American artists this semester.  (This supplements our study of American history.)  The children have really enjoyed the 3 artists we’ve studied already, and I’d like to post about them here, beginning with Norman Rockwell.  For each artist, we follow this basic plan on a Monday:

  • I write down on poster-board the artist’s name, year of birth, and year of death
  • I introduce the artist with a brief biographical sketch from Discovering Great Artists, by Kohl & Solga
  • I show the children one or two examples of the artist’s work
  • I give them supplies for doing the art project suggested in Discovering Great Artists
  • I provide a book or two about the artist to study during the week (purchased or from the library)

During the remainder of the week, we daily review this information through conversation, and I let the children repeat the art project as often as they want.  I also have them fill out the following page for their art notebooks, helping as much as needed:

[button link=”https://helpingchildrenlearn.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/notebooking_artist_study.pdf” style=”download” color=”silver”]Artist Study Notebooking Page[/button]

Norman Rockwell was a fun artist to study.

We learned that each of his paintings tells a story.  I purchased and framed 2 of his prints, “Before the Shot” and “First Down” – these will be hung in our home when we are done studying the American artists.  I also happened to find a 500-piece puzzle in a decorative tin for $3 at HobbyLobby.  Putting together the puzzle (with my help) turned out to be a great way to focus on all the many details and shades of color in the Rockwell image.

This book (which we found at our library) contains the images of 102 Rockwell paintings, their names, dates of completion, and a couple paragraphs about the individual pieces:

How I Make A Picture, by Norman Rockwell. We found this library book fascinating.  In one part, it shows how he made the painting “First Down” with photographs of boys being held in hilarious positions!

And here’s the link to the great Discovering Great Artists book:

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One thought on “Learning About Rockwell

  1. This is wonderful! I especially love the part about the puzzle helping the children to see all the colors in a Rockwell painting!

    Going to start scouring my Hobby Lobby for these!

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